By Carson Lewis | Page One Editor
Thursday night marked the opening night of Baylor Theatre’s production of “Antigone.” The play, a translation of the Greek tragedy written by Sophocles, focuses on King Creon and Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus.
“Antigone” is sold out for the entire run of the show, which will go from Thursday to Sunday.
The play begins with Antigone lamenting the death of her two brothers Eteocles and Polynices, who died on opposite sides of a civil war when both brothers were seeking to gain the throne.
Creon, who becomes king in the wake of this rivalry, declares the rotting Polynices a traitor to the city and promises death upon anyone who attempts to bury his body.
Antigone decides to honor the body of Polynices despite the punishment. The rest of the play revolves around this choice, with members of Creon’s cabinet determining what is just and when the state should be followed.
The play is performed with no scene cuts, and all of the show is contained within the bounds of King Creon’s bunker. The play, rewritten and translated by Don Taylor in 1986, takes a more modern approach to the Greek tale. It also includes several changes that would be foreign to an ancient Greek audience — a professionally dressed cabinet and gun-toting guards are among some of the differences.
Douglas, Mass., sophomore Lindsey Swyers said she viewed the play Wednesday night as part of an invited dress rehearsal.
Swyers said that she had read “Antigone” before and enjoyed how the play was adapted, especially with Antigone’s strong female presence in a play largely dominated by the masculine and often furious King Creon.
“I really liked [Antigone’s] part. I thought she did a really good job in conversing with the other actors on stage,” Swyers said. “She managed to hold her own, and she’s supposed to stand out and be the voice of reason.”
The set design used light and subtle sound cues throughout the play to reflect the growing tension of the story, with different colors showing up at various times throughout the play.
“The haze that they used to make the light more dull I thought was a brilliant idea, because it gave it that smoky feel that something bad is happening; there’s a disaster going on,” Swyers said.
An important aspect of the design of “Antigone” is the newspapers that overwhelm the stage and fill almost every inch of the surface— from light scatterings in the center to piles in corners. Some were neatly tied, while others were crumpled and blackened.
Pflugerville junior Price Foster, the stage manager for “Antigone,” said that he believed this to be one of the best parts of the production’s set design.
“On the house left side there is a pile of crumpled up newspaper, and on the house right side there’s piles of newspapers that’s bound by twine,” Foster said.
Foster said that information was a key part of the design process.
“It’s interesting imagery to see these two different styles of information being abused and taken advantage of, which tends to be what we’re saying Creon is doing, because he’s taking this act [of fratricide]. . . and he’s twisting the narrative,” Foster said.