Performance mask from the stage production of 'King Oedipus', papier mache / wire / wood, designed by Yoshi Tosa for the Old Tote Theatre Company, maker unknown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1970
The costumes and set design for 'King Oedipus' were designed by Yoshi Tosa who worked on numerous Old Tote Theatre Company productions between 1968 and 1971.
Sophocles' 'King Oedipus', adapted by John Lewin and directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, was presented by the Old Tote Theatre Company at the Sir John Clancy Auditorium, University of NSW, in August and September of 1970. It starred Ron Haddrick as Oedipus and Ruth Cracknell as Jocasta. The production was not well received by the critics but played to packed houses and is considered one of the most important and influential productions of the period. It was filmed by the ABC for 'Chequerboard'.
The Old Tote Theatre Company was founded in Sydney in 1962 by the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) as a professional company to produce classical plays and modern writing from Australia and overseas, and to provide an arena for young artists. Throughout the 1960s plays like Edward Albee's 'Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf' and David Williamson's 'Don's Party' were staged at the University of NSW, the Palace Theatre in Sydney, and the Jane Street Theatre in Randwick. In 1969 the company separated from NIDA, and was subsidised by the Australia Council for the Arts as the state theatre company of NSW. In 1973 the NSW government invited the Old Tote company to become the major producer for the Drama Theatre at the new Sydney Opera House. Between 1962 and 1978, when it closed, the Old Tote Theatre Company developed the careers of a generation of young actors, playwrights, designers and directors including John Bell, Anna Volska, Reg Livermore, Drew Forsythe, Richard Wherret, Jim Sharman, Ron Haddrick, John Gaden, Alex Buzo, Robin Lovejoy, Allan Lees, Ann Fraser and Yoshi Tosa. It formed the core of the Sydney Theatre Company which began in 1979.
Donated by the Old Tote Theatre Company to the Sydney Opera House, date Unknown.