Students, playwrights and actors have labored for 2 millennia to interpret and carry out “Antigone,” Sophocles’ Athenian tragedy written in 441 B.C.
Earlier this month, a small group of College college students condensed the method into lower than a month — concluding in a one-night-only efficiency at T.F. Inexperienced Corridor Dec. 7. The manufacturing, directed by Emily Mayo ’24, was forged, staged and rehearsed in solely 4 weeks and lacked any official funding or price range.
“Antigone” is the final of Sophocles’s Theban performs, which comply with the “rise and fall of Oedipus’s Home,” as brothers Eteocles and Polynices battle for his or her kingdom’s throne, in line with the play’s program. Mayo based mostly the manufacturing’s story and script on Anne Carson’s translation of the traditional Greek tragedy, which affords a contemporary tackle the story.
The present was tailored to “theatre in-the-round” —with viewers members sitting on all sides of a central stage — which Mayo mentioned was “a fantastic problem for any actor and screenwriter,” because the forged had “nowhere to cover.”
Mayo mentioned that she selected this manufacturing model due to the story’s intense feelings and the necessity for each viewers member to be “complicit in what’s occurring” as they witnessed the characters’ choices.
The Dec. 7 manufacturing opened with a dialogue between sisters Antigone and Ismene, performed by Grace Miller ’24 and Abby Schindell ’25 respectively, about their brother’s burial rites. The efficiency deviated from Sophocles’s unique script at factors as Carson’s translation was meant to be extra fashionable, which Mayo hoped would make the play extra relevant for present-day audiences.
“Antigone” has numerous central themes, together with “grief, feminine rage (and) energy and who will get to problem it,” in line with the present’s program. Though Mayo mentioned that she doesn’t consider the play’s ending has an ethical, each Miller and Mayo mentioned that they appreciated “Antigone” for its dialogue of whether or not or not battle can have a proper reply, in addition to its dialogues about justice and the desires of people.
Whereas the plot of “Antigone” just isn’t significantly related to fashionable life, “persons are nonetheless the identical, and the core feelings that these individuals really feel are feelings we see from, converse from and draw from,” Mayo mentioned.
Miller added that the story’s modern-day relevance comes from its timeless dialogue about and questioning of values.
The plot of “Antigone” is primarily pushed by its characters slightly than a simple narrative, Mayo famous. “To some extent, regardless that there’s a guiding plot, (“Antigone”) is a collection of character portraits,” she mentioned.
JL Zhang ’24, who performed Creon — king of Thebes and Antigone’s uncle — was drawn to audition for “Antigone” after they noticed a Nationwide Theatre manufacturing of the play.
Zhang mentioned that their function as Creon was closely influenced by the modifications made within the present’s translation. “The best way Creon interacts with language … is so antithetical to how I’m as an individual,” they mentioned.
Zhang, as Creon, had among the many most stage time and essentially the most interactions with different characters inside the present’s forged. The present’s core battle comes from Creon’s dictatorial ruling model — which underscored the significance of the function, Zhang mentioned.
To arrange, Zhang joked that they repeatedly listened to “The Calling” by The Killers — and practiced taking a look at their fellow forged members from a place of superiority.
Miller mentioned she prepped for her function by “fascinated about being 16 and seeing issues in (a) very a lot black-and-white headspace,” which she thought mirrored Antigone’s way of living.
She hoped that, after watching the present, audiences considered “what’s necessary to them … The sorts of concepts that they worth, the sorts of issues they … (assume are) price sacrificing.”
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