ECC Theatre's 'Antigone,' set in Nazi-occupied France, opens April 26
Elgin Community College Theatre's production of French playwright Jean Anouilh's "Antigone," translated by Barbara Bray, will be held Friday, April 26 through Sunday, May 5. The production is directed by Susan A. Robinson, ECC theater instructor and program coordinator.
Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sundays at the ECC Arts Center located in Building H on the Spartan Drive campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.
Based on Sophocles' ancient Greek tragedy of the same name, "Antigone" tells the story of a woman torn between doing what she believes is right and self-preservation.
When her brother Polynices dies during a civil war in Thebes, Antigone is intent on burying his body despite a decree from newly crowned King Creon that anyone who buries or mourns Polynices will be put to death.
Anouilh's version of "Antigone" was first performed in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1944.
Seventy-five years later, the play and the moral ambiguities it explores remain provocative and timely.
Robinson discovered the play while she was in college and thought that it would resonate with ECC's theater students.
"I was drawn to Antigone's fire and fury from the very beginning and as I studied it I was intrigued by the even handed nature of the argument between Antigone and Creon," Robinson said. "I knew the students would latch on to the story of a young woman speaking truth to power."
Echoing the play's origins, Robinson chose to set ECC's production during World War II and the French Resistance.
"I hope that the audience enjoys our immersion into the era of the French Resistance, I hope they appreciate the parallels of the play to the Greek play, France in World War II, and today's political landscape," Robinson said. "The play makes us consider two very different but compelling viewpoints and hopefully the audience will spend their time not being able to side with either Creon or Antigone until it's done. That's what a good play should do."
Tickets for ECC Theatre's production of "Antigone" are $11 or $9 for students and seniors.
Tickets for all performances at the ECC Arts Center are available online at tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC Arts Center box office. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call (847) 622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.
"Antigone" (Anouilh/Bray) is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.