“Don’t raise the city only to let it drop; restore the state so it never falls.” –Priest
Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre’s Co-Artistic Directors Alison Darcy and Joseph Shragge are honoured to be invited to Centaur Theatre for a fourth Brave New Looks slot with Oedipus Part One: Assembly following their award-winning productions of Medea and The Bacchae. This new translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus, directed by Andreas Apergis, is adapted by Joseph Shragge from a literal translation by Lynn Kozak, with musical direction by David Oppenheim and an original composition by Brian Lipson. With 65 voices on stage, both spoken and sung, the theatre will be filled with talented Montreal voices coming together for the first creative development stage of this important play, from October 20-22.
Celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary, Oedipus Part One: Assembly, the third in their Greek tragedy trilogy, unites local gifted theatre artists who have performed with the company over the years. Award-winning cast members, many of whom are no stranger to Centaur audiences, include: Chip Chuipka, Alison Darcy, Gitanjali Jain, Marcel Jeannin, Leni Parker, Mike Payette, France Rolland, Theoharis ‘Harry’ Standjofski, Melissa Trottier, Janet Warrington and Brett Watson. Sharing the stage is Choeur Maha, Zakynthines Phones Choir and The Montreal Artists Choir.
“This city is mine, too.” –Oedipus
Oedipus Part One: Assembly is a powerful depiction of a city-wide crisis centering on King Oedipus’ quest to rid Thebes of a devastating plague brought on by a mysterious curse. His pursuit of its cause has far-reaching consequences for the city and for himself. The play opens with a group of citizens supplicating at Oedipus’ palace gates, but we quickly learn that these protests are occurring throughout the metropolis. It is against this backdrop of civic collectivity that the truth of Oedipus’ past violence and present taboo-filled turmoil comes to light.
This performance, the first of a long-term creative development, will re-center the play’s civic notion of public assembly, and ask what it means to be part of a large-scale appeal to power. The work will also give nuance to the general public’s long-held perception of Oedipus Tyrannus, moving away from 20th century Freudian readings of the play and suggesting it instead as a lens for examining 21st-century participatory culture.
From Director Andreas Apergis: “I was drawn to the plays’ apocalyptic setting, which parallels our late capitalism’s looming economic, environmental and societal catastrophes.” Playwright Joseph Shragge worked with McGill classics professor Lynn Kozak to translate the language into modern English. He says, “It’s a harrowing drama, filled with a horrible sense of mounting tension. We also maintained the comedic moments, and believe it or not, there are many!” Apergis and Shragge decided to approach various choirs to mirror the play’s three choruses, a rarity even for Greek tragedy.
Coming together onstage to sing the choral odes are three community choirs. The lauded Choeur Maha is an innovative women’s choir with a feminist mandate that has performed across the city since 1991. The Zakynthines Phones choir is an all-male Greek Community Choir that sings a repertoire of traditional Greek music. The Montreal Artists Choir is a musical chorus formed from the extended Montreal theatre community especially for this production.
About Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre
Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre is an award-winning theatre company reflecting the diverse talents and extraordinary creativity of the Montreal artistic community, presenting innovative new work with an emphasis on education and community outreach. Their aesthetic interest is in the carnivalesque, the roughly-hewn, and the highly theatrical. Whether producing new works or adaptations from the classical repertoire, they strive for theatre to be an unruly, visceral and authentic shared experience. This marks a decade of the company bringing quality, expressionistic English language theatre to Montreal audiences.
“When bodies assemble on the street, or in the square, or in other forms of public space they are exercising a plural and performative right to appear.” –Judith Butler
Oedipus Part One: Assembly (three performances only)
Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre at Centaur Theatre, Brave New Looks selection for 2017
Address: 453 St François-Xavier, old Montreal
-Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 pm
-Matinee: Sunday, Oct. 22 at 1:00 pm
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