Oedipus The King and Women in Congress Opening Night

The North Coast Repertory Theatre continues its 30th Season with a special evening of two one-act plays originally performed in ancient Greece:  the tragedy Oedipus The King by Sophocles and the comedy Women In Congress by Aristophanes. The productionopens at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 23 with an opening night gala that includes a champagne reception after the show.

The tragedy Oedipus the King, first performed in 429 BC, chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes who was destined from birth to murder his father Laios and marry his mother Jocasta.  The play emphasizes how Oedipus's own faults contribute to the tragic hero’s downfall, as opposed to having fate be the sole cause.  The comedy Women In Congress, from 391 BC, concerns a group of women who have decided that they must convince the men to give them control of Athens, because the women could rule it better than the men ever have.

Greek PlaysThe production is directed by NCRT Artistic Director Michael Thomas who has been active in local theatre for the last fifteen years as actor, director, teacher and administrator.  Thomas describes Oedipus the King as “one of the most thrilling ‘who-done-its’ that ever existed.  The journey we take as audience as we learn about the true identity of Oedipus and the horrible deeds he has unknowingly committed has always fascinated me.  We get more and more parts of this tragic puzzle until the final chilling truth is revealed.  Women In Congress, on the other hand, is a delightful comedy and is remarkably timely in its comments about the troubles of a dysfunctional congress.  The fact that this play has themes pertinent to our lives today is remarkable and speaks to the credit of the skill of author Aristophanes.

The talented cast features Calder Johnson as Oedipus, Shelley Stewart as Jocasta, Dmitry Tokarsky as Jocasta’s brother Kreon and Bob Service as the blind prophet Tiresias in Oedipus The King.  Women In Congress features Shelley Stewart as the new leader of Congress, Praxagora; Arnold Waddell as her husband Blepyrus; and Jennifer Trustem, Taylen Winters, Alyssa Rempel, Pam Service and Toodie SueAnn Boll as her cohorts in Congress.  Jon Edwards plays the young man Chremes.  Scenery design is by Calder Johnson, lighting design by David Tyndall and costume design by Caroline Allander.  Kira Gallaway will stage-manage the production.

Greek PlaysOedipus The King and Women In Congress open at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 23 with an opening night gala that includes a champagne reception after the show.  This performance will also serve as a benefit for the cast and crew.  All seats for opening night are $15.00.  The performance on Friday, January 24 will be a regular performance; tickets are $15.00 general admission and $12.00 for students and seniors. The performance on Saturday, January 25 will be a benefit for Temple Beth El; tickets are $20.00.  Regular ticket price of $15.00 for general admission and $12.00 for students and seniors will begin on Friday, January 31.  The run will continue Fridays and Saturdays through February 15.  There will be one additional regular Thursday performance on February 13.  All evening performances begin at 8 p.m.  There will be two matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Sundays February 2 and 9.  Recommended for middle school age and older.  NCRT is located at 300 Fifth Street, Eureka.  For reservations, group rates, or more information, please call 442-NCRT (6278).  www.ncrt.net.