Oedipus Part One Assembly at Centaur Theatre
“Don’t raise the city only to let it drop; restore the state so it never falls.” –Priest
Returning for a fourth Brave New Looks following their award-winning productions of Medea and The Bacchae, Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre presents Oedipus Part One: Assembly, a new translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, at Centaur Theatre from October 20th to 22nd. Celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary, Oedipus Part One: Assembly, the third in their Greek tragedy trilogy, unites local gifted theatre artists who have performed with the company over the years.
This new translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, directed by Andreas Apergis, is adapted by Joseph Shragge from a literal translation by Lynn Kozak, with musical direction by David Oppenheim and original composition by Brian Lipson. Both spoken and sung, the stage will be filled with 65 talented Montreal voices coming together for the first creative development stage of this important play. Award-winning cast members, many of whom are no stranger to Centaur audiences, include: Chip Chuipka, Alison Darcy, Gitanjali Jain, Marcel Jeannin, Leni Parker, Mike Payette, France Rolland, Theoharis ‘Harry’ Standjofski, Melissa Trottier, Janet Warrington and Brett Watson.
Coming together onstage to sing the choral odes are three community choirs. The lauded Choeur Maha is an innovative women’s choir with a feminist mandate that has performed across the city since 1991. The Zakynthines Phones choir is an all male Greek Community Choir that sings a repertoire of traditional Greek music. The Montreal Artists Choir is a musical chorus formed from the extended Montreal theatre community especially for this production.
First produced 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece, the story centres on King Oedipus’ quest to rid Thebes of a devastating plague brought on by a mysterious curse. His pursuit of its cause has far-reaching consequences for the city and for himself. The play opens with a group of citizens supplicating at Oedipus’ palace gates, but we quickly learn that these protests are occurring throughout the metropolis. It is against this backdrop of civic collectivity that the truth of Oedipus’ past violence and present taboo-filled turmoil comes to light.
This performance is the first phase of a long-term creative development which will re-centre the play’s civic notion of public assembly, and ask what it means to be part of a large-scale appeal to power. An assembly of Montreal community choirs will come together as the play’s chorus of Theban citizens and sing the choral odes en masse.
This classic piece is more current than ever. People are rallying and protesting for their beliefs in a way that hasn’t been seen in decades. This includes the Occupy Movement, Black Lives Matter, and massive protests against Donald Trump, as well as ongoing civil unrest and protest in Venezuela, Iraq and Russia, to name a few. Oedipus Part One: Assembly moves away from 20th century Freudian readings of the play, instead suggesting it as a lens for examining 21st century participatory culture.
There are only three shows on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1:00 pm (tickets: 15$).
453 St François Xavier, Montreal