The Aeneid opens Thursday on the mainstage

Roots of play come from the epic Latin poem in American debut

The talent is continuing to pour out of the Performing Arts building here at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

“Little Women” had their final performance this past Sunday, and another show is coming to life this week.

The Latin epic poem, “The Aeneid,” will be next up in the Andreas Theatre. “The Aeneid” is going to be a very special show because it will be the American debut of the show, and that is extremely exciting for the director, cast and crew. Originally written by Virgil, this performance is a modern retelling of the heroic story about survival.

It tells the story of a band of refugees who flee their destroyed city in search of finding a new place to call home.

Every mainstage production this season represents a 25-year segment of the history of MNSU. The toughest spot to fill, according to the director Dr. Paul J. Hustoles, was the last.

“I saw a production of “The Aeneid” and I just loved it. The actual date it was rewritten happened to be 2008. I immediately became very clever and thought this was going to count into our last slot even though the story is over 2000 years old. It all worked out very well,” he said.

Mitchell Evans, who plays Aeneas, shared why “The Aeneid” is such an important show and his favorite part about his character.

“I’d have to say my favorite part about Aeneas is getting to ride his rollercoaster of emotions and trying to immerse myself into his experiences of being a refugee trying to find a new home. It really kind of re-wires preconceived notions about people whose actual lives fall similar to this story,” he said. “I think this is such an important role surrounded by such an important show that I hope teaches its audience(s) empathetic intelligence, by showing part of what life’s really like for people experiencing this every day. Especially where we are as a people and a country right now, I find both my role and this show so relevant.”

Hustoles is enjoying his time directing this incredibly powerful show and getting to do things a little differently.

“This was an experimentation and in many ways the story is like a film. Set changes are instantaneous. It is all about the story,” he said.

The show will run for two weekends, opening Thursday, Oct. 12 and closing on Sunday, Oct. 22. Tickets are available to purchase for any show online at http://www.mnsu.edu/theatre/, over the phone at 507-389-6661, or at the box office Monday-Friday from 4 to 6:00 p.m. Regular tickets for “The Aeneid “ sell for $16, discounted for $14, and $11 for Minnesota State University, Mankato students.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” will be next up on the mainstage, directed by Heather Hamilton. That production will open Thursday, Nov. 2.

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