Christian college's theatre department presents Greek tragedy ‘Ion’ in November

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George Fox University production is a world premiere of Paul D. Streufert’s translation of the Euripides classic

How much control do the ‘gods’ of our society have over our actions in 2010?

George Fox University’s theatre department will present a world-premiere performance of Paul D. Streufert’s translation of Euripides’ “Ion” in the university’s Wood-Mar Auditorium Nov. 4-6 and Nov. 11-14. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, Nov. 14 show, scheduled as a 2 p.m. matinee.

“Ion” follows the story of Kreousa, a young woman who unwillingly conceives a child with the god Apollo. Not wanting to bring shame on her family, Kreousa abandons the child and hopes Apollo will care for him. Sixteen years later, Kreousa visits Apollo’s temple at Delphi and meets a boy named Ion who serves as one of the temple’s servants. Apollo can either allow Kreousa and Ion to recognize each other, or keep his crime a secret and lead the play to tragedy.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and George Fox alumni, and $6 for students and children under 12. Tickets can be purchased by calling the University Box Office at 503-554-3844, visiting the Bruin Bookstore, or going to theatre.georgefox.edu to purchase them online.

Director Rhett Luedtke chose to produce “Ion” because the theatre program had not staged a Greek tragedy since 2004’s “Trojan Women.”

“One of our goals as a theatre program is to expose our students and audience members to as many different theatrical styles and dramatic genres as possible,” Luedtke said. “‘Ion’ intrigued me. Euripides breaks many of the conventional rules of Greek tragedy in this play. He challenges Athenian patriarchy and questions the power and roles of the Greek gods over human life.”

Luedtke has taken some liberties with production of “Ion.” Although the set and masks used are reminiscent of ancient Greece, clothing is contemporary. The cast is composed of 12 members who all represent and play the gods. In addition, the seven women share the role of Kreousa as they pass her mask from one actor to the next. Similarly, Ion is played by three men. The remaining characters are portrayed by single actors.

These changes were made for various reasons. “How much control do the ‘gods’ of our society have over our actions in 2010?” Luedtke wonders. “Secondly, Kreousa’s story is a story shared by many women across generations. Having all seven women play her signals Kreousa’s connection to all women.”

Part of the reason Luedtke decided to have Kreousa and Ion portrayed by multiple actors is because of the amount of growth they go through as the play progresses, while other characters portrayed by single actors go through the least amount of growth.

The performance features theatre (theater) major students as well as students from other majors.

The George Fox University theatre department has been recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. with awards for individual acting, set design, and overall production.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes as the top Christian college in the Pacific Northwest and among the top three Christian colleges in the country. George Fox is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first tier national university. More than 3,400 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Contact:
Rhett Luedtke
Department of Performing Arts
503-554-2632

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