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Widener’s FreshBaked Theatre Company to Perform “The Odyssey”

FreshBaked actors

Odysseus, played by Viraga Perera, falls under the spell of the enchantress, Circe, played by Sara Hufnagle.

Widener University’s FreshBaked Theatre Company will present “The Odyssey” on two consecutive Sundays, November 9 and 16, at 2 p.m. The company will also host special matinee performances for local schools and homeschooling families in addition to the general public on Monday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. All performances take place in Alumni Auditorium, located on Widener’s Main Campus in Chester, Pa. The play is recommended for ages 8 and up and families. Running time is 55 minutes.

Reservations are required for schools and groups, but not for individuals. To make a reservation, contact Director Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale at

Admission to all performances of “The Odyssey” is by free will cash donation, with all funds benefiting community aid organizations in Chester. The suggested donation is $2 per person.

“When the battle was over, there were few of us left to celebrate our victory. And after ten years of fighting, we didn’t feel much like celebrating anyway. We were tired and we wanted to go home!”

So starts this creative adaptation of Homer’s classic – and timeless – account of the aftermath of war and the harrowing journey of a hero and his faithful crew. Along the way, Odysseus and his mates encounter tests of wisdom, bravery and humility as they struggle to reach their home across the tumultuous sea. They meet a one-eyed cyclops, sirens, lotus eaters, the enchantress Circe, the monster Scylla, the whirlpool Charybdis and the oracle Tiresias as they journey to overcome their personal demons.

Conceived and written by Creative Educational Systems, “The Odyssey” is an engaging, spirited exploration for young audiences of  honor, bravery, self-doubt, sacrifice, loyalty and the discovery that “being a hero isn’t all trumpets and flag-waving. There's more to it than winning battles and covering yourself with glory.”

“The Odyssey” features Widener University students Luis Aguilar, Sara Hufnagle, Autumn Heisler, Joann Klein, Carolyn Lodge, Viraga Perera, Kirk Reichart and Lizzy Yenser. It is directed by Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale with technical direction by Daniel Castagna.

Since 2001, Widener’s FreshBaked Theatre Company has produced quality drama for children and families in the greater Chester area. The ensemble seeks to enhance Widener University’s commitment to civic engagement by sharing the magic of live performing arts. “Our mission is to present inventive drama for young minds and the people who nurture them,” said Cocchiarale.

For more information, or to make reservations, please e-mail Cocchiarale at

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university’s website,