“Antigone” reflects more realistic portrayal of the ancients
Contrary to our traditional visions of white toga-clad citizens in a bleached-out ancient landscape, new research has revealed evidence that the Greeks in fact created a vividly colorful world for themselves, a world that has been shrouded by theatrical misinterpretation until now.
Salve Regina’s upcoming production of “Antigone” (Feb. 13-16) will allow audiences to appreciate the ancient Greeks in all their historically accurate (and colorful) glory, without the director taking conceptual liberties with the classic play’s time or setting. The result will be a portrayal of citizens of Thebes who are not only clad in color, but are gritty, dirty and living in a world of hard labor.
“Antigone” will be presented in the Casino Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday, Feb. 15 and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16.
“There have been so many examples of productions of classic works where directors have found it necessary to impose a concept on the piece, placing it in modern times or updating the language to use modern-day colloquialisms,” says Reggie Phoenix, associate professor of theater and “Antigone” director. “I think it is the original settings and contexts that make them the rich classics they are. After all, what can be more compelling than the story of a young girl standing up to male power 3,500 years ago?”
New York City costume designer Jessa-Raye Court is working with students to recreate a world rich in colorful fabrics and textiles for the production based on new research she’s discovered about the ancients. Theatre arts majors Olivia Gavriel ’14, scenic designer, and Samantha Gibbons ’14, lighting designer, are using the production as a basis for thesis projects.
“In fact, the world was so filled with explosive patterns and color that it might almost be considered vulgar by today’s standards,” Phoenix says. “It’s something that hasn’t been done yet in terms of approach to ancient Greek theater. I think we might be one of the first productions that takes that into consideration.”
Admission is $10 for general, $8 for senior citizens and military and $5 for members of the Salve Regina community. For information or reservations, call the Box Office at 401-341-2250 or visit www.tinyurl.com/salvecasino.