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The Gospel at Colonus

Adaptation and Original Lyrics by Lee Breuer
Adapted Lyrics by Lee Breuer and Bob Telson
Music by Bob Telson
Directed by Mark J.P. Hood and Charles Newell
with Associate Director TaRon Patton

May 12, 2023 — Jun 18, 2023

★★★ “A gorgeously produced, deeply inclusive and richly sung staging…Court has put up something with an expansive vision and a directorial approach that respects what Telson and Breuer achieved but gently improves upon it for the current moment. It’s a South Side rebirth for The Gospel at Colonus, and thank whatever God you worship for that. May it live on.” – Chicago Tribune

“It was the first time I had to force myself to stay in my seat during a review and not start dancing and singing at a play…Dynamic singing in flawless harmony and impeccable acting provide 85 minutes of hallelujah joy — a soulful Greek chorus audience[s] will never forget.”Let’s Play Theatrical Reviews, Highly Recommended

Soulful and stirring, this one-of-a-kind theatrical event breathes new life into the Oedipus myth with a score of powerful gospel music. A bold collaboration from an extraordinary team led by Mark J.P. Hood and Charles Newell, The Gospel at Colonus builds upon the strengths and experiences of its artists to bring this redemptive musical celebration to life on Chicago’s South Side.

Digital Program

Sponsored by

Sponsored by

Gustavo Bamberger and Martha Van Haitsma

Sponsored by

David J. and Marilyn Fatt Vitale

This project is supported in part by

Based on an adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus in the version by Robert Fitzgerald and incorporating passages from both Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Antigone in the versions by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald, which are published as The Oedipus Cycle of Sophocles, a Harvest/HBJ Book, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

Photo of Jessica Brooke Seals, Ariana Burks, Cherise Thomas, Kelvin Roston Jr., Mark Spates Smith, Aeriel Williams, Kai A. Ealy, Juwon Tyrel Perry, and Shari Addison by Michael Brosilow.

Artistic Team





Articles and Interviews

Chicago’s Gospel History

Production Dramaturg Wenke (Coco) Huang provides a brief overview of Chicago's history with gospel music and how it informs THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS.

Oedipus, Church, and Catharsis

Production Dramaturg Wenke (Coco) Huang highlights quotes about catharsis, joy, redemption, and Black worship that offer crucial context for THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS.

The Gospel at…Theatre Camp?

What do Morgan Freeman, Zora Neale Hurston, and the 2003 film CAMP have in common? Believe it or not, they're all connected to THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS! Read more about this production's cultural resonances in this blog post!

Oedipus and Agency

UChicago Professor Sarah Nooter explores questions of agency, truth, and fate in Sophocles' OEDIPUS REX.

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