The Odyssey is a wild sea-tale describing the journey of the warrior Odysseus home from the Trojan war, a journey involving angry sea-gods, floating cities, a gender-bending prophet from the Land of the Dead and (of course) the witch who holds the keys to the Underworld. This beautiful epic is itself a means of relation to the powers of wind and sea, death and the ancestors which surround us still, its wonderous images the means by which the healing power of this story is conveyed to those who hear it.
SINGER OF TALES
The Odyssey allows both storyteller and audience the opportunity to step directly into the narrative, as much of the epic is narrated by Odysseus himself. This first-person perspective on the story is as riveting for the audience as it is challenging for the storyteller. You can watch excerpts from my performances of the Odyssey at the link below.
"I honestly wondered if adolescents of the Instagram era had the patience for a storyteller, but I wonder no more. Leeming had their rapt attention for over an hour, using only his voice, his gestures, and instruments that could have come from the Bronze Age. It was a great reminder that the oldest stories are often the best stories, for they reveal most clearly the essence of what it means to be human."
MATTHEW J. HARTNETT, CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT
OF CLASSICAL LANGUAGES, PHILLIPS EXETER ACADEMY