UD Theatre Program Presents 'Antigone'

By Tom Stankard ‘14

Students and theatergoers watched the University of Dayton Theatre Program perform “Antigone” by Jean Anouilh, live at the Boll Theatre.

As the play opens at dawn, Ismene (sophomore Abby Christy) declares Antigone (fifth year Mary Mykytka) forbidden from burying their brother, Polynices, as ordered by Creon, the king (senior Alexander Chilton). Antigone runs off hours later to try to bury her brother anyway. Caught in the act, Antigone then is brought forth to Creon by the guards. Before you know, the town is abuzz with the news. Creon argues with Haemon (sophomore Kevin Cavallaro), Creon’s son and fiancée to Antigone, and decides that instead of killing Antigone, it is better to send the rebel to jail inside a cave for all eternity. It isn’t long before Creon calls off the arrest of Antigone, but it’s too late: Antigone, Haemon, and Creon’s wife Eurydice (senior Annie Blankenship) have killed themselves. The King of France has learned his lesson.

To add his own touch to the play, Director Tony Doulas made changes to end of it.

“I put Creon in a military outfit coming in to the end of play,” he said. “The reason is, I’m trying to make it clear that what this transition is. You’re living in a time of occupation. I’m trying to get by the sensors, and yet, at the same time you’re trying to let the French people know what’s going on.”

Written in 1942 when Nazis occupied France, Anouilh’s version of Antigone is an adaptation of the Sophocles version based on Greek mythology. Anouilh intended the play to represent the struggle faced by the French Resistance movement versus the Vichy government during World War II.

Set in a time of tragedy, the theme of the play, Douglas said, is when one begins to behave as a god does and no longer behaves in a moral fashion.

Light/Set Designer and Producer Darrell Anderson managed a minimalistic stage intended to attract attention to the actors. A desk is set in the back right corner of the stage. For the entirety of the play, the desk stays in place. During the play, audience attention is inadvertently drawn to the desk. By using lights, Anderson draws attention to the actors and suggests the time of day of the scene.

Actors wore period and modern clothes including night gowns, yoga pants and camouflaged military uniforms. The costumes assembled by Costumer Donna Beran add a nice touch by adding authenticity to the play.

Playing the role of the page is none other than middle school star Brenan Plate. Before performing at UD, he performed in other plays including “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Caroline or Change.” This is Plate’s first performance at UD, though.

“Performing at UD is different, I haven’t been in a college level show,” Plate said. “It was a new and exciting experience because I got to meet new people.”

“Antigone” is part of UD’s initiative “Right. Rites. Writes,” UD’s exploration and dialogue about the influence of the arts across multiple dimensions of our lives, according to udayton.edu/.. To be a part of UD’ “Rites. Rights. Writes.” was an honor, Douglas said. Even though the play doesn’t directly speak of what is going on in Egypt, Syria and Libya, the director hopes “Antigone” at least raises our collective concern, according to the brochure.

‘Antigone’ will continue Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and 2 at 8 p.m. in Kennedy Union’s Boll Theatre on the University of Dayton campus. General admission tickets are $12; $7 for UD faculty/staff/students. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance through Kennedy Union Box Office, 937-229-2545.

Tom Stankard is a senior at the University of Dayton, majoring in journalism. Tom enjoys sports and writing.

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