Complex Oedipus

It's easy to see why the ill-fated King Oedipus was a favorite plaything of the gods. Though most people would jump off a bridge once the whole you'll-kill-your-father-and-marry-your-mother prophecy came true, Oedipus didn't budge. And when he could no longer fight the gods' thwarting, his sons/half-brothers, daughters/half-sisters and other incestuously tangled characters carried on his legacy of suffering by their own folly. And that, in short, is the story behind Sophocles's Greek tragedies Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. But those plays are creepy, long and kind of preachy, which is why Nova Arts Project has abbreviated and reinvented them as Oedipus3.

NAP co-artistic director and Oedipus3 actor Amy Hopper describes the adaptation as an experiment in which the plays, each helmed by a different director, are shortened to 30 minutes and performed sequentially by a cast of six actors, who do not play the same role in any two plays. "These interpretations breathe new and relevant meaning into plays that are literally ancient," says Hopper. "In Sophocles's versions, there is no inherent value in fighting for human dignity. But in our versions, you see that these characters are not simply at the mercy of the gods. They can be the people of their own choosing."
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 4. Continues through Aug. 19

 
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