As individuals, we are each connected through community. Ideally, we feel the responsibility to pay homage to our history, while looking forward to the potential of our future. Hope Summer Repertory Theatre presents Oedipus—an exploration and discovery of identity through community and truth—part of the 45th season playing at the DeWitt Theatre from June 24–August 10. With this production, we are committed to providing the audience with the genesis of theatre. While Oedipus lies within the origins of drama, it is still relevant to our community just as it was 2,500 years ago.
As the first installment of Sophocles’ trilogy of Theban plays, Oedipus, is an ancient greek classic filled with relentless suspense and is considered the first murder mystery of its kind. Oedipus, a King who holds himself above the gods, discovers that his kingdom is under a curse. In search of the truth, Oedipus’s shortsightedness, ultimately hinders his quest. “Where are we to seek the truth if not in you?” the Chorus questions Oedipus.
This drama was first written by the Greek playwright Sophocles around the time of 430–426 B.C. NEA award-winning playwright, Ellen McLaughlin, embraces this original work with her new adaptation. She is best known for Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, and Infinity’s House. McLaughlin has been a professor of Playwriting at Barnard College since 1995. As an actor, she is renowned for her performance in the original production of Angels in America by Tony Kushner.
Returning Sound Designer, Jeffrey Levin, comments on the composition used to soundtrack the production, “The original underscoring and sound design for Oedipus uses an eclectic approach to music as a method for evoking an older style, using sounds, timbres, and harmonies as a nod towards antiquity rather than a using a specific time period or technique. This achieves an ancient sound while updating certain elements to fit modern aesthetics, not unlike how a composer might treat underscoring to something like Game of Thrones, for example, where time period is unknown.
Jeffrey Levin is a composer, sound designer, and musician based in Chicago IL. Jeffrey has contributed original music and sound designs for over sixty productions for various theaters in and outside of Chicago. He has collaborated with Steppenwolf, Chicago Commercial Collective, Chicago Fringe Opera, Collaboraction, Columbia College and many others throughout the area. He currently holds four Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations for Sound Design and/or Original music, including one win for The Hairy Ape at Oracle Theatre, an Edes Foundation Award for Emerging Artists, The Michael Philippi Designer Exhibition Award 2016, Kleinman Composition Competition Winner for original composition Refractions for Clarinet and Electronics, and Best Design Nomination in TimeOut Theatre Awards 2015 for A Map of Virtue at Cor Theatre.
Oedipus is a riveting story, that reminds us of the importance of community. “...Finding our identity which is the biggest thing to me.” says Bryce Wood, who portrays the title character. “I want the audience to be conflicted. I want them to see that this high and powerful man struggles as a prideful person. Oedipus, like many of us, does not know himself. Just like Oedipus, I didn’t know who I was. Through my journey in theatre, I am finding Bryce.”
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Bryce Wood stars as Oedipus. Wood has received his undergraduate degree in Film from the University of Notre Dame, and is currently pursuing his Acting MFA at the University of Connecticut. Recent acting credits include: Sir Lancelot/Tim the Enchanter in Monty Python’s Spamalot, John Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility, and Matt Galloway in Laramie Project with the Connecticut Repertory Theatre.
Director David Colacci explains the audience take away as, “...catharsis, which means, it’s more than an experience. By watching the trials and sufferings of others, this is what ennobles us. It allows us a relief from our torment, not because it happens to others, but because it makes us feel as though we are not alone.” Follow Oedipus’s journey throughout this politically-charged psychological thriller, repletes with familial conflict and intense revelation.
Hope Summer Repertory Theatre (HSRT) is West Michigan’s premier professional theatre company for the last 45 years. The company is a unique blend of distinguished professionals and young theatre artists from all over the United States, creating an intergenerational synergy between our emerging and advanced artists. The theatre is distinguished by the wide variety of plays and musicals performed by one resident acting company. This wide variety of repertoire is unified by the goal to explore and celebrate the joy and complexity of the human condition. The company numbers over 100 annually taking up residence for the summer in Holland; producing 6 shows in rotation every summer on the DeWitt Theatre stage—a 494 seat thrust space and the DeWitt Studio—a 125 seat theatre in the round.
Oedipus stars a sixteen person cast and a talented creative team:
Cast: Tom Bengston (Messenger), Emily Brett (Chorus), Lydia Burke (Chorus), Meredith Casey (Chorus),David Colacci (Shepherd), Elena Colacci (Child), Nate DeCook (Chorus), William Hulings (Creon), Darius Lee (Chorus), Mariah Lyttle (Chorus), Jake Mate (Chorus), Kathleen Mary Mulligan (Jocasta), Alexis Ijeoma Nwokoji (Chorus), Aramie Payton Chorus), Robert Riordan (Chorus), Akia Nyrie Smith (Chorus), Serena Vesper(Tiresias), Julia Lindsey Whitcomb (Chorus), and Bryce Michael Wood (Oedipus).
Creative Team: David Colacci (Director), Joe P. Flauto (Scenic Design), Jodi Ozimek (Costume Design), Gifford Williams (Lighting Design), Jeffrey Levin (Sound Design), Rita Sobbing (Stage Manager), Keenan R. Minogue (Props Master), Aaron McEachran (Assistant Stage Manager),Kennon Cliché (Assistant Scenic Designer), Caitlin Eldred (Assistant Costume Designer), Nils Fritjofson (Assistant Lighting Designer), Conway Hahne (Assistant Sound Designer) and Nate Hudson(Publicist).
by Sophocles adapted by Ellen McLaughlin
Performance Dates | 8:00 p.m. shows: June 24, 25, 28 • July 6, 21, 29 • August 2, 10