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No dozing in the dark for members of the audience at Yukio Ninagawa’s new production of “Oedipus Rex,” because the director has assigned us a role, too — the public gallery of this artistic Theban court.

From the moment we set foot in the Bunkamura Theater Cocoon, we see ourselves in mirrors that form a backdrop running the full width of the stage. We look as if we might be gathered in a square in front of the king’s palace for an inquiry into the nature of right and wrong. When Oedipus addresses the onstage cast of 16 citizens, often the auditorium lights go up, creating the feeling that it is also we, the audience, he is speaking to. To complete the effect, Ninagawa has many of the actors making their entrances from the back of the auditorium, walking toward King Oedipus as if they were delegates from our committee.

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