Thursday, October 18, 2012

David Selby in Oedipus Rex, 1964

Lecture, Performance of Oedipus Rex Outstanding

The Morgantown Post, Mar. 24, 1964

From every standpoint, the University Players have done it again and even better than ever! Before last night's "Oedipus Rex", a large audience was treated to a lecture by Dr. Robert W. Corrigan, head of the drama department of Carnegie Institute of Technology and founder of the Tulane Drama Review.

Dr. Corrigan's informative discussion of the play and its production by the University Players proved to be one of the highlights of the Festival of the Fine and Lively Arts. Not only because of his erudite analysis of
this Greek tragedy, which has stood the test of more than 2,000 years, transcending all criticism and continuing to do so, but because his lecture led, to new frontiers and did not cover old roads.

Tragic Turbulence
"The tragic turbulence of Oedipus Rex," he said, "has the pure presence and certainty of reality which our own culture has lost."

Among the more academic arguments Dr. Corrigan put forth was one of the most practical; that this play is usually thought of as one of the world's great detective stories.

"The essential action of the play," he concluded, "is an enactment of life and pain in a world we never made. The weaker fall or are deformed; the strong survive and by surviving and enduring, they liberate the  dignity of significant suffering which gives man the crucial victory over his own fate."

Fine Performance 
The play followed Dr. Corrigan's lecture. Under the skillful direction of Charles Neel, it was performed by a fine cast and chorus. David Selby, as Oedipus, King of Thebes, was amazingly mature in his delineation of character. The cadences in his voice clearly revealed the terrible motivations and conflicts of purpose
and discovery of the tragic figure he enacted.

The entire cast, composed of Ann Chapman, Polly Thomas, Judy Edmonds, Tony Litwinke, Jim Fagan, John Newhouse, Jim Slavich, Charles Whieldon and Joseph Goodwin, portrayed the other characters with understanding and poise. The blending of the voices of the chorus provided a wonderful background so like a musical obbligato to the main theme. Sets Magnificent Great credit should be given not only to the director, but to the scenic designer, Dr. Robert W. Burrows, whose set was simple yet magnificently effective; and to Ronald Reed and Larry Augustine who executed it with the help of some of the students in speech. The famous traditional Greek masks were beautifully designed by John Phillips.

The second performance of "Oedipus Rex" will be repeated tonight at Reynolds Hall and everyone is invited free of charge. It should not be missed whether classical Greek drama is the general public's cup of tea or not. It will prove that compared to modern theatre, we have not yet reached the heights the Greeks did over two thousand years ago.

(Note: The Collinsport Historical Society fixed a few typos in the story, for the sake of clarity. We might have missed a few, though.)

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...