Park Square has a fantastic show currently playing downstairs on its Andy Boss Thrust stage. It is the ancient story of Antigone, it is a story that has been told for hundreds of years, but this specific telling had its first showing in the fall of 2016 when Theatre Coup D'Etat mounted the show at the Springhouse Ministry Centre. Some changes have been made since that show, it is now told with an all female cast, but much of the team, and the energy and intention behind the show has remained the same.
For those who are less familiar with the story of Antigone, what I wrote about the show in 2016 still holds true and is a good background. The story of Antigone, the final chapter in the Oedipus trilogy, is one that most people are probably familiar with. Oedipus unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother. With her he has four children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Ismene and Antigone. After the truth about the relation between Oedipus and his wife/mother Jocasta comes out, Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus rips out his own eyes and curses his two sons to die at each-other's hands. Antigone begins with the struggle for the throne between the two brothers. In the end they battle, and kill each other. One brother, Eteocles, is given burial rights, while the other, Polyneices, is declared a traitor. The new King Creon declares an edict, that Polyneices' body shall rot at the gates of the city, and threatens death to anyone who might attempt to bury him.
It is here that the conflict starts, as the titular character Antigone decides to defy this edict; declaring the laws of the gods more important than the laws of man. Antigone's motivations come from her love for her brother whose soul is doomed to roam the earth unless he is buried. It could be hard to understand this bond since Polyneices dies at the beginning of the play but flashbacks throughout make the loss of Polyneices and Eteocles be felt by not only the characters but the audience as well.
Antigone at its heart is an exploration about what happens when the laws of man do not line up with the laws of morality that we find to be true within ourselves. When I first saw this show in October 2016 the world was a different place but we had a sense of what was coming. Only a month later the way that we saw our country and the laws of man changed greatly, and that challenge has only continued over the past two years. It is for this reason that I am thrilled to be able to revisit this story now, and why it feels so powerful to be able to see this story played out with an entirely female cast.
The cast is fantastic, giving a deep and honest performance that is broken up with moments of levity in the flashbacks and also moments of humor.
Please go and see this show. Take 100 minutes to disappear into the story, and take time after the show to reflect. The show is playing at Park Square Theater until March 3rd.
Click here for more information on the show and how to get tickets.
*Photo by Petronella J Ytsma