The College of Saint Elizabeth is continuing an 82-year-old tradition by producing a student performance of a Greek tragedy every four years. This tradition takes place on campus in the Greek Theatre, an authentic outdoor performance space built in 1932 using stones gathered from the campus grounds. It is a reproduction of the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens, where these plays were first performed in the fifth century B.C.
This year’s CSE selection is Antigone, and the performances are scheduled Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26, at noon, and on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 2 p.m. Tickets, which can be obtained at the gate, are priced at $10 for the general public, $5 for CSE alumni, and free for CSE students, faculty, and staff.
Student Production Revives a Famous Classic
The final chapter of Sophocles’ famous Oedipus trilogy, Antigone, follows Oedipus’s daughter in her quest to bury her brother, Polynices, who, along with his brother, Eteocles, was in line for the throne of Thebes after his father’s death. The brothers agreed to share the throne by switching positions every year. Eteocles, the first to receive the role as king, refused to step down, and Polynices declared war on Thebes with the army of Argos, a nearby city. Both brothers were killed in battle, leaving Creon, their uncle, as the king of Thebes.
Regarding Polynices as a traitor to the city, Creon passes a law forbidding Theban citizens to entomb him. Antigone refuses to listen to the law and buries her brother but then has to face the consequences. Creon sentences her to death and several sequences of events occur that determine the tragic fate of other characters in the play. The story raises the question of whether following the law or making a moral choice is the best way live life.
Says Dr. John Marlin, chair of the CSE English department and the play’s producer, “The conflict between Antigone and Creon reflects larger conflicts between duty to family and duty to the state. This leads to tragic outcomes not just for the principal characters but for the city of Thebes.”
Director Brings Years of Experience to the CSE Stage
Director David Lee brings his passion for directing and teaching to this production. A graduate of the University of Miami with a B.F.A in performance and the Yale School of Drama with an M.F.A in directing, Lee has taught acting/ directing in the University of Central Florida, Fordham University at the Lincoln Center, New York University, The New School, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA), and Marymount Manhattan College. Last spring, Lee directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Florida that received rave reviews. Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal said that with David Lee’s direction of Midsummer, the characters created “a long, seamless arc of comic action whose propulsive physical energy [was] exhilarating.”
Play Teaches Enduring Lessons
From the legendary Athenian theatre to the peaceful suburbia of Morristown, Antigone still reflects the timeless life lessons about love, justice, and loyalty as expressed in the play. "As a Catholic liberal arts college, CSE is committed to sustaining the great works of the past,” says Dr. Marlin. “Greek tragedy gives us profound insight into what it means to be human, and it remains the foundation on which so much of Western drama stands, so it's important that every few years we revisit these origins."
Cast List (in order of appearance)
Antigone: Alexandra Rojas, ’15, College of Saint Elizabeth, English major; Union, N.J.
Ismene: Meghan Coates, ’12, College of Saint Elizabeth, English major; Hampton, N.J.
Megan Long (Chorus Leader), '12, College of Saint Elizabeth, English major,; Parsippany, N.J.
Kathryn Sutyak, ’13 College of Saint Elizabeth, English major; Wanaque, N.J.;
Norma Schiavone, '12, College of Saint Elizabeth, English major; Parsippany, N.J.;
Kathryn MacGregor, ’11, Union County College in Cranford, N.J., Drama major; Union, N.J.
Georgia Goetz, ’12, Fairleigh Dickinson University Theatre major; Yardley, Pa.
Kristina Ashbridge, ’12, College of Saint Elizabeth Art major; Livingston, N.J.
Dianna Micek, ’13, College of Saint Elizabeth, English major; Linden, N.J.
Creon: Evan Smith, '10, Fairleigh Dickinson University; film major; New Providence, N.J.
Sentry: Jaylon Kurt, Hillsborough High school and Gifted and Talented Acting Program in Somerset County and Vocational Technical High School; Bridgewater, N.J.; Hillsborough, N.J.
Haemon: Douglas Berrie, '11, Fairleigh Dickinson University, fine arts major with a theatre concentration; River Edge, N.J.
Soldier: Jacob Klein, '13, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Wanaque, N.J.
Soldier: Stephanie Todeschini, '13, College of Saint Elizabeth, history major; Highland Lakes, N.J.
Tiresias: Kathryn Sutyak
Messenger: Norma Schiavone
Eurydice: Georgia Goetz