‘The Theban Chronicles’ Continues Monday with ‘Oedipus at Colonus’

This Monday, the next installment of THE THEBAN CHRONICLESOedipus at Colonus by Sophocles, directed by Maryanne Olson – picks up a year after the end of Euripides’ The Phoenician Women (Sophocles himself, of course, has his own distinct version of the legend with a few notable differences, but we’ve reconciled those inconsistencies in our adaptation). Since his banishment from Thebes by his son, Eteocles, following the suicides of his wife and mother, Jocasta, and his nephew, Menoeceus, the blind, weak, but still defiant Oedipus has wandered as an exile, guided by his daughters, Antigone and Ismene. Exhausted, he reaches The Temple of the Furies at Colonus, on the outskirts of Athens – perhaps, at long last, a place of refuge. But with civil war still looming over Thebes and Oedipus, though disgraced, a great asset to those vying for power, it is difficult to say whether he will find rest. In this uncommonly introspective tragedy, much quieter and more meditative than most of the canon, Sophocles paints a subtle and moving portrait of a fallen hero.

The cast of characters:

Oedipus (Carl Luciana) – The disgraced king of Thebes, now banished from the kingdom by his son, Eteocles. Having wandered blind, in exile for a year, he is very near the end of his life.

Antigone (Leigh Shaw) – The elder daughter of Oedipus. Having accused her brother Eteocles of cowardice and cruelty, Antigone leaves Thebes with Oedipus to act has his guide, abandoning her intended marriage to Heamon, son of Creon, and relinquishing her claim to the throne.

Ismene (Megan Biggs) – The youngest daughter of Oedipus, who has accompanied him in the first part of his exile. At some indeterminate moment, she has left her father’s side to live in Polyneices’ camp with the Argive army.

Theseus (Charles Lewis III) – King of Athens, the most powerful city-state in Greece. Theseus is a model of chivalry, piety, and graciousness, quite unlike the rulers of Thebes.

Priestess (Jessica Rudholm) – Caretaker of the Temple of the Furies at Colonus and suppliant to the gods.

Creon (Dimas Guardado) – Brother in-law to Oedipus. Creon has great political sway in Thebes, and with the civil war between Oedipus’ sons, Eteocles and Polyneices, sees an opportunity to install himself as king. He resents Oedipus for the deaths of his son and his sister, but understands his potential as an ally.

Polyneices (Bennett Fisher) – The elder son of Oedipus, an exile seeking to supplant his brother, Eteocles, and install himself on the throne of Thebes. Having delayed the invasion a year on account of the deaths of Menoeceus and Jocasta, Polyneices musters his forces once more to march on Thebes.

The Captain (Vince Faso) – An officer in the Theban armies, assisting Creon in his expedition to Athens.

The People of Colonus (Katarina Rose Fabic, Xanadu Bruggers, Danielle Doyle) – Attendants at the Temple of the Furies, they serve as the play’s chorus.

Who lives? Who dies? Who suffers the worst? Who makes it out ok, all things considered? Come Monday night to find out.

THE THEBAN CHRONICLES continues with Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus directed by Maryanne Olson on Monday, June 21 at the Cafe Royale (Post and Leavenworth, San Francisco). 8pm show, admission is free.