University Theatres Mainstage presents interactive Antigone 2.0
University Theatres Mainstage opened Antigone 2.0, an interactive adaptation of the classic Sophocles tragedy, adapted by University of Iowa Department of Theatre Arts faculty member Carol MacVey and Iowa Playwrights Workshop student Jen Silverman, March 3 in the David Thayer Theatre of the UI Theatre Building.
In this innovative production, directed by MacVey, the audience stood throughout the 75-minute performance, moved around the space, and followed directions (there were accommodations for audience members with special needs).
"The image of staged Greek tragedy for many people is that of stately actors in long flowing robes reciting elevated text," MacVey said. "What would happen if we updated the words, the characters, the space, and left the basic questions and issues intact: what does it mean to be a good citizen? To whom does one owe allegiance? The state? The gods?
"Sophocles' basic questions still resonate for us; I just wanted to reframe them differently for our audience in this production."
The tragedy, written in the fifth century B.C.E., is the story of the daughter of Oedipus. Antigone disobeys the orders of her uncle Creon, king of Thebes, when he forbids the burial of her brother Polyneices, who he considers a traitor to the city. The play embodies classic issues and challenges that persist today, including civil disobedience, state control, and citizenship.
Other artistic contributors to the Antigone 2.0 production included lighting designer Soren Olsen; set designer Maylan Thomas; choreographer Rob Cooney; movement designer by Paul Kalins; costume designer Lisa Borton; sound designer Andrew Stewart; music designer/consultant Tricia Park, first violinist of the Maia Quartet; and assistant director David Hanzal.