Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 21 students performed Antigonick, a Greek tragedy about Antigone, who buries her brother Polyneices despite King Kreon’s orders against it.
Translated by playwright Anne Carson, Antigonick serves as the sequel to Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, which tells the story of Oedipus’s struggle against a fate that consigns him to killing his father and marrying his mother.
Auditions for Antigonick began in late August, and Drama Teacher Mark Lindberg finalized the cast list in the beginning of September. Some actors include Charlotte Gifford ’19 in the role of Antigone, Avi Madsen ’18 as Kreon, and Tayseer Chowdhury ’18 as Teiresias, a blind prophet. In addition to other main roles such as Ismene and Eurydice, the play features 11 students as members of the chorus, 10 on the stage crew, and three on costume design.
In the weeks leading up to the performances, the cast rehearsed every day after school from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and occasionally on Saturdays.
Making his debut in an Upper School (US) play, Tayseer said he enjoyed rehearsing with the cast.
“I like the fact that I’m allowed to be super dramatic and shout a ton because it’s not what I usually do in school,” he said. “Also, I like seeing my friends transform from high schoolers into Greek psychos.”
Avi, a veteran performer, said he, too, liked seeing his friends shift personalities.
“[Being on the cast] is a really unique experience, and also, it’s really fun to see your classmates doing something ridiculous, like dying onstage,” he said, referring to Charlotte, whose character disobeys Kreon’s orders and ends up buried in an underground tomb, where she kills herself.
Lucy Lyman ’18, who played a chorus member, said she liked how her role required her to remain onstage for the whole performance.
“It’s very fun to be able to watch the play because the chorus never leaves,” she said. “I’m pretty background, but essentially my role is to sort of steer and narrate the plot while aiding Kreon.”
Mr. Lindberg said he selected the play for its pointed political statement.
“Antigone is a great story about a young woman who says it’s her family and her religion that come above her government, and the government says, ‘I’m sorry, you have to obey the law,’” he said. “It’s a timeless story about how people form society and govern themselves and live their lives how they want to be.”
Mr. Lindberg noted that the school hasn’t done a Greek play for a couple of years.
“It’s really hard to do, so there is a lot of work,” he added. “Every production I want an audience to walk out saying, ‘That just changed my life.’”
Danny Kutsovsky ’18 said he thought the play was thoroughly entertaining.
“The play was a fresh and modern interpretation of a classic, lending itself to a deep examination of the themes of power, family, and death, all while keeping me engaged and smiling the entire time,” he said.