MONMOUTH -- Western Oregon University's Theatre/Dance Department will present its winter mainstage production of the Greek tragedy "Hippolytus" Wednesday through Saturday, March 7 to 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Rice Auditorium.
Penned by the famous Greek playwright Euripides and translated by Kenneth Cavander, "Hippolytus" concerns Aphrodite, goddess of love, who is so angry that Hippolytus will not worship her that she vows to bring about his death.
Aphrodite's revenge causes his stepmother Phaedra to fall in love with Hippolytus. Because he worships Artemis, goddess of the hunt and chastity, Hippolytus is appalled to learn of his stepmother's love. Phaedra's shame and concern for honor and her nurse's conniving force her to commit suicide but not before she has written a note that falsely accuses Hippolytus of rape. Theseus, Phaedra's husband and Hippolytus' natural father, believes the accusations left by his wife and fulfills Aphrodite's revenge by cursing his son to death.
"The play is Euripides' telling of the Phaedra story but with emphasis on the plight of her stepson," said director and theater professor Richard Davis. "The need for moderation between extreme sexuality and extreme purity; the horrendous cruelty and power of love; (the) Euripidean misogyny; and the superiority of human forgiveness over the callousness of the gods are all significant themes of this power tragedy."
Original music for the production is composed by music student Joel Bakker, with unique choreography by dance professor Darryl Thomas; makeup and stage combat by theater professor Alan Bird; and sets and costumes by Davis and technical master Scott Grim.
Tickets to "Hippolytus" are $7 general admission and $5 for students and available at the WOU Box Office by calling 503-838-8462.