Southeastern Theatre to present McGuinness’ adaptation of Oedipus

Friday, April 8, 2016
by: Rene Abadie

     HAMMOND – The classic ancient Greek play “Oedipus,” as adapted by Irish writer Frank McGuinness, will be presented at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Vonnie Borden Theatre April 19-22 at 7:30 p.m. each night.
     The play, written by the Greek playwright Sophocles around 430 B.C., is being presented by Southeastern Theatre. General admission tickets are $10; $5 for seniors and non-Southeastern students; and free for Southeastern students with University ID. Tickets are available 30 minutes prior to show time in the Vonnie Borden Theatre Box Office, located in the main lobby of D Vickers Hall.
     Director Chad Winters, instructor of acting and directing, said McGuinness is known widely for his adaptations of classical literary works. First performed at the National Theatre in London in 2008, the play starred actor Ralph Fiennes in the title role.
     “I’ve used McGuinness’ translations before when I did ‘A Doll’s House,’” Winters said. “I find his translations to be more accessible to a modern audience. We are telling the classic story of King Oedipus with stylized movement, music and dance.”
     In the back story, King Laius of Thebes learns of a prophecy that his newborn son Oedipus is destined to kill him and marry his own mother. He orders the child’s death; however, the Shepard charged with abandoning Oedipus in the wilderness takes pity on him and gives him to a Shepard from the city of Corinth, where he is adopted by the king. Oedipus later learns of the prophecy himself and flees Corinth in fear of it coming true. His travels lead him to the city of Thebes, where he encounters the Sphinx who has been terrorizing the city. Oedipus solves the riddle of the Sphinx, freeing the city of its curse. Now a hero, he is crowned king of Thebes, after the recent murder of King Laius by a band of robbers, and he is given the hand of Queen Jocasta in marriage. It is from this point that the play begins for the audience. Some time has passed and the city of Thebes is suffering from plague and famine. The citizens implore King Oedipus to save them again. To do so he must unmask the murderer of their former King.    
     “I think the audience will have a lot of fun as this mystery unravels.” Winters said.
     Southeastern students and others performing in “Oedipus” include Justin Davis of Greensburg as Oedipus and Payton Core of Folsom as Queen Jocasta. Other cast members include: William Rushing of Hammond as Creon; Misty Gros of Lafitte as Teiresias; Bennett Cockerham of Hammond as the Priest; Shelly Sneed of Minden as the Shepherd; Chris Dalton of Prairieville as the Messenger; and Anita Brewer of Denver as the Stranger;
     Members of the chorus include Brewer, Camille Albarez,, Tara Bennett and Corinne Dennison, all of Covington; Shelby Elliott-Layman of Baltimore; Michaela Statham of Franklinton; and Caleb Theriot of Springfield.
     For more information, contact the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, 985-549-2184.

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