Play based on Greek classic set in contemporary gangland

July 10, 2012

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(Photo by Michael Brosilow)
Steve Casillas (Coro), Arturo Soria (Creon), Jessie David Perez (Coro) and Adam Poss (front) as Oedipus in "Oedipus el Rey."

As the death toll rises in Chicago, a play at Victory Gardens Theater is taking on the issue of gangs and violence.

Oedipus El Rey, which runs through July, is modeled after the Greek classic. But in this version, Oedipus is a young ex-convict trying to become the king of gangland in South Central L.A.

The playwright, Luis Alfaro, is from L.A. himself. He sat down to talk with WBEZ’s Richard Steele about the genesis of the play, his own experience working as an artist in the prison system, and gang culture.

Adam Peindl produced this feature.

Victory Gardens Theater is working with community groups to hold discussions based on the play's themes.