Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


May 6, 2004
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

A New Family Friendly Musical:
The Odyssey of Telémaca
By Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox
Originally commissioned by Childsplay, Inc., Tempe, Arizona
Friday, June 4, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 5, 2:00 & 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 6, 2:00 p.m.

Fairfax, Virginia, May 3, 2004—Referring to "deepening relationships," between the company and the team of Mary Hall Surface and David Maddox, Rick Davis, artistic director, Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), announced the production of The Odyssey of Telémaca, which he called "the largest, most ambitious production TFA has undertaken." The world premiere, from the creators of Sing Down the Moon, Perseus Bayou and Mississippi Pinocchio, opens on Friday, June 4 and runs through Sunday, June 6 at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. This special engagement features Family Friendly prices – tickets for children 12 and under are half price.

Using music, texture, color, light, movement, dynamic storytelling, dance, and, of course, giant puppets and ingenious props, The Odyssey of Telémaca is a delight for kids of all ages with a daring heroine who must believe in herself on her quest to find her father, as she struggles to protect her family and her village from the evil Don Ricardo.

Composer and music director David Maddox explains his inspiration came from the musical traditions born in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico, using the popular 3/4 waltz time that is used in so much of the area’s music. The Odyssey of Telémaca features a live band – drums, bass, guitar, piano, trumpet, violin, and accordion – performing approximately 20 individual songs.

In the Sonora Desert region of Northern Mexico in the 19th century, mines were exhausted, the wealthy owners and the workers were moving on, and the impending Mexican Revolution released long-suppressed grievances by the exploited poor. Using this backdrop, Surface and Maddox set out to create a tale of heroism, featuring a feisty, female heroine – a young woman poised at the threshold of adulthood with immense responsibility placed before her. Surface is quick to point out that The Odyssey of Telémaca is more "inspired by the central domestic events of The Odyssey…" than directly based on Homer’s epic. She and Maddox found at the crux of their story the answers to the question: what happens to the child of a hero when left behind?

The Odyssey of Telémaca features Jenna Sokolowski as Telémaca, Cesar Guadamuz as Coyote, Janine Gulisano as Pureza, Dwayne Nitz as Tomás, Eric Lee Johnson as Don Ricardo and Steve Tipton as Omero. Other featured actors include Lynn Filusch as La Llorona, and Eduardo Placer as Hérmio. Stage management is by Taryn Colberg, assisted by David Elias.

Tony Cisek’s set design is comprised of rock desert landscapes that move and shift, and other elements on a larger-than-life scale – a huge expanse of sky, huge suns and huge moons. Helen Qizhi Huang’s colorful costumes are rooted in the historical with lots of detail drawn from the culture and era. Marie Schneggenburger’s cleverly designed puppets and masks include genuine denizens of the desert landscape like vultures, scorpions, desert pigs, as well as a fantasy creature that is half man/half coyote. Dan Covey provides the lighting design, Dan Joyce choreographs and Dreama Greaves provides props.
Both the lyrics and the spoken words in the production are primarily in English, utilizing Spanish words.

The Odyssey of Telémaca is made possible in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets for The Odyssey of Telémaca are $25. FAMILY FRIENDLY! All children, 12 and under, half price! Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit

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GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.