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ODU Theatre Opens Fall Season with Performance of ‘Oedipus’

Old Dominion University Theatre will open its fall 2012 season with a performance of the classic "Oedipus," debuting Thursday, Oct. 18, at the University Theatre.

The performance, adapted and directed by Patrick Mullins, associate artistic director of the Virginia Stage Company and an adjunct faculty member with ODU's Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, will play Oct 18-20 and 25-27 at 8 p.m., and as a matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20. For tickets, call 757-683-5305 or go to www.oduartstix.com.

"Oedipus," written in the 5th century BC by Sophocles, is based on the eponymous mythical Greek king of Thebes. The play has been translated by Robert Bagg.

A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family.

"Oedipus" represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's powerlessness against the course of destiny in a harsh universe.

Mullins has created a unique adaptation of the classic, directing the performance as high comedy in the sense of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, with huge life masks.

This modern interpretation follows Oedipus as he uncovers the cause of the plague sweeping Thebes. He learns the consequences of his past actions through the tragic lens of a daunting and formidable prophecy that predicted his murdering his father and marrying his estranged mother.

Through extensive questioning, Oedipus discovers he is the cause of the disaster and destruction brought upon his city and family. His heart-wrenching reaction is enough to make even the Greek gods weep.

The production is a PORT program collaboration between ODU and the Virginia Stage Company. The P.O.R.T. program links ODU students with VSC, adding further expertise in specific styles and craft areas, as well as providing students with contacts in the world of professional theater and entertainment.

ODU's theatre arts program offers a full range of courses in performance, design technology, digital filmmaking, history and theory, and production. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre, and Virginia teacher certification is available through the theatre education emphasis.