Samford Valley Steiner School: The Odyssey

Samford Valley Steiner School

The Odyssey

The genesis of this project began at the end of 2022 when Nicole Ostini (drama teacher, Samford Valley Steiner School) brought to the attention of the staff and college a desire for a healing gesture. For the past few years, we have all carried the weight of pandemic restrictions and protocols that have left the Samford Valley Steiner School community like so many other communities around the world, disillusioned, tired, disconnected and concerned for the life and soul of the educational impulse that is so dear to all our hearts.

We needed renewal. We professed to expound Rudolf Steiner’s theory of social and cultural renewal yet where was it happening in our school and how were we going to really live it? With no going back to ‘normal’, What kind of world were we going to live into now?

It was this question that we took to our student body. If given the opportunity to participate in a student led experience or festival, what world would you want to create? We threw around ideas and initiated discussions. And then a quiet voice arose from the mass… from our students… from a year 12 student. Every year our year 12 students engage in a year long project that combines a personal passion with community and world development focus and this year we had a student, who came to us quietly and said ‘I want to direct a performance and I would like to work with Homer’s Odyssey.’

The Odyssey is a story about coming home. Home to one’s self, to one’s heart, and to one’s people. It about letting go of an old consciousness and embracing a new one. It is the epitome of renewal, hard won, with many obstacles and challenges along the route.

The return to ancient Greek culture and mythology has been a key feature of literary and artistic works of the last year or so reminding us that Homer and in particular The Odyssey has not only a universal resonance but one that is much needed from a world trying to realign itself after a global pandemic. From literary engagements such as Madeleine Miller’s ‘Song of Achilles and ‘Circe’ to Dead Puppets recent production of “Holding Achilles’ to the National Theatre’s 2023 offering of a multi- city Odyssey to bring healing to communities around England, we are tapping into a need that is not only local but global.

Delaney Crawley, High School Humanities Teacher
Samford Valley Steiner School

To read the full story please click here: The Odyssey 2023