February 15, 2019

Getty Villa Theater Lab Series Presents New Workshop Performances by UCLA Dance Professor and Choreographer Lionel Popkin and Polish Opera and Theater Director Grzegorz Jarzyna

Media Contact(s):

Desiree Zenowich
(310) 440-7304
Getty Communications

The Oedipus/Antigone Project
Friday, March 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. & 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

Trojan War
Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Left Image: Photo by Nicola Goode

LOS ANGELES – The Theater Lab Series at the Getty Villa begins in March with a multimedia performance by UCLA dance professor and choreographer Lionel Popkin, which is inspired by the gap between Sophocles’ best-known plays, Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus.

           The series continues in May 2019 with a performance by Polish opera and theater director Grzegorz Jarzyna that interprets the myth of the Trojan War within the context of the contemporary world.

           The Villa Theater Lab Series features work-in-progress versions of new translations and adaptations of Greek and Roman plays as well as contemporary works inspired by ancient literature.

The Oedipus/Antigone Project
            Choreographer Lionel Popkin’s new evening-length premiere, The Oedipus/Antigone Project, takes its impetus from the gap between two of Sophocles’ best-known plays, Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus: the journey that Oedipus and Antigone take from Thebes to Colonus as they struggle to protect each other within a civic code that confounds them. Popkin’s choreo-play evokes an elliptical narrative within the space Sophocles leaves open between the two plays, interweaving images of topographical maps, complex shadow play, personal and performative immigrant stories, and resilient dancing in order to question contemporary notions of displacement, exile and homeland.

          Popkin’s style blends unexpected humor and resonant physicality to craft worlds that, according to The Washington Post, have “a flair for originality that periodically has you realizing that you are smiling to yourself in the dark,” and approaches dance-making in a way that The New York Times calls “as farcical as it is dead serious.” His multimedia performance works have been called “a zenith of corporeal possibilities” by the Los Angeles Times and "by turns comical, creepy, and uncanny” by The New Yorker.

Trojan War
          Renowned Polish opera and theater director Grzegorz Jarzyna, artistic director of TR Warszawa, interprets the myth of the Trojan War—the first war to defend European values—in the context of contemporary military conflicts, the return of nationalism, and the mechanism of fear. Trojan War explores archetypal stories to see if the roots of the current problems associated with European identity can be found in its ancient cultural genotype. The performance transfers the mythical story of the Trojan War into the reality of today’s wars and ethnic conflicts.

          TR Warszawa, the producer of the performance, is home to artistic experiments of all kinds, thanks to the collaboration of an acclaimed team of actors, composers, and designers invited by Grzegorz Jarzyna. Since 1998, when Jarzyna became the artistic director of the theatre, TR Warszawa became one of the most important theaters in Poland - and one of the best-known Polish theaters around the world. American audiences might remember the cutting-edge presentation of its 2008: Macbeth, which boldly reinvented the classic text of Shakespeare for the 21st century at St. Anne Warehouse in New York. Among the Jarzyna’s latest productions are Grzegorz Jarzyna’s Martyrs based on text by Marius von Mayenburg, Ivona, Princess of Burgundia, coproduced with Theatre of Nations in Moscow, G.E.N, a story about an alternative community, or Two Swords, based on the classical legend Forging the Swords by Lu Xun.

           All performances take place in the Villa Auditorium. Tickets are $7 and available now for The Oedipus/Antigone Project at or by calling 310-440-7300. Tickets for Trojan War will be available on March 19, 2019.



The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.

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