The Odyssey Project: Equality and
opportunity for incarcerated youth of
SEPTEMBER 13, 2015 (Santa Barbara, CA) – Incarcerated youth will perform
alongside undergraduate students from the University of California, Santa Barbara in a
retelling of Homer’s Odyssey at Center Stage Theater on September 13 th , 2015 .
Growing out of an undergraduate course taught by Dr. Michael Morgan at UC Santa
Barbara, T he Odyssey Project is a collaborative theater process between youth from Los
Prietos Boys Camp, a juvenile detention facility in Santa Barbara county, and
undergraduate students from UCSB. Using the template of Homer’s O dyssey , the
participants gather on the university campus to explore the mythic elements in their lives.
Supported by a network of university and community mentors including a mask maker,
music artists, a storyteller, a martial artist, a dance choreographer and an
animation artist, they reconstruct Homer’s epic poem in their own voices, using their own
The project leads to a public performance at a professional theater. Everyone on this
creative journey is a hero or heroine: each of their voices is heard, equally; and each of
their stories is validated, elevated to the mythic dimensions of Homer’s original. The
project is designed to honor youth in identifying their heroic life mission and in mapping
a course of action. It employs theater arts as a strategy for inspiring life affirming choices.
In doing so, The Odyssey Project seeks to demonstrate how artistic cooperation
transcends class, racial and social barriers; and how art, with rehabilitation, serves as an
alternative to incarceration and penalty.
Now in it’s fifth year of operation, The Odyssey Project has recently successfully
completed a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter (h ttp://kck.st/1eEJBfQ) . Proceeds
from the campaign will fund the completion of a featurelength
documentary about the
project, directed by filmmaker Mark Manning; as well as the creation of a manual which
demonstrates how similar programs can be recreated and implemented by other
government municipalities and institutes of higher education, working together to fight
Tickets for the September 13, 2015 performance of The Odyssey Project are
available through Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara, CA.