Oedipus
A.R.T. Season
May 15, 2004 through June 12, 2004

Aristotle regarded Sophocles' tragedy as the masterpiece of Greek drama—an unflinching portrayal of a man's descent from self-assurance and strength to shame and isolation. Though written more than 2,500 years ago, Oedipus still holds the center of Western drama and psychology—a tautly plotted, terrifyingly swift account of human pride and vulnerability that speaks precisely to our own age.

SYNOPSIS

Oedipus has unknowingly fulfilled a prophecy issued at his birth by the Delphic oracle, that he would in time kill his father and marry his mother. When the play opens, Oedipus is King of Thebes. The city is suffering a great plague, and Oedipus has sent his brother-in-law, Creon, to the oracle to seek advice. The oracle reveals that Thebes is being punished for harboring the murderer of Laius, the city's former King. Oedipus determines to find the murderer, and turns to the blind prophet Teiresias for help. Teiresias informs him that he, Oedipus, murdered Laius, and Oedipus flies into a rage.

Jocasta, Oedipus's wife, comforts him, reminding him of reports that Laius was killed by thieves at a crossroads. Her son, she tells him, had been abandoned on a mountainside at birth to thwart the oracle's prediction. But Oedipus remembers that long ago he had indeed slain a man in a brawl at a crossroads.

A messenger arrives with news that the King of Corinth, whom Oedipus believed to be his father, has died. The messenger also reveals that Oedipus was in fact adopted as a child, having been raised by a shepherd. His suspicions aroused, he sends for the shepherd, who confirms that Oedipus was the son of King Laius.

Oedipus realizes that the prophecy has come true, and that he did indeed murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. Horrified, he follows Jocasta, who has already rushed into the palace, where she hangs herself. Overcome with grief, Oedipus blinds himself with her golden brooches. Creon is now named King of Thebes. Oedipus asks to be banished and, bidding farewell to his daughters Antigone and Ismene, the blind man leaves the city.

by Sophocles
translation by Stephen Berg and Diskin Clay
directed by Robert Woodruff
original music composed by Evan Ziporyn
Oedipus John Campion
Chorus Leader Thomas Derrah
Kreon/Messenger Michael Potts
Teiresias/Shepherd Novella Nelson
Jocasta/Servant Stephanie Roth Haberle
Antigone Eliza Rose Fichter
Ismene Olivia Beckett Wise
Ensemble Timur Bekbusunov
I Nyoman Catra
Jodi Dick
Suzanne Ehly
Paul Guttry
Anne Harley
Paul Shafer
Kasia Sokalla
Musicians  
percussion Nathan Davis
cello Ha-Yang Kim
guitar and keyboards Jeff Lieberman
bass Blake Newman
scenic design Doug Stein
assistant scenic design Peter Ksander
costume design Kasia Walicka Maimone
lighting design Christopher Akerlind
sound design David Remedios
movement Saar Magal
dramaturg Gideon Lester
chorus master Pamela Murray
stage manager Chris De Camillis

Article about Oedipus More

Sophocles' Oedipus and the human condition. More

The history of Oedipus More

Mary Lefkowitz introduces Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrranus More

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Venue

64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets: 617.547.8300

Administrative Office: 617.495.2668

 

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High-res image:
Venue Map

Access

Accessibilty
Assistive Listening Devices
Large Print Programs

Performance sponsors:

special thanks to our other sponsors
The Kokkalis Program
Daphne and George Hatsopolous

opening night reception sponsored by
Barbara W. & Steven Grossman 

the Directorship of Robert Woodruff is sponsored by
Rebecca & Nathan Milikowsky

special thanks to
The Greek Consulate in Boston
Konstantin Bikas, Consul General
William Allan, Assistant Professor of the Classics at Harvard University
Mary Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor at Wellesley College
Elaine Papoulias
Nick Mitropolous

Leadership Program Support provided by
The Alexander S. Onassis
Public Benefit Foundation (USA)

significant support provided by
CrossCurrents, a program
of Altria Group, Inc.
    
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust