Northeast State Theater stages “Oedipus Rex” Oct. 13-16

An abandoned child. A murdered king. A deadly secret.

Northeast State Theater brings these classic elements of Sophocles’ tragedy to life next month in a fierce and visually arresting production of Oedipus Rex.  Sophocles’ story of love and doom is one of the first family tragedies with unspeakable drama.

“This is the most ambitious technical production we have ever attempted,” said Brad McKenzie, the play’s director. “With the masks, lighting, and entire production, we are raising the bar of expectation for what an audience can expect to see in community college theater.”

The play opens with King Oedipus facing a terrible curse has befallen the city of Thebes.  He sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to seek the advice of Apollo and restore order.  Creon informs Oedipus that the curse will be lifted if the murderer of Laius, the former king of Thebes, is punished.

Learning of Apollo’s counsel, Oedipus dedicates himself to the discovery and prosecution of Laius’s murderer.  He questions unwilling citizens including the blind prophet Teiresias who gives him a warning that the new king may not be able to disregard.

While his wife Jocasta begs him to ignore the prophecy, Oedipus obsessively seeks to learn why he was abandoned as an infant and adopted by another family. His search leads him to a series of horrifying revelations about Laius’s death, his wife Jocasta, their children, and his fate.

Sophocles’ masterful work of characters and chorus plays out through lighting and sound.  As the actors portray the characters, the production’s technical artistry creates the psychological anguish and tragedy through vivid effects making this an unforgettable theatrical experience.

Play performances are Oct. 13 – 16 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinée showing at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16.  All performances will be staged in the WRCPA Theater on the College’s main campus, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for non-Northeast State students, seniors, military veterans, and emergency personnel.  Performances are free to current Northeast State students, but they must pick up their tickets at the box office. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the theater’s box office one hour prior to the show.  The house open 30 minutes before show time.

For information, call Northeast State Theater at 423.354.2479 or 423.323.0218.

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