- By Arlene Winnick
- Photos By © 2022 J. Paul Getty Trust
The classic Greek play Sophocles’ Oedipus will be presented this month at the Getty Villa in their remarkable outdoor theater – the perfect setting! The story of course is well known – Oedipus fulfills the Oracle of Delphi’s prophecy by killing his father the King and marring his mother Jocesta. But there is so much more to the story that relevant to today’s political and social climate. In this innovative reimaging of the play, you’ll discover a story filled with contemporary angst and issues: part murder mystery, part political thriller, a psychological whodunit and of course plenty of family angst. Thousands of years later we are still struggling with controlling our destiny and discovering who we really are. Every Netflix and Amazon dramatic series clearly has their roots in Oedipus.
This bilingual production – American Sign Language and English – is co-produced by Los Angeles’s Tony Award-winning Deaf West Theatre adding a powerful element to the staging. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to build upon the early precepts of the art form of theater such as staging and body language,” said DJ Kurs, artistic director of Deaf West Theatre. The play is so visually rich – paying attention to costumes, sets, and lighting. The production also incorporates present day technology bringing new artistic facets to the presentation.
Directed by Jenny Koons (Blue Man Group, Head Over Heels), Oedipus is the 16th annual outdoor theater production at the Getty Center. Who can forget last year’s Troubadour Theater Company’s hilarious Lizastrada (very) loosely based on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata?
“Oedipus is a classic true crime story…our retelling digs deep into the suspense of the story with all the elements of a thriller including false leads, fuzzy memories, and a looming prophecy from a mysterious Oracle,” says Koons who also adapted this production.
The cast includes Russell Harvard in the title role of King Oedipus, Ashlea Hayes, Matthew Jaeger, Amelia Hensley, Akia Takara and Jon Wolfe Nelson.
“We are delighted to debut our first bilingual outdoor theater production… theater was a fundamental component of religious, social and political life in ancient Greece, and as our program at the Villa demonstrates, these works still engage and delight modern audiences some 2,500 years later,” said Jeffrey Spier, senior curator of antiquities at Getty Villa Museum.
Make it a glorious evening – come early and enjoy a boxed dinner and drinks from the Villa café then sit on the terrace and enjoy the view.
For more details, click here.