Theatre program runs Antigone as first production of the semester


Stephanie Williams

The cast of Antigone lines up for a final bow after the play’s final scene in the Dore Theatre on Oct 26.

Lauren Hill, Features Editor


The writing of Sophokles was brought to life by CSU Bakersfield students when the CSUB Music and Theatre Department ran its first production of the 2019-2020 school year, “Antigone,” directed by Dave Peterson.

  “Antigone” is a play written by Sophokles that follows the story of a young girl as she walks through a decision that explores her own internal convictions. The translation performed was written by Canadian writer, Anne Carson. Carson’s new translation opened and performed in 2015 under the direction of Ivo Van Hove, following a contemporary style with French actress Juliette Binoche portraying Antigone in that debut.

  In an interview with the Barbican Centre, Binoche said, “Because of Antigone’s strength and will and awareness and desire, I don’t think she can change the way she is. She has to be true to herself and her truth is changing the whole consciousness.”

  The final performance of “Antigone” was a matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 27. Many of the seats were filled with individuals of all ages, awaiting the moment when the actors would make their appearance. Onstage, there were two rail structures, a pile of sand, and the top of a car appearing to be buried underground.

  As the theatre went to a black out, a set of curtains opened and exposed a beaten down, neoclassical architecture-style building complete with broken windows, a fallen pillar, and no door, later made known as Kreon’s palace at Thebes.

  The first to come onstage were Avery Gibson, portraying Antigone, and Maya Blackstone, portraying the sister of Antigone, Ismene. The dialogue reveals that Antigone’s uncle, the king Kreon, portrayed by Brian Purcell, has refused to bury her brother.

Avery Gibson, playing Antigone, waits for judgement for her crime while Brian Purcell, playing Kreon the king, walks to the guard during the Antigone play in the Dore Theatre on Oct 26.

  Antigone decides that it is her responsibility to make sure that her brother is buried, even if she has to do it herself. She believes that the laws on Earth are defying the laws of the ancient Greek gods.

  In the following scene, a chorus of eight actors enters the stage and joins in telling the poetic narrative with their cohesiveness and timely responses, often calling out in unison.

  Gibson delivers a passionate encompassment of feminine independence and the urge to do right by those we love. Antigone stands her ground when called into question by Kreon after completing the burial, and is sentenced to death by being buried alive.

  Kreon’s son Haimon, portrayed by Alberto Pelayo, was betrothed to Antigone and begins to question his father and the laws. The two exit the stage to then find in the next scene that Kreon has killed Haimon.

  When Kreon’s wife, portrayed by Brianna Giselle Garcia, finds out this news she kills herself.

  Kreon is left alone with three of his family dead, which he believes is by his own doing.

  “Where can I look? Where can I turn? Everything I touch goes wrong,” the king laments.

  Purcell ends the performance with the raw emotion of feeling helpless, as his character prays for his own death.

  In the written performance program, director Dave Peterson remarked, “Sometimes there is a higher truth, and ignoring it will be devastating for every one of us.”