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A difference of opinion leads to tragedy in Douglas College’s production of Sophocles’s Antigone March 9-16

When an unjust law is broken, two opposing sides go head-to-head in an intense and tragic conflict in Antigone.

Presented by the departments of Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology, Antigone is written by famous ancient Greek playwright Sophocles and adapted by Kathleen Weiss, chair of the University of Alberta’s drama department. Performances run March 9-16 at Douglas College’s New Westminster Campus.

The play follows Antigone, sister of two men who died on opposite sides of a civil war. At the outcome of the battle, Thebes’s new ruler orders that one brother is given proper funeral rites while the other, who was on the losing side, is left to rot on the battlefield. Antigone defies this ruling and attempts to sanctify her rebel-allied brother’s body with holy rites, a decision that has terrible and long-reaching consequences.

“The situation presented in the play – that of two opposing sides that are so entrenched in their position that they are incapable of talking to each other to reach a compromise – could easily be seen as a reflection of many current political issues,” says Thrasso Petras, Douglas College Theatre instructor and the play’s director. “Turn on your radio, and you’ll hear the same language the play uses – law enforcement, justice, unjust laws. Despite being 2500 years old, it’s a play that’s timelessly relevant.” 

Weiss’s contemporary adaptation of the play focuses on Sophocles’s intellectual debate between secular and spiritual power – seen in the conflict between the rule of law and the rule of the gods. She uses the metaphor of the physical and psychological aftermaths of war to highlight the consequences of when two extreme oppositions are unable to reconcile. The dialogue is sparse to allow space for the actors to use physical expression to its fullest.

“It’s a challenging play with intense, heavy material that really forces the students to use all of the skills they’ve been taught and to delve deep into their personal resources,” says Petras. “Our goal is to filter for the audience the difficult emotions and issues that the play tackles, to provide an outlet through which the audience can think about and engage with the themes of secular versus spiritual, law and order versus morality and justice.”

The student cast of the production includes Dayna Hoffmann (Surrey), Amy Collisson (Mississauga), Emily Thorne (Delta), Kobe Doi (Surrey), Nelson Ellis (New Westminster) and Sara Dunn (Comox).

Performances will be held at the Studio Theatre at the New Westminster Campus. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for seniors, students, matinees and Talkback Tuesdays. For tickets and show times, visit antigone2018.bpt.me.  

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Contact

Melissa Nilan, Communications Coordinator

604 527 5547

mnilan@douglascollege.ca