Oedipus – NoHo Arts District
[NoHo Arts District, CA] – The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Tony Award in Los Angeles Deaf West Theater present an exciting new version of Sophocles Oedipus this fall with a bilingual production in American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English.
Directed by Jenny Koons (blue man group, Crazy in Love at the Pasadena Playhouse), Oedipus premieres as the 16th annual outdoor theatrical production at the Getty Villa.
In this visually rich and innovative reimagining of Sophocles’ classic play, Oedipus unfolds as a murder mystery, political thriller and psychological thriller. Throughout this fabulous story of parricide and family complexities, King Oedipus is confronted not only with heritage and fate, but also with culture and language. This revamped production will center on American Sign Language and incorporate current technology, bringing new artistic facets to a classic piece of Greek literature.
“Oedipus is a classic true crime story, in which a man desperately tries to solve a murder in order to save his town. Our narrative dives deep into the suspense of the story with all the elements of a thriller, including false leads, fuzzy memories and an impending prophecy of a mysterious Oracle,” says Jenny Koons, director and adapter.
The Oedipus the cast includes Russell Harvard in the title role of King Oedipus (Broadway’s Kill a mockingbird, King Lear and DWT spring awakening), Ashlea Hayes (Switched at birth), Amelia Hensley (DWT spring awakening), Matthew Jaeger (DWT Children of a lesser God and the 2018 Broadway Revival), Gregor Lopes (DWT and La Phil Fidelio), Andrew Morrill (The music man at the Olney Theater Center, dancers), On Shiu (The female gaze, Last place trophy), Akia Takara (All about Araya, Insecure), Alexandria Wailes (Broadway’s For girls of colorDWT spring awakening and big river), and Jon Wolfe Nelson (The word I, Blacklist). Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The play will feature set design by Tanya Orellana, costumes by Jojo Siu, lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg, projection design by Yee Eun Nam, and music and sound design by Peter Bayne. The ASL choreographers are Andrew Morrill and Alexandria Wailes. DJ Kurs and Laura Hill produce for the Deaf West Theatre.
“We are thrilled to launch our first bilingual outdoor theatrical production with Sophocles’ classic tragedy, the acclaimed Deaf West Theatre,” said Jeffrey Spier, Senior Curator of Antiquities at the Getty Villa Museum. “Theatre was a fundamental component of religious, social and political life in ancient Greece, and as our program at the Villa shows, these works still engage and delight modern audiences some 2,500 years later.”
“Bridging the gap between Deaf and hearing communities is central to Deaf West’s mission,” says DJ Kurs, Artistic Director of Deaf West Theatre. “We are thrilled to breathe new life into this classic story. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to build on the early tenets of the theater art form such as directing and body language.
Oedipus deals with adult subjects that are not recommended for persons under 12 years of age.
Deaf West Theater
Founded in Los Angeles in 1991, Tony Award®-winning Deaf West Theater (Artistic Director, DJ Kurs) engages performers and audiences in unprecedented theatrical experiences inspired by Deaf culture and the expressive power of language of signs, weaving American Sign Language (ASL) with spoken English to create a seamless ballet of movement and voice. Committed to innovation, collaboration and training, Deaf West Theater is the artistic bridge between the deaf and hearing worlds and a trusted resource for authentic storytelling and casting in film, television and video projects. Projects include: a breakthrough production of Fidelio with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel; The Solid of Life of Sugar Water by Jack Thorne; Our city, in co-production with the Pasadena Playhouse; by Edward Albee At home at the zooin coproduction with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts; Spring Awakening the Musicalwho transferred from Inner-City Arts to Wallis and then to Broadway (three Tony Award® nominations including Best Revival of a Musical); American buffalo (Los Angeles Times “Critics’ Pick”); Cyranoa co-production with the Fountain Theater (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Production); Big River the Musical (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and Backstage Garland Awards for Best Musical at its Los Angeles premiere, a Tony Award® nomination and four Drama Desk Awards on Broadway); Pippin appleproduced at the Mark Taper Forum in co-production with the Center Theater Group; Sleeping beauty wakes upalso a co-production with the Center Theater Group, presented at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; Olivier ! (Ovation Award for Best Musical) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Ovation Award for Best Play). In 2005, the Deaf West Theater was selected to receive the highest recognition award by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for its “distinguished contributions to the enhancement and enrichment of the cultural life of actors and deaf and hard of hearing patrons.