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Students infuse Greek myth with African soul

Feb. 9, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University Theatre infuses the classic myth of "Oedipus" with African soul in its next production, running Feb. 19-28 in Williams Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex.

Performances of "Oedipus" at Williams Theatre

  • Thursday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca's graphic version of the Greek myth has been reset in the African context from which contemporary scholarship indicates the story originated. In this adaptation, the contemporary, poetic language of Ted Hughes is combined with a diverse blend of African cultures including tribal dance from Ghana and traditional Yoruban songs from Nigeria. The African dance is directed by Heather Mitchell of Dunuya Drum & Dance. Live African drumming will provide the backdrop for this visceral interpretation of the ancient tale.

Dr. Joan Herrington, chair of the Department of Theatre, directs the all-student cast, which includes Andrea Arvanigian, Jenna D'Angelo, Cornelius Davidson, Al Jakel, Phoebe Kelly, Jillian Lindsey, Derrick Marshall, Zach Martens, Carmen Molina, Joseph Russell, Marcus Ringvelski, Chad Sutton, Warren Talley, Janai Travis, Bianca Washington and Frank Williams.

The creative team includes WMU students Kristen Ahern, costume design; Phil Baranski, stage management; Jeff Chaney, scenic design; and Daniel Warneke, lighting design.

General admission seating for "Oedipus" at Williams Theatre is $20, $15 for senior citizens and WMU employees, and $5 for students. Tickets are available by calling (269) 387-6222, online at wmich.edu/theatre, or by visiting the Gilmore Theatre Complex Ticket Office, Miller Auditorium Ticket Office or downtown Kalamazoo's Epic Center Box Office. Group discounts are available.

Media contact: Emily Duguay, (269) 387-3227, emily.duguay@wmich.edu

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