TITLE OF SHOW: Oedipus the King
LENGTH OF SHOW: 130-minutes, plus intermission
THEME [one sentence description]: An exploration of man’s manipulation by fate as seen by the Greeks in 427 B.C.
CONTENT [brief description]: This world-famous, Greek tragedy is the murder-mystery of Oedipus, the King of Thebes, who by ill-fated events kills his own father and marries his mother, producing children who are cursed by his incest and patricide, and bringing a plague upon Thebes.
GOAL [the purpose of this show]: To re-create this Greek tragedy; to show the fragility of man’s life, his destiny, his fate; to show the corruption of power, arrogance and the flaunting of morality by man in the face of powers beyond his own.
POINT OF VIEW OF ARTISTS: To create a two-man production of a 20-character play with masks and puppetry techniques which allow for the greatest flexibility of interpretation and involvement by the audience; to re-create the sense of ritual, tragedy, pathos and catharsis the Greeks so dearly loved and show its relevance to today’s society and world-view; to reveal the tragedy of the un-examined life. Bob and Dana chose to use the concept of stylized movement and recorded voice-overs like puppets because the Greeks themselves often saw themselves as puppets in the hands of their gods.
PRESENTATION [skills used to present show]: The stage is set with white columns, black walls, black and white floor, a blood-red drape and stylized kouroi [pronounced CORE-roy] or male-figure sculptures from the Archaic Period which become the puppet stick-figures for scenes in which more than two characters appear. Fog, howling wind and ancient Greek music fill the stage with the seeping image of the plague brought on Thebes by an unknown cause. Stylized masks, some nearly 30-inches in height, magnificent wigs, flowing gowns in white, red and purple, essential, skillfully selected hand-props, exaggerated stage gestures, movement and dance and a pre-recorded score (by Robert Greenwood doing the varied voices of all the characters) of an award-winning, accessible translation by Stephen Berg and Diskin Clay all come together to create the stark world of Oedipus’ emotions as the truth of his life is revealed piece by piece, oracle by oracle. it is a highly expressionistic production meant to burn images into the mind’s eye, just as the painted sculptures of the Parthenon used to gleam in the sun, and to leave the audience replete with their emotions by the intensity of the script and the unraveling action of the mystery.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Festival and Adult, community, college and university audiences, rated PG-13. The production at its premiere was given an entertainment rating of three and a half stars [out of four] by THE CALGARY SUN. Also suggested for progressive high schools. This is a production of conviction meant for those who truly love theatre and who are still capable of the willing suspension of disbelief, who allow themselves to be drawn into the experience and experiment of living theatre.
CAST: Robert Greenwood (actor) and [Mr.] Dana Luebke (dancer-actor)
LANGUAGE(S) IN WHICH SHOW IS PERFORMED: English
PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS AVAILABLE:
WHERE SHOW HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY PERFORMED OR WORLD PREMIERE, ETC.: This show was premiered in Calgary. It was first previewed and presented by Sun.Ergos at their theatre workshop, THE SCARBORO, as part of their 4th subscription season. It has since been presented at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Dr. Betty Mitchell Theatre.
REFERENCES FOR SHOW:
WORDS WHICH HAVE BEEN USED TO DESCRIBE THE SHOW:
riveting, one of the best production of Greek tragedy, significant, semiotic [pertaining to the relationship between signs and symbols and what they represent]. artistically done, incredible experience, perfect, absorbing, passionate, ritual, stylized, the terrible triumph of inevitable fate, mesmerizing, memorable, marvelous, skilled, stunning marks, incredibly beautiful, gorgeous, intense, beauty unmasked, professional, quality
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS, PLEASE CONTACT:
Sun.Ergos, A Company of Theatre and Dance
130 Sunset Way
Priddis, Alberta, CANADA T0L 1W0
TEL 403-931-1527 TOLL FREE 1-800-743-3351