Greek tragedy ‘Antigone’ reborn

By Elizabeth Coss and Christopher Gillett

Spotlighting a theme that history repeats itself, University Theatre will be putting on its final production of the semester, “Antigone.”

Students will be performing the 1940’s Jean Anouilh’s translation of the play, which details the Nazi German occupation of France during World War II. 

The Anouilh translation is based on the original Greek tragedy of “Antigone” and acts as a sequel to Sophicles’ “Oedipus Rex.” 

Meganne Evans, a senior theatre major, will be playing the titular role of Antigone. Evans said the play features themes of politics and war, while also touching on the struggles of life. 

“[The play] is actually very personal,” Evans said. “There’s two sides that believe so strongly in the ideologies and neither of them is willing to budge at all. It’s really an exploration of two people with such strong ideas and how big major political events can influence our own interpersonal relationships.”

Evans will be onstage alongside co-star Gunner Carwile, a senior theatre major, who will play King Creon. 

Carwile said the play should encourage conversation among the audience about the dangers of history repeating itself. 

“We’re trying to bring across to the audience and bring awareness to several different topics that are happening in today’s day and world and that have happened for centuries,” Carwile said. “[Including] the effects of war on not just people involved but the families.” 

For the play, actors will have half their faces disguised by masks from the lips up. Actors will also be joined by an “uber chorus” of rod puppets. 

The puppets were designed in-part by Mal Ehrhart, a sophomore musical theatre major, who designed the rod puppets to be carried by the main chorus and operated by a staff. 

Ehrhart said the most exciting part will be seeing how the play comes together with the work they’ve put in. 

“Just to see how everything comes together — a large part of what I have been doing with the ‘uber chorus’ has been getting the faces to match the chorus actors’ facial masks,” Ehrhart said. 

Todd Dicken, the director and faculty member in the theater department, said the play has been challenging for students in a variety of ways such as memorization, physicality and writing style. 

“It lends to a certain style of acting that I don’t think this group of students have had prior experience … doing,” Dicken said. “There’s something in this play for everyone. I think there’s a lot of meaty material for actors who are learning their craft.”

Dicken said he’s excited to see how the audience reacts not only because of the content, but because of the work the crew has put into the play. 

“I personally am super jazzed about this — to watch what these actors are going to do, because I think they’re going to impress, surprise and even shock some of their family [and] their friends at what they’re doing in the show,” Dicken said. 

“Antigone” will be performed at the Ford Theater in Bliss Hall for several more showings. The remaining dates include: April 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m., and April 8 at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the YSU section of the Tix website.