The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

‘Oedipus’ adaptation fumbles in the dark

Broken Gear Project Theatre’s production of “Oedipus the King” tells this classic Greek tragedy from a harsh perspective, with a minimalist design.

Steven Young’s adaptation brings the story to a more modern political setting, but the lack of up-to-date language hurts the overall production.

Many of the characters treat the words that they are speaking with an inept grasp of the meter, muddling the lines of verse, which in turn hurts the plot.

Adrian Godinez gives a confident, engaging performance as a Chorus Leader that seems akin to the Public Relations Manager of Thebes, headset in ear.

He speaks to the audience in a manner similar to a town hall meeting, which cleverly weds old and new politics.

The other characters delivering plot points, the Priest (Rene Sarradet-Fuller) and the Guard (Jessica Dahl-Colaw), were played stiffly and the lines lost both poetry and poignancy in delivery.

David Jeremiah as Oedipus is the highlight of this production.

His strong-jawed assurance is alluring as he is the only actor who delivers his lines in a straightforward manner.

His authentic voice seems to be calling the audience to arms.

Yet his passion for Jocasta (Lulu Ward) doesn’t heat up until about halfway through his performance.

Ward resembles a Hilary Clinton-esque, politician’s wife as Oedipus’ Queen and Mother.

She displays an appropriate amount of shock and dismay when it is revealed that her beloved is also her offspring.

Joel Frapart does an excellent turn as Tiresias, the prophet of Oedipus’ demise.

His control over his voice is equal parts creepy and powerful.

When his body is overtaken by a spirit, he very nearly embodies the seizure but is unable to rise from the chair without breaking the movement.

G. David Trosko is another actor whose vocal control adds to his interesting performance as Creon, who will take over the throne should Oedipus fall.

Design-wise the show is inconsistent. Alex Krus’ emotional, pounding music adds a dramatic edge to the show. The lighting design leaves some characters in the dark, though this may be due to limited resources.

Finally, an interesting element that this play utilizes is projections, thanks to Beau Banning’s media design.

Clips from riots are shown, as well as Jeremiah speaking at a press conference.

It’s an intriguing addition to a play that wrestles with the meshing of past and present.

Despite some rough edges, “Oedipus the King” retains the edge of the original story, while taking a new stance on the issues presented by Sophocles.

When Oedipus emerges from gouging his eyes out on the stage, it is gruesome and heartbreaking to watch Jeremiah stumble.

The story is a great one and this production is filled with shining performances, even though it is constricted by a stiff adaptation.

Broken Gears continues to aim for a more avant-garde approach to theater — a goal worthy of applause.

“Oedipus the King” runs through May 8. Student tickets are $10 with ID, in advance.

For more information visit brokengearstheatre.com.

More to Discover