News - The Factory Theatre will present Three from Thebes

The Factory Theatre will present Three from Thebes

The Factory Theatre will present Three from Thebes

The Greenville College Factory Theatre is proud to present Three from Thebes, April 10-13 at 7:30 pm. The production is a collection of plays by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigonê. The three plays deal with the fate of the city of Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus, in particular, the fates of three generations of the Theban royal family of Oedipus, his parents, and his children.

These plays were presented as part of the Dionysia and Lenaia Festivals near Athens where part of the celebrations included theatre competitions. Three playwrights each submitted a tetralogy, three tragic plays and a comical satyr play, to be performed at the festival. Sophocles competed in approximately 30 competitions winning 24 times, 18 at the Dionysia Festival and 6 at the Lenaia Festival. Sadly, only seven of his 123 plays have survived in their entirety.

The three plays presented in Three from Thebes were not originally written as part of a tetralogy. Antigonê was the first one performed in 441 BC, Oedipus the King premiered in 429 BC, and Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles' last play, was presented in 401 BC five years after his death in 406 BC. However, while the plays were not written together, they tell a continuous story chronologically with events in the plays flowing from Oedipus the King, to Oedipus at Colonus, and coming to a conclusion in Antigonê.

Oedipus the King opens with the city of Thebes suffering from a plague. King Oedipus, played by junior Austin Schumacher, has sent an emissary to the oracle in Delphi to learn from the gods what the city must do to end the plague. The gods are punishing the city because it is harboring the murderer of the previous king, King Laïos. While trying to uncover who killed King Laïos, Oedipus' true lineage is discovered. This knowledge leads to the tragic downfall of the king.

Oedipus at Colonus takes place about 10-15 years later in the land of Colonus just outside the city of Athens. The gods have taken pity on Oedipus and decided that he has suffered long enough wandering as a beggar with only the help of his daughters Antigonê and Ismene, portrayed by Jessie Polley and Taylor Meyers, respectively. The gods confer on Oedipus the ability to give blessings or curses to people that will come true.  Creon, played by senior Zach Bonner, arrives to force Oedipus to return to Thebes but Oedipus curses him from treating him poorly. Oedipus also curses his two sons, Eteoclês and Polyniecês, who banished their father from Thebes and are now warring over who should rule as the new king. But Oedipus gives his blessing the to the Athenian king Theseus, performed by senior Steve Gerling, for taking him under his protection and honoring his final resting place.

Antigonê follows on the heels of the previous play. Eteoclês and Polyniecês have killed each other in battle just as Oedipus had cursed them. Creon, the new king, declares that Eteoclês will be given a honorable funeral for dying in protection of Thebes whereas he condemns Polyniecês body to rot, unburied on the battlefield as punishment for attacking the city. Antigonê goes against Creon's decree and attempts to bury Polyniecês.  Creon furiously condemns Antigonê to death, a decision that leads to his utter downfall and fulfills Oedipus' curse upon him.

Three from Thebes plays April 10-13 at 7:30 pm on stage at the Factory Theatre. Tickets are $4 for the Wednesday and Thursday performances. Tickets are $5 for GC faculty, staff, and students and $7 for community members for Friday and Saturday performances. Tickets are available at Watson's Drugstore and Jo's Java. Out of town theatregoers can call (618) 664-6552 to reserve tickets. Seating is limited. 


This story was published on April 05, 2013

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