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'Anon(ymous)' Gives a Modern Take On Homer's 'Odyssey'

Mar. 14, 2017
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UW-Milwaukee’s Department of Theatre expresses what a pluralistic society means in its presentation of Anon(ymous). This adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey takes the heroic stories of Odysseus and integrates a new protagonist into the mix. The modified version of a classic tale follows the life of Anon, a lost and confused refugee on his quest to find his mother and salvation in his new home.

Anon(ymous) gives the audience a sense for the lives of contemporary refugees fleeing war-torn lands in hopes of finding a better life. In the story, Anon, his mother and a group of other refugees escape their homeland by boat, only to be capsized by the waves of the ocean and separated from one another. Anon is taken in by a wealthy American family and his mother finds herself working in a sweatshop, both assuming they have lost each other forever.

As Anon tries to adjust to American culture, he is discouraged by the materialistic lifestyle that his new family lives by. Time goes by and Anon realizes that the comforts of America are not the same as what it was like in his homeland and feels that his uncultured family isn’t allowing him to be himself, so he runs away. He finds himself once again without a home and feeling like a nobody.

In his journey to find himself, Anon deals with goddesses, ghosts and terrible monsters, making friends and enemies in the process. The play uses engaging metaphors to show what it’s like adjusting to a new culture and how difficult it can be to find acceptance. The audience learns that it’s easy to get lost and forgotten when starting somewhere new and how important it is to be open to and accepting of new ideas.

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