Blind Ambition

Three colleges commission their troupes to stage an epic trilogy

Photo by Ron St. Jean

What could be more challenging to stage in modern times than classical Greek tragedy? How about staging the most famous of Greek trilogies, Sophocles’ “The Oedipus Cycle,” with the plays produced by three different college theatre departments, each blind to the others’ approach, and with only a stage set and lighting plot to unite them?

“It has been artistically energizing,” says David Kaye, chair of theatre and dance at the University of New Hampshire where performances of
“Oedipus at Colonus,” the second play of the trilogy, will be staged on Feb. 22, 23 and 26. The story cycle actually begins with “Oedipus Rex,” performed by Plymouth State University on Feb. 24, while “Antigone” will be performed by the thespians of Keene State College on Feb. 25. All shows take place at UNH.

“I think audiences may be surprised by how many ways you can interpret Greek theatre and choruses,” says Kaye. “I can almost guarantee you these three will look nothing alike.” He recalls a similar effort 10 years before when the productions varied in styles ranging from a battle scene from 1960s Vietnam to a Marilyn Manson concert.

Kaye says the staging three different visions on the same set will be a “logistical nightmare,” but he’s quite optimistic about the results. Still, as the Greeks knew, the twists of Fate are not ours to control, but to bravely endure. And if somehow tragedy should befall the effort, he can always quote the playwright: “And if you find I’ve lied, from this day on call the prophet blind.”
— Sophocles, “Oedipus Rex”

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. A Closer Look at NH's Own Seth Meyers
    The “Late Night” host returns to New Hampshire for a good cause
  2. Guide to Retirement Living and Continuing Care
    The concept of retirement and senior living is not what it once was.
  3. No Man's Land Between NH and Canada
    The tall tale(s) of two boundary markers
  4. Pets to the Rescue
    Some animals are more than pets — they can comfort, teach and assist their humans in a number...
  5. Washington New Hampshire
    Washington is one of New Hampshire’s most overlooked towns, and it also happens to be one of...
  6. Preserving the Old Ways
    Winter logging by horse is obsolete, but North Country native is keeping it alive.
  7. Kristin Kennedy's Fine Jewelry Design
    From single stones to complex compositions.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags