Jocasta Poster
Setting
The Queen's bedroom

Time
Act I Eve of wedding to Oedipus
Act II Ten years later
History
2004 – Fairleigh Dickinson University
2002 – Staff Repertory Theatre, Carmel, CA
2001 – The Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, OH
1999 – The Cleveland Play House, Next Stage Festival of New Play Readings
A new twist on a classic tale of love, lies and the other woman in the Oedipus Complex.
This taut, humorous and ironic journey takes a second look at the myth of Oedipus from HER point of view. Jocasta and her mother Ismene have a tense reunion on the eve of her marriage to the stranger, Oedipus. Ten years later Jocasta and her first maidservant must deal with the truth about the man she married, loved and must leave behind.
Jocasta
"An often fascinating, often funny, through-the-looking-glass look at Sophocles' Oedipus Rex . . . . Jocasta fascinates us with reiteration of a timeless question: 'Can we talk?'"
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
"An exemplary play that engages the heart and mind . . . . one of the finest plays I have seen this season."
The Monterey Herald
"Except for laughing a lot, no one in the audience seemed to take a breath . . . . a play that has a fresh and compelling point of view."
The Beacon Herald (Akron)
American Theatre
Mother Knows Best American Theater Magazine March 2001

At last, the Oedipus myth with a feminist slant! Jocasta, the love interest in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, has stepped out of the mythological shadows and taken center stage in Sandra Perlman's Jocasta, premiering this month at the Cleveland Play House.
In Sophocles' play, Oedipus's wife is old enough to be, well, his mother. But in Perlman's version of the tale, the queen is still in her prime (she married her first husband, Laius, at 14). Perlman-a member of the CPH Playwrights Unit-begins her play on the eve of Jocasta's unwitting wedding to her son, a part of the story Sophocles and Euripides ignore. But Jocasta hasn't chosen this marriage. In a man's world, even a queen's life doesn't come with choices her brother Creon has promised Jocasta to whomever frees Thebes from the Sphinx. Nevertheless, Jocasta, whose first marriage was a flop, eagerly anticipates her Oedipal wedding night. She tells her mother: "I find his face quite pleasant, almost familiar. There is a complexity here that both excites and confuses my blood."
Jocasta retains the flavor and feel of Sophocles' tragedies - Perlman convincingly reconstructs the ancient world and the power arrangement between the sexes-even when Jocasta's mother begins to sound like the Betty Friedan of ancient Greece. ("What can any woman do?" she kvetches. "The men come and go as they please. They start a war here, take some land there. They don't ask us.")
Infusing these archetypal characters with a dose of "feminine mystique," Perlman succeeds in giving the play contemporary appeal.
Director Eric Schmiedl gives the production an Art Deco took that straddles antiquity and our own era. Hollywood's Deco influenced films of the 1920s were, the director says, "marked by clean lines and geometric shapes which represented elegance, wealth, power and a sense of antiquity." It is a visual style, he adds, that allows "a modem perspective without losing the integrity and feeling of the original Greek myth." Jocasta runs March 8-10 as part of the Play House's Next Stage Festival of new plays.
-Jesse Bryant Wilder
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adobe-pdf-icon-logo-vector-01 Hindi version, translation by Vikram Sharma