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News Release

Moravian College Theatre Company to Present Classic Tragedy Oedipus

Bethlehem, Pa., March 24 2009—The classic tragedy of Oedipus will be performed at Moravian College’s Arena Theatre from April 2 through April 5, 2009.  The play is being produced by the Moravian College Theatre Company (MCTC) under the direction of Moravian College faculty member and MCTC Artistic Director Christopher Shorr.

This is a rare opportunity to see the Roman version of Oedipus written by Seneca—rather than the more often produced Greek version of the tragedy written by Sophocles.  This particular script was created in the late 1960’s for a production at London’s Old Vic theatre.  The play was adapted and translated by British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes. 

The play follows the story of Oedipus, king of Thebes—fated to kill his father and marry his mother, despite his best efforts to avoid fulfilling that gruesome prophecy. According to Shorr, “although the play is a thousand years old, the questions it raises about fate, responsibility, crime and punishment are very relevant in today’s world.  The play takes place in a world in crisis—a world in which a society is paying the price for its leaders’ mistakes. Ted Hughes’ language is visceral, and makes the thousand-year-old imagery come to life on the stage—I think it’s much more disturbing than a lot of images in contemporary media.”

The cast of eleven actors includes Moravian College students Jason Ginther ’11, Norristown, Pa., and Becky Kolacki ’10, Blue Point, N.Y., as Oedipus and Jocasta, and professor Christopher Jones as Creon. This production launches a collaboration between Moravian College and Bethlehem’s professional ensemble theatre, Touchstone Theatre.  The production design team includes director Christopher Shorr, long-time MCTC collaborator William Bauman, and Touchstone Theatre’s James Jordan. 

Performances of Oedipus will occur at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  Tickets are available at the Box Office, though seating is limited, or may be purchased online through the Lehigh Valley Arts Council at www.lvartsboxoffice.org or click here.  The play will be performed in the newly renovated Arena Theatre, located on Moravian College’s Main Street Campus, at the corner of Locust and Monacacy Streets in the Haupert Union Building.

The play contains violence and mature themes, and is not suitable for children.

Oedipus is the third production in the College’s 2008-09 season. The final production—three student-directed one-act plays—will include Tennessee William’s “Adam and Eve on a Ferry,” Marsha Norman’s “The Laundromat,” and the classic comedy “Who’s on First” by Harold J. Gilles.  The one-acts will run from April 23 to April 26, 2009.For Further details and contact information at www.moravian.edu/theatre.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.