Watch: Video of one-person Iliad

On any regular day, people think Cami Alys is intense.

“I’m too much,” the Austin actor admits. “I should tone it back.”

Now Alys has been given permission to let the dam burst. Starting Thursday, she will play more than a dozen people — young and old, male and female — in a 90-minute, one-actor telling of Homer’s epic tale of war, “The Iliad.”

“I can live inside this,” she says at an East Austin coffee shop. “Still, I’m terrified. You know, I wanted to be challenged. Now I’m telling the whole story and impersonating all the characters.”

Cami Alys plays all the characters in ‘An Iliad’ Contributed.

Penfold Theatre Company and the Scottish Rite Theater have partnered to present “An Iliad,” which Lisa Peterson and Dennis O’Hare adapted from Robert Fagles’ translation of the ancient poem about the Trojan War. It focuses especially on the rage of Greek hero Achilles.

“There’s no real relaxing in this,” Alys says. “It’s a war story, but it’s about the sensuality of war and the horror of war. We watch: Achilles rages. Can he control it? That is in all of us. Can we control it?”

For the full story on “An Iliad,” go here.

Author: Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes writes about Austin's people, places, culture and history for the Austin American-Statesman and

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