ANTIGONE - JULY 2017, DIRECTED BY JACI KEAGY
A Timeless Tale
Antigone brings Sophocles’ great tragic cycle to a close that begins with Oedipus Rex. Although all of the plays in the cycle demonstrate the superb skills of the playwright, Antigone is the most timeless of the three. The play deals with issues still relevant today- the abuse of political power, the importance of familial ties, and the subordinated status of women.
These themes are, of course, not the only important issues addressed by the play. Sophocles has created a literary masterpiece so rife with material for analysis, scholars have been studying Antigone for thousands of years, and there seems to be no end to the valuable insights derived from its passages.
Translated by Cornell theatre professor David Feldshuh, the play strikes the perfect balance between the original Greek and Shakespearean verse so OrangeMite audiences will have no difficulty following the story. The corpse of Antigone’s brother Polyneices lies unmourned on the battlefield because Creon, her uncle, and the ruler, has forbidden any rites. She defies Creon’s law on the grounds that sacred law takes precedence over civil law and thus the action begins.
OrangeMite will expand its community involvement this season by staging its first production at Dover Community Library. Veteran theater director Jaci Keagy will bring to life Sophocles' Antigone featuring our seasoned company of Shakespearean actors. Open auditions will be held for this historic work on May 30 & 31 at 6pm at the Dover Community Library, 3700-3 Davidsburg Rd, Dover, PA. Those interested in participating should email the artistic director, William Wolfgang, to schedule their audition.
The play will be performed with a cast of 12 at the Dover Community Library on July 14, 15, & 16, 3700-3 Davidsburg Rd, Dover, PA.
ANTIGONE - Antigone is one of the two surviving daughters of Oedipus, the former king of Thebes. She defies Creon’s law not to bury her brother on the grounds that sacred law takes precedence over civil law. Some see her as a feminist hero because she is not intimidated by men, some think she has a death wish. Either way, she’s rebellious and strong willed.
CREON - Creon is the brother of Jocasta, the former queen of Thebes. When he takes the throne of Thebes his first decree has tragic consequences: he gives honors to Eteocles who defended Thebes and denies burial to Polyneices. Some call Creon a tyrannical egoist others say he is a tough ruler trying to stabilize a fragile government.
TIRESESIAS - Teiresias is a blind prophet who always tells the truth. He warns Creon he is on the wrong path and will be punished.
GUARD - The guard is a humorous longwinded slave who serves Thebes and has to report to Creon against his better judgment that someone has buried the body of Polyneices.
ISMENE - The only survivor of Oedipus’s children by the end of the play, Ismene refuses at first to help Antigone bury their brother. She gives the reason that it is against the law of Creon, and they are only women who have no power. (will double as Eurydice)
EURYDICE - Eurydice is the wife of Creon and noted for her discretion and mildness. She is a perfect wife until the death of her sons, which she blames on Creon. The elder son, patriotically killed himself when Teiresias said the city needed a blood sacrifice to be victorious. When the younger son, Haemon, kills himself because of Antigone’s death, Eurydice kills herself.
HAEMON - Haemon is the only remaining son of Creon and Eurydice, whose bride-to-be is his own cousin, Antigone. He admires his father and wants to please him until Creon pronounces the death sentence on Antigone and will not back down. Haemon wants justice over unquestioning loyalty to his father.
MESSENGER - You know the phrase, “beware the messenger”? Well, it started with Greek theatre because the news he or she delivers is never good.
CHORUS - The Chorus of Theban elders represent the seasoned and wise opinion of the people of Thebes. They are important for commenting on the actions of the characters, giving background information, and foreshadowing future events. We will use 5 very strong actors to fill these roles.