'Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts I, II & III' on stage from Quintessence Theatre Group

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Monday, May 20, 2024
'Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts 1-3 on stage May 29-June 23
Quintessence Theatre Group is wrapping up its Love & War-themed season with a show that reinvents an epic Greek poem and the lead up to Juneteenth.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- 'Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts I, II & III' makes its Philadelphia premiere on the Sedgwick Theater's stage.

Raelle Myrick-Hodges directs the show, which she says is an adaptation of Homer's 'The Odyssey.'

"We're really looking at the journey of how one strives to get home," she says.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks set this story on a Southern plantation during the Civil War.

"We're historically looking at enslaved and stolen people in their community in part one," says Myrick-Hodges.

The play focuses on an enslaved man named Hero, played by Kelechi Udenkwo.

Udenkwo says Hero desperately wants to find what his idea of manhood looks like to him.

Deja Anderson-Ross plays Penny, Hero's love interest.

"She's also in constant search of what freedom means to her," she says.

Myrick-Hodges says that "the boss master" gets called to war and he doesn't want to go by himself.

He offers Hero a deal.

"He can go to the war or stay home," says Udenkwo.

Hero chooses to go to war with the agreement that if he survives he will be free.

"But the truth is, he's really in love with Penny and wants to stay," says Myrick-Hodges.

"So in the second act, you'll see a lot of changes with Hero," says Anderson-Ross.

"I've lost touch with my roots back home," says Udenkwo. "I kind of become, to some, unrecognizable as a person."

Penny is going on her own journey.

Anderson-Ross says her character is "defining what home means for her."

"The last act ends in Juneteenth," says Myrick-Hodges. "It ends in this space of freedom."

Udenkwo says we have so many ideas of how Blackness and culture are supposed to be represented, but the main theme of the play is really asking the questions, "how do we progress? What does freedom look like for us?"

'Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts I, II & III' is on stage at the Sedgwick Theater May 29-June 23.

'Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts I, II & III' | Tickets

Quintessence Theatre Group

7137 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119