Savage Umbrella has a feel for history unlike any other local theater. Their current These Are The Men is an expansive and comprehensive re-telling of the story of Jocasta, the doomed Queen Mother-Wife of ancient Greek playwright Sophocles’sOedipus Trilogy, all in one uniquely captivating play. Blake E. Bolan and Laura Leffler-McCabe have co-written the piece in collaboration with the ensemble and the original workshop cast. It plays at Southern Theater.
Bolan has directed co-writer Leffler-McCabe as the heroine. Jocasta unwittingly marries her son, Oedipus, after he unwittingly kills her husband, King Laius. Hence, Oedipus is crowned King of Thebes. But the truth has yet to surface as many years before, Lauis sent his servant to kill his male child by Jocasta because an oracle prophesied that his son would kill him and marry Jocasta. He pathetically thinks that killing the child will forestall his Fate.
That male child, of course, was Oedipus. It’s a timeless story that demonstrates how blindly we walk without knowing the truth about ourselves and our family members.
Leffler-McCabe’s performance is luminous. She seems rightly traumatized throughout. This illuminates how even the woman of the highest stature in patriarchal Theban society is chained to her restrictive role, no matter what. She will remind some of a similar queen of consummate drama, Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother.