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Post-Show Discussion Activity

A woman is looking straight at the camera. Behind her, a man in a white suit looks off-camera. The background is blurry, and there is a light source above the two people.
Aeriel Williams and Kelvin Roston Jr. by Joe Mazza.

Use these questions to reflect, discuss, or journal about your experience and reactions to The Gospel at Colonus!  Explore any of the questions that interest you.

Discussion Questions

  • What values rise to the surface in this play? How does the play deepen or nuance your understanding of these values? 
  • Destiny is a major theme in Oedipus’s life.
    • How does Oedipus at Colonus/Gospel fit into or challenge other narratives about destiny and fate? 
    • What tales of redemption have shaped your ideas of destiny and fate? 
    • In what cases is redemption im/possible? 
  • The play layers family tragedy with politics and the theme of fate. How do these ideas intertwine and interact in other arenas? In your own life or family tree? 
  • To what extent can Oedipus be held accountable for his sins? What implications does this generate? 
  • Oedipus is cursed, and he in turn curses his power-hungry sons. What does this make you think about family and legacy? 
  • What does this play reveal or offer about gender? 
  • Towards the end of the play, Oedipus says to his daughters, “You will no longer / Bear the burden of taking care of me.” What burdens might be released for or from your family tree?

  • This activity aligns with the following standards:
    • Illinois Arts Learning Standards 
      • Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • Anchor Standard 8: Construct meaningful interpretations of artistic work.
      • Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
    • Common Core State Standards 
      • CCSS.ELA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
      • CCSS.ELA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
      • CCSS.ELA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
      • CCSS.ELA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Posted on May 10, 2023 in Learning Guides, Productions

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