It’s no secret. LA isn’t known for its theatre. When you think of new, exiting, experiemental plays you think London! New York! Chicago! When you think of Los Angeles you think Film! Television! Really Shitty Traffic! But that certainly doesn’t mean that good LA theatre doesn’t exist. Although there are dozens of independent plays produced each year that you should definitely skip, there are also many that you should definitely see.

Oedipus Machina, opening May 30th at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, is one worth seeing.

Check out this teaser from the rehearsal process for Oedipus Machina:

Now in its 46th season, the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble is LA’s oldest 99-seat theater complex for a reason. Founded in 1969 by Ron Sossi, the Odyssey’s mission has remained steadfast: “the creation of new work, the revitalization and re-exploration of classical material, consistent experimentation with the most current developments at the forefront of the ‘state of the art’ in the international theatre world, ongoing investigation of the ‘process’ of creating theatre, and continuing development of new acting, directing, and writing talent.”

While that may seem like a tall order, the Odyssey continues to do all of those things and more. Beginning with just one stage, the Odyssey has since expanded to three stages running shows in rep throughout the year. They offer discounts and incentives to make attendance an incredibly reasonable possibility (and not, like so many theatres, a bank-breaking sacrifice). If you haven’t been to the Odyssey yet, now is the time!

Inspired by Ellen McLaughlin’s Oedipus, adapted from Sophocles’ original text, Oedipus Machina combines classical storytelling with innovative new ideas. Two things attracted director Ron Sossi to this particular piece. “One, is the well substantiated theory that the Oedipus story is really the story of Akhenaten, the enigmatic ‘one god’ Pharoah of Egypt. The other is the idea that highly advanced ancient civilizations may have been influenced by visitors from other worlds and even ‘seeded’ by them. Both intriguing. Both a great leap of imagination.” So, aliens and mummies. Awesome. But don’t worry, as Sossi is quick to point out, “these are just subtle influences. Our production of Oedipus will not be an episode of Star Trek nor adventures in ancient Egypt.”

Here’s another peek behind the scenes featuring Martin Rayner!

Oedipus Machina is lead by Joshua Wolf Coleman as Oedipus, Martin Rayner as Creon, Dey Young as Jocasta, Lorinne Vozoff as Tiresias, Terry Woodberry as the Messenger, and Brent Christensen as the Shepherd. Sossi has a non-traditional take on the chorus (no togas, no speeches in unison), which features Friend of the Frog Riley Rose Critchlow, alongside Alan AbelewJ. Carlos Flores, Mariana Montes, Cary Thompson, and Tina Van Berckelaer.

There are many ways to enjoy Oedipus Machina during its run! Previews begin May 27th, 28th and 29th (at 7:30pm) with the official opening night on May 30th, closing on July 26th. Performances are every Friday & Saturday night at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm, with a few Wednesday nights (June 17th and July 8th) and Thursday nights (June 25th, July 2nd, 16th & 23rd) as well.  Join the cast after the show for Wine Night on June 19th & July 17th, or enjoy Tix for $10 on June 5th, July 2nd and July 8th! General admission ranges between $30-$35 with Senior/Student/Equity and SAG-AFTRA discounts available as well.

Tickets for Oedipus Machina are available on the Odyssey’s website or by calling the box office at 310-477-2055 ext 2. Box office hours are Weds-Sunday from 1pm-curtain. Follow the Odyssey on Twitter for updates about their ongoing season!

Support the Arts, dear Froggies!