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This Week: Tragedy or Comedy


Oedipus Rex, or Oedipus the King, was performed in Athens approximately between 430 and 426 BC. It was considered the best of the tragedies written by Sophocles, and the best example of drama that ancient Greece had to offer. Sophocles was a prolific writer—24 of his plays took first prize in contests, and he never placed lower than second. Sophocles was the first to introduce painted scenery, and he was the first to add a third actor to the stage. He also set the number of chorus members at 15. Oedipus Rex is a well-built, tightly plotted tragedy that hinges on the inescapable quality that is inherent to the concept of destiny. Signature Theatre is performing Oedipus Rex at Venue 332 in The Scottish Rite Center from the 19th to the 21st.

If tragedy is not your flavor, Wichita State University is putting the comedy The Roaring Girl on the Mainstage from 18th to the 21st.  Based on the life of the notorious 17th century outlaw Mary Frith, the play follows the fictionalized exploits of Moll Cutpurse as she helps the people of the town break free from tired conventions to find happiness. This production includes cameo performances by a number of Wichita State alumni, including Brian Gunter in the role of a disapproving father who matches wits—and tempers—with the defiant Moll. The Roaring Girl is playing onstage from the 18th to the 21st.