The Archway Theatre
Adapted from Sophocles by Steven Sabel
Directed by Steven Sabel
This interpretation of Sophocles’s master piece Oedipus has been masterfully inter-wined with the third and final part in Sophocles’s Theban play trilogy Antigone, dealing with the terrible tale of Oedipus and his progeny.
The first act is Oedipus’s tragic story and the second his daughter Antigone’s. And what a story it is…
Oedipus, in order to escape a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother, leaves his parents and his country far behind him. While on his travels he kills who he thought to be a thief on the road to Thebes. After arriving in Thebes he falls in love and marries the deceased King’s widow, Jocasta, has four children with her and becomes the King of Thebes, so he does pretty well, considering…
Unfortunately, after many years have gone by, he is told, by the blind prophet of Thebes, the terrible truth of his birth. His mother, the Queen Jocasta, his wife, had given up her son for fear of a prophecy that the son would kill his father. She asked her faithful servant to place him on the hillside far from the city. Unbeknownst to the Queen the child was given to a shepherd who in turn gave him to a passing family who was childless. This child was Oedipus. The man he killed on the road to Thebes was the King, his real father, and the Queen, who he married and had four children with, his real mother…wow
Once the truth is known, the Queen kills herself, Oedipus, grief stricken, pokes out his own eyes with pins from her dress and begs the Queen's brother Creon to take care of his children.
You can see why Shakespeare loved Sophocles! Good lord the man was dark…
This was actually my first Greek Tragedy, unless you can count some dodgy Moussaka, and I have to say I loved it!!
The Archway Theatre went all out, the costumes were fabulous, the setting sparse, inventive and perfectly suited to the wild storyline and the passionate Greek characters. And the actors where so committed to the style and technique specific to Greek theatre that you could have heard a pin drop the audience was so entranced.
This is not light hearted or camp in any way, I must tell you. No, these plays cover some pretty heavy themes, and it’s heart wrenching and tragic to watch. But this company have managed to infuse such vivid life into each and every line that we are swept along and caught up not just in the tragedy but in the characters, in the relationships they have with each other and in the total commitment to their faith and their gods and their way of life.
The second act is Antigone, the daughter's tale and, suffice it to say, a more tragic tale than Oedipus, if that is possible. It is seen to be believed, so I won't spoil it for you.
Oedipus Antigone is a sad and beautiful glimpse into an ancient world. A world where a life could be turned on a chance meeting on a road with a stranger, or where any man could become a King if fate had her way, and where love ran so deep one could tear out their own eyes at the loss of it.
Each and every cast member was brilliant. The Greek chorus a dream, masks and all, and a particular mention must go to the blind prophet, who was sooo good and a bit creepy…
I urge you to take in this tragic, Greek drama. I’m pretty certain it doesn’t get performed too much, given how difficult it is to do well, and The Archway Theatre does it very, very well indeed.
I could imagine being in an outdoor amphitheater, on a fragrant, warm summers night, the crickets chirping and the air heavy with this tragic tale. They truly managed to transport the audience back in time, to suspend disbelief and for a couple of hours, in North Hollywood, to make us all Greek….
Oedipus Antigone at The Archway Theatre 10509 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601
Runs from May 13th through June 18th Friday and Saturday at 8PM, Sunday at 2PM.
Priestess - Jamie Sowers
Autocrata - Melissa Virgo
Democratus - Elias McCabe
Theocrita - Sally Schaub
Republicus - John Eddings
Oedipus - Steven Sabel
Creon - David Bannick
Tiresias - Sarah Davenport
Jocasta - Marry Carrig
Corinthia - Hillary Weintraub
Thebanus - Emily Blokker-Daiquist
Little Ismene -Kadah Binkley
Little Antigone - Anastasia Ada Papdopuolos
Antigone - Annie Freeman
Ismene - Kate Hart
Demetrius - Austin Brown
Haemon - Vincent Cusimano
Eurydice - Jennifer Hawkins
Thebona - Hilary Weintraub