Interview with the Sphinx
This witty philosophical comedy imagines the ancient Sphinx being interviewed today -- as though she were another pop celebrity. She is a talkative, flirty & mysterious person who likes to talk about anything -- except the question being asked! Part Tom Stoppard, part Monty Python, part Oscar Wilde, this play by Jack Matthews combines philosophical paradoxes with fast-paced verbal pyrotechnics. More
In this provocative & immensely irritating comic play, the Sphinx from ancient Greece is interviewed in modern times as though she were a celebrity pop star. The problem is, she never answers any questions -- never directly anyway. Instead she prefers just dishing the dirt on everybody. ON HOMER: "I never was exactly sure which one Homer was. I'm positive he wasn't the blind one, though; that was just a silly story they started telling a few centuries later". ON OEDIPUS: "Eddie was terribly conceited, you know … of course he was smart and handsome and, oh, just had a way of carrying himself that impressed everybody. In spite of his foot."
Bit by bit the Interview learns that what happened in Greek legend didn't happen exactly the way Sophocles described it. Fortunately, the Sphinx offers the Interviewer another riddle ... if only he could figure out what exactly it is!
Part Tom Stoppard, part Monty Python, part Oscar Wilde, this play by Jack Matthews combines philosophical paradoxes with fast-paced verbal pyrotechnics. It offers the perfect antidote to people who remembered ancient literature as nothing but stuffy and melodramatic characters with hard-to-pronounce names. In 2013 an audio version of this one act play was produced by Personville Press. This ebook contains the complete script used for the 2013 audio production plus another expanded two act version of the same play. This expanded two act version is titled "Dr. Freud and the Sphinx," and includes Florence Nightingale and Sigmund Freud characters (who serve as the Greek chorus).
Playwright JACK MATTHEWS is the author of 10+ plays and 20+ books (including short stories, novels and essays). Winner of the Guggenheim, a play competition and several arts grants, Matthews has been anthologized widely, translated into several languages and nominated for a National Book Award. Matthews was distinguished professor of Fiction Writing at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio for over 4 decades.
"Mr. Matthews is a master of prose conversation and deadpan charm. He is ironic, cool, and shrewd, and he writes a lucid prose." (Tim O'Brien, New York Times)