The passion and consequence of forbidden relationships--truly perennial fodder that has fed the works of Sophocles, Shakespeare and their modern counterpart Peter Schaeffer--is the theme of Duke Players' 2000-2001 season. They open it this week with The Darker Face of the Earth (pictured), an antebellum revamping of the Oedipus myth that tells the story of a white woman who gives birth to a child of mixed race on a Charleston plantation. Its author, former United States poet laureate Rita Dove, has given a new-world twist to the Greek tragedy, adding a Yoruba prophetess, African dance and song and her own lyrical voice to the mix. Directed by Jeff Storer and starring both students and professionals, the production runs this week only (Oct. 25-28 at 8 p.m.; Oct. 28 and 29 at 2 p.m.), so don't wait for the reviews to go. Tickets are $9 for general admission; $7 for students/senior citizens; call 684-4444.