Directed by Carey Perloff
A San Francisco Playhouse Zoomlet
Original air date: February 8, 2021
Featuring Steven Anthony Jones and John Douglas Thompson
Marking the summit of classical Greek drama’s formal achievement, known for its tight construction, mounting tension, and perfect use of the dramatic devices of recognition and discovery, Oedipus Rex examines the story of Oedipus, who, in attempting to flee from his fate, rushes headlong to meet it.
Sophocles, (born c. 496 BCE, Colonus, near Athens [Greece]—died 406, Athens), with Aeschylus and Euripides, one of classical Athens’s three great tragic playwrights. The best known of his 123 dramas is Oedipus the King. Only seven of Sophocles’ tragedies survive in their entirety, along with 400 lines of a satyr play, numerous fragments of plays now lost, and 90 titles. All seven of the complete plays are works of Sophocles’ maturity, but only two of them, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus, have fairly certain dates. Ajax is generally regarded as the earliest of the extant plays. Some evidence suggests that Antigone was first performed in 442 or 441 BCE. Philoctetes was first performed in 409, when Sophocles was 90 years old, and Oedipus at Colonus was said to have been produced after Sophocles’ death by his grandson. — Encyclopaedia Britannica
After 26 successful seasons as Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater, Carey Perloff has resumed her award-winning directing and playwriting career across the country. Recent work includes: PALE SISTER by Colm Toibin at the Gate Theatre (Dublin), Ibsen’s GHOSTS with Uma Thurman at Williamstown (transferring to Seattle Rep next spring), MERCHANT OF VENICE with Seana McKenna as Shylock (Calgary) and PRIVATE LIVES at the Stratford Festival. Her new play BASTIANO OR THE ART OF RIVALRY, written on a Bogliasco Fellowship, is being developed this summer by New York Stage and Film, and she has recently completed a commission for Williamstown called EDGARDO, a play with songs. Her play THE FIT premiered at SF Playhouse’s Sandbox Series last June; Kinship premiered at the Theatre de Paris in October 2014 in a production starring Isabelle Adjani and Niels Schneider and was produced at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2017, starring Cynthia Nixon and directed by Jo Bonney. Waiting for the Flood has received workshops at A.C.T, New York Stage and Film, and Roundabout Theatre. Higher was developed at New York Stage and Film, won the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award, and received its world premiere in February 2012 in San Francisco. Luminescence Dating premiered in New York at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, was coproduced by A.C.T. and Magic Theatre, and is published by Dramatists Play Service. The Colossus of Rhodes was workshopped at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, premiered at Lucille Lortel’s White Barn Theatre, and was produced at A.C.T. in 2003. Perloff is the author of BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: A LIFE IN THE THEATER (City Lights Press 2015) and is currently finishing a new book on Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter in the rehearsal room.
Steven Anthony Jones as Teiresias
Steven Anthony Jones was the artistic director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre from 2011 to 2017. He has worked professionally on stage, television and in film for 42 years. He has performed in the works of Wilson, (Charles) Fuller, Fugard, Stoppard, Gotanda, Becket, Pinter, Moliere, Shakespeare, Chekhov and others. He was in the original cast of A Soldier’s Play produced by the Negro Ensemble Company, which won an Obie Award for ensemble acting and the Pulitzer Prize for best drama. He performed, taught and directed at the American Conservatory Theater for 22 years as a member of the core acting company.
John Douglas Thompson as Oedipus
Broadway: King Lear, Becker in August Wilson’s Jitney. (Tony nomination), A Time To Kill, Cyrano de Bergerac, Julius Caesar. Off-Broadway: Julius Caesar at Public Theater, The Iceman Cometh at BAM (Obie and Drama Desk Awards); Tamburlaine at Theater for a New Audience (Obie, Drama Desk and AUDELCO Awards); Satchmo at the Waldorf (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and NAACP Awards) at the Westside Theater, King Lear, Macbeth (title role); Othello (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Joe A. Callaway Award) at TFANA; The Forest at Classic Stage Company; The Emperor Jones at The Irish Repertory Theatre (Joe A. Callaway Award and Lucille Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations); Hedda Gabler at New York Theatre Workshop. Regional credits: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Mark Taper Forum (Ovation Award); Antony and Cleopatra at Hartford Stage; Red Velvet, Othello, Richard III, King Lear, and Mother Courage at Shakespeare & Co; Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train at The Wilma Theater (Barrymore Award) and productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre. His television and film credits include: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Wolves, Bull, Person of Interest, Madam Secretary, Law & Order, Conviction, Bourne Legacy, Glass Chin, Michael Clayton, Malcolm X. Upcoming films: 21 Bridges, 355, and Let Them All Talk. John is a Fox Fellow recipient, has received the Samuel H. Scripps Award, and the Robert Brustein Award for sustained excellence in American theater.