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The Museum of Performance and Design Brings OEDIPUS to Fort Mason Chapel

The Museum of Performance + Design announces a special staged reading of Oedipus The King directed by JAMIE LYONS at Fort Mason Chapel on May 27, 2017. The reading is programmed as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival taking place at Fort Mason, May 25 - June 4, 2017. LYONS brings a deep knowledge of constructing site-specific performances of the classics to the unique setting of Fort Mason Chapel and will use the medium of a staged reading to experiment with storytelling and character development. Following the staged reading, artists and audience members will be invited to enJoy Small bites and drinks and gather around special guests to share thoughts on the play and its political resonance in our current political climate.

Lyons [...] advocates for performance that uses the site as another creative participant in the work: it should be character and designer, and it should shape the development and understanding of the piece. Kimberly Jannarone, Theater Journal 2015

Animated with ideas of power, blindness, truth-seeking, and redemption, Sophocles's play Oedipus The King speaks to us in a new way today. Oedipus is our iconic anti-hero, fated from birth for tragedy, who continues on, convinced he has managed to outwit fate. The accessible and dynamic 1972 translation and adaptation by Anthony Burgess (1917-93), whose best known novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) was adapted for the screen by Stanley Kubrick, will bring out all the contradictions and complexities of Oedipus's downfall and the pain and suffering of those around him.
The diverse cast of local actors, dancers, and performers will include NATHANIEL JUSTINIANO as Oedipus, Aleta Hayes as Jocasta, VALSINCKLER as Creon, TONYANA BORKOVI as Tiresias with DANIEL GUAQUETA on drums.

Unique to this project is a series of figure and scene sketches by designer and co-producer JOHN Warren Travis that examine Oedipus's characters in the broadest sense and their contemporary relevance. While creating representations of leaders, the polis, performers, and the audience in spaces, TRAVIS developed a rich visual vocabulary that forms the project's research book. The sketches are on view at MP+D through June 15, 2017 with an Artists Reception on May 18, 5:30pm.

JAMIE LYONS, director, focuses on constructing site-specific performances of the fragmentary plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. As co-founding artistic director of Collected Works, he co-directed a site-specific production of Jean Genet's The Balcony at The Old Mint in San Francisco (2015). His other experiences in theater include work at the Mark Taper Forum, Magic Theatre, The Public Theater, La Mama ETC, PS122, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Mabou Mines, an avant-garde theater company where LYONS remained for six years.

Before devoting himself full-time to painting, JOHN Warren Travis, designer and co-producer, enjoyed a long career as a theater designer. TRAVIS has designed costumes and, in some instances, scenery for more than 150 productions on the West Coast including: Berkeley Repertory Theatre; California Shakespeare Festival; American Conservatory Theater; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts; Mark Taper Forum; and San Francisco Ballet. Since his retirement, John Warren Travis has maintained a studio at 1890 Bryant Street and exhibited regularly in California.

Oedipus is made possible in part thanks to support from San Francisco Grants For The Arts.

For more information, visit

About the Museum of Performance + Design
Located in San Francisco, the Museum of Performance + Design serves as an archive and a platform for the performing arts. Created by Russell Hartley, a dancer and designer with San Francisco Ballet, and developed without interruption for more than 70 years, the archive stands out as one of the largest collections of performance and theatrical design materials in the nation. MP+D works to keep the unfolding history of the performing arts in the Bay Area alive, catering its preservation and educational programs to a worldwide community of artists, scholars, and the general public. In the past 5 years, with the support of the NEA, California State Library, and Dance Heritage Coalition, MP+D completed several archival projects including processing and digitizing 1,000 images and documents from dance luminaries Anna Halprin and Lew Christensen. In the past 15 years, MP+D has processed 3,100 linear feet of materials, responded to 52,000+ inquiries and digitized 10,000 documents for broad public access. MP+D is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For further information on collections and programs visit or call 415.741.3531.

Sketch by John Warren Travis (2017)

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