Hidden away deep in a mountain cave, stone women recall their shattered memories and search for answers in the dark. Based on Ovid’s archaic myth, “Echo(es)” is a haunting tale of metamorphosis and the power of the stories we tell ourselves.
The play, “Echo(es),” is created and directed by Theatre UAB alumna Rebecca Jones, class of 2014, in collaboration with Professor Karla Koskinen. The original work features music, lyrics and music direction by Theatre UAB alumna Alora King, class of 2015.
Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly March 7-11, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Odess Theatre. General admission tickets are $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787 or visit AlysStephens.org.
“Echo(es)” has been on its own journey of metamorphosis since 2015, when Jones recognized the patterns of narcissistic abuse couched in the metaphors of the myth from “Metamorphosis.” She wanted to hear Echo tell her side of the story. What would it take to heal? Inspiration also came from another myth: La Loba, as depicted in “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola.
In 2018, she began writing in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based theater company August Corps. Jones’ family farm in Valleyhead, Alabama, has a large cavern that served as the inspiration for Echo’s cave in the play. The next summer, August Corps brought the cast from New York to stay in residency at the farm and to workshop the play as a site-specific performance in the cave. Jones received the 2019 SITI Lab Residency in New York to continue developing the “Echo” project that fall.
“Echo(es)” is now a reality thanks to the many artists who brought this story to life, Jones says.
Brett Everingham, UAB class of 2020, co-wrote with Jones the next iteration of the script, which was invited by the UAB Department of Theatre as a staged reading in 2021. King, of Boonsboro, Maryland, also joined the project. The script was given an overhaul after the workshop, and Koskinen stepped in to co-write the show now titled “Echo(es).” The music was also re-written as original pieces by King. Theatre UAB alumna and guest artist Kendra Weeks is costume and scenery designer.
The cast is Madi Carr of Mobile, Alabama, Isabelle Johnson of Memphis, Tennessee, and Jazzy Pedrosa-Watson of Madison, Alabama, as the Echoes Ensemble; Matthew Kelly of Phenix City, Alabama, as Man; Emily Cluelee of New Orleans, Louisiana, as Writer; and Tess Lenzen of Madison, Wisconsin, as Healer.
Abigail Coates of Florence, Alabama, is assistant director and dramaturg. Stage management is by TaShauna Ajoi Jenkins of Birmingham. Assistant stage managers are Simon Sarnowski of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and Katie Pulmano of Birmingham. Mae (Emma) Mansour of Cullman, Alabama, is lighting designer. Ellie Cornett of Madison, Alabama, is technical director. Marc Quattlebaum is props master; Angus Black is assistant props master.