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 Sophocles' Age-Old Play 'Oedipus Rex' Gets Facelift, Music and Dance at SRU 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Written some 500 years B.C., Sophocles’ tragic detective story “Oedipus Rex” is getting a facelift in its five-performance Slippery Rock University production which will feature marionette-like characters in full mask and costume along with newly created music and dance. The show opens Wednesday [Feb. 26] in Miller Auditorium.

          Curtains are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday [Feb. 26-March 1], and 2 p.m. Sunday [March 2]. Tickets, available before the show, are $5 for the general public; $3 for SRU students.

          Under direction of Dr. David Skeele, associate professor of theater, the production will be “quite unlike anything the audience has seen before” he says. Skeele notes the masked/costumed characters will be moved about the stage while seated actors recite their lines. The SRU production will make use of “living puppets’ in a style inspired by a marionette production of “Antigone” Skeele saw years ago.

“The look of the show is a dark version of the Superman comics of the 1950s and features a striking cityscape,” Skeele explains, adding the production now includes an original score by dance department accompanist David Ledbetter, who also serves as musical director. Ledbetter scored the words, which are normally spoken, for the production’s chorus, and SRU dance students and faculty, including Jennifer Keller and Ursula Payne, are also part of the production.

Speaking the role of Oedipus will be Evan Endres of Ligonier, while the title character’s movement is performed by Renato Cardoso of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Queen Jocasta will be spoken by Marissa Kropp of Monroeville and moved by Leigh Puntureri of Grove City. Teiresias, the prophet, is spoken by Rachel Anderson of Greensburg with Michelle Desilee Smith of Mars serving as mover, while Kreon will be played by Jason Clark of Slippery Rock with Mandy Armor of Natrona Heights as the mover.

 The play’s set was designed by Gordon Phetteplace, associate professor of theater, with lighting designed by theater major Brandon Pugh of Somerset. Costumes, mask and make-up are being designed by SRU theater major Jenny Bernson, an international student from Hindas, Sweden.

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