The Odyssey Performance

The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast, 4th grade-University (varying versions, lhr-75 minutes)

Homer’s epic made accessible in modern English with a 12-string guitar score, vocal effects and character voices, Belly of the Beast is among Odds’ most popular performances. Starting with wind and the cries of gulls, the tale opens with Odysseus’ musings inside the Trojan Horse. He longs for his wife and child who he’s not seen in ten years. The wily hero’s horse trick works and Troy falls. But instead of sailing straight home, Odysseus’s 12 ships of Ithaca go raiding for gold and his misfortunes begin. A battle on a beach. A great storm that blows them to the edge of the world. Thirst and hunger. Lotus Eaters, drugged on their island. And a giant cyclops who imprisons them in his cave, eating them two by two. Filled with sounds and evocative music, this performance has been enjoyed by Off-Broadway audiences to high schoolers at Classical Association conferences. Mr. Bodkin performs age-appropriate versions, depending on the audience.

“a huge hit with students. They are clamoring for him to return.” Martha Taylor, Chair of Classics, Loyola University Maryland

“a tour de force”––Dr. James Tatum, Dartmouth College Classics Department

Student Comments (HS): “That was life changing!” “I couldn’t wait and then SHABAM, it was amazing!” “You were the best speaker (in your case, storyteller) we’ve ever had. Thanks!” ––Parker Charter Essential School


The Odyssey: An Epic Telling (4 hrs total during 3-day residency with 2 episodes per day)

In each 45-minute show over three days, Odds continues from Belly of the Beast onward into Odysseus’ ten year epic adventure, including 42 episodes in all. A bag of winds, foolishly opened. Cannibals attacking. Ships destroyed until just one remains. Enchantment on Circe’s isle. Journey to the Underworld. The Sirens. The Straits of Scylla and Charybdis. The Cattle of the Sun. Odysseus, the last man alive, washed up on a beach. The tale builds as Olympian gods fight over his fate, but he finally reaches Ithaca, only to find it overtaken by ruffians. Now, reunited with his son and disguised as a beggar, Odysseus must take his island kingdom back.

Mr. Bodkin uses both 12-string guitar and Celtic harp to score this full version of The Odyssey.

“I remember sharing with teachers that they did not need to worry about their students’ behavior or attention spans. Four hundred 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders sat spellbound for the three days.”––Dan Schauben-Fuerst, Director of Curriculum

“I can’t remember any visiting speaker or performance artist who provoked such an enthusiastic, nay lyrical, response as you. Advisors tell me that their students are still excited, and I can’t cross campus without being stopped by your fans.”––Sandra Bernstein, Head, English Department, The Madeira School