General Info > News Releases > News Releases 2011-12 > 10/01/2011: Oedipus to Open

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 1, 2011 

MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482

Contact:         Jim Mastin, Director of Public Information & Auxiliary Services



Oedipus to Open at Mendocino College


WHAT:     Oedipus

                  By Sophocles

                  Translated and adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker

                  Directed by Reid Edelman




WHEN:     October 21-30, 2011

                  Friday October 21, 8 PM

                  Saturday October 22, 8 PM

                  Thursday October 27, 7:30 PM

                  Friday October 28, 8 PM

                  Saturday October 29, 8 PM

                  Sunday October 30, 2 PM



Center for the Visual & Performing Arts, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah.


TICKETS: $15, $12 students and seniors. Advance tickets are available at the Mendocino College Bookstore, the Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, and online at

                  For additional information, call (707) 468-3172






            A plague has descended upon Thebes.  Citizens are starving and sick.  Yet the people are hopeful that their King, Oedipus, will save them.  Oedipus saved the Thebans several years earlier from a monster called the Sphinx. Now, his people are counting on his help again. This time, an Oracle states that there will be no relief in Thebes until the murderer of Laios, the former King of Thebes, is found and brought to justice.  Oedipus embarks on the search for the killer.  Thus begins the earliest and most famous murder mystery of all time.  In pursuing the criminal, Oedipus must confront his identity, gaining horrifying knowledge of his own hidden past.   


            Oedipus is, perhaps, the most famous play ever written.  Originally performed around 426 BC, the play helped define western drama and has been continuously reinterpreted in innumerable performances and adaptations over the millennia.  Sophocles’ original script was first performed as part of the Dionysian Festival, an annual harvest celebration in honor of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, revelry, fertility, the harvest, and theatre! 

            As directed by college theatre director Reid Edelman, the upcoming Mendocino College production of Oedipus Tyrannos will transport the ancient Greek tragedy to our modern world.  According to Edelman, “I wanted to keep the powerful sense of ritual that is present in the ancient text, while making the experience viscerally exciting for a contemporary audience.”  Edelman has set the play in a post-apocalyptic industrial world.  Steel beams, broken concrete and steam establish the decaying and suffering world of the play.  In addition, a contemporary original musical score, by local sound designer and musician David Wolf, helps evoke the play’s driving energy.  As in all classic Greek Tragedies, the chorus plays an integral role, serving as a sort of on-stage conscience for the Greek citizenry.  In this version, the chorus sings Wolf’s original music and supports the story through original choreography by college dance instructor Jenna Byrne.  Oedipus Tyrannos runs at Mendocino College for two weekends only October 21-30.  

            The cast of seventeen talented performers includes a mix of full time college students and local community artists.  The role of Oedipus will be played by veteran performer Carlos Madrid Amora Mora.  Oedipus’ queen, Jokasta, is played by Andrea McCullough.  The blind prophet Tieresias is played by Gary Hudson, and the queen’s brother, Kreon, is played by David Strock.  Other members of the outstanding acting company include Maya Boults, Jess Craighead, Jeanne Fashauer, Geoff Graham, Virginia Hanley, Charles Hessom, Brent Lorenz, Tyler Kaeser, Monique Marmon, Lilly Mayfield, Alyssa Rempel, Daemon Seraphim and Jordan Wegner.

             For this production, Edelman has chosen Timberlake Wertenbaker’s powerful translation of Sophocles’ original Greek play.  Wertenbaker’s version sizzles with both emotional and intellectual intensity.  The fast moving script runs only 90 minutes and is performed without an intermission.  Wertenkaber has written and translated many plays, including Our Country’s Good which was performed at Mendocino College in Fall 2009.  According Edelman, “many translations of ancient Greek tragedies are written by scholars and fail to ignite as live theatre.  Wertenbaker is first and foremost a playwright, and her translation demonstrates great understanding of Sophocles’ classic as a living piece of compelling theatre.”

            The play’s evocative costumes have been designed by college costume instructor Kathy Dingman Katz and executed by students in her costume construction class.   College theatre technician Larry L. Lang has designed the modern post-apocalyptic scenery and lighting.    The production features hair and make-up designed by Amanda Katz.  The play is being stage managed by college theatre arts major Jasmine Grey. 

                    Oedipus Tyrannos opens on Thursday October 21, 2011.  Performances will run for two weekends only, through October 30.  Performances are Friday October 21 at 8 PM, Saturday October 22 at 8 PM, Thursday October 27 at 7:30 PM, Friday October 28 at 8 PM, Saturday October 29 at 8 PM and Sunday October 30 at 2 PM.  Tickets ($15 general; $12 students and seniors) are available at the Mendocino Book Company, at the Mendocino College Bookstore, and online at  Audiences are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance, though tickets may also be purchased at the door.  The college student organization (ASMC) will be serving refreshments (including sweet and savory options) prior to each performance.  Come early and enjoy a delicious light meal before the show!  Proceeds benefit the college’s student government as well as the theatre program.

                    Oedipus Tyrannos is one of world’s most significant pieces of dramatic literature.  The production will be particularly engaging in this fast-paced 90 minute adaptation.   However, the play ends with a scene of graphic bloody horror, and the plot involves an incestuous sexual relationship.   Parental discretion is advised.  The show is not recommended for children under the age of 12.   For more detailed information, visit the college Theatre Department web site at  For additional information, call (707) 468-3172.



Created: February 07, 2012 @ 01:44 PM
Last Modified: July 31, 2012 @ 03:12 PM


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