TACOMA, WASH. – The University of Puget Sound theatre arts department’s fall main-stage production is a multidisciplinary interpretation of the classic Greek tragedy Antigone. Directed by Assistant Professor Jess K. Smith ‘05, the contemporary staging of the play will feature taiko drumming, expressive dance, and innovative design.
Antigone tells the story of a young woman who brings an entire empire to its knees because she does what she believes is right. Written by Sophocles nearly 2,500 years ago, the thematic relevance of the play led to its selection as the fall theater production.
“In looking at the power and clarity of the Parkland students’ protests, the momentum of the #MeToo movement, and the surge of activist energy on our own campus, I think of Antigone as a play that underscores the impact that young female voices can have,” says Smith.
For Smith, part of the challenge and opportunity of producing a classic like Antigone is creating a show that is both timeless and timely.
“We are confident that the content speaks directly to our zeitgeist given its focus on forms of resistance and leadership,” says Smith. “We have also worked to support the timelessness of the piece by incorporating design elements that simultaneously reference classical silhouettes and architecture, as well as modern lines and materials.“
The production features gestural dance choreographed by Seattle dancer and choreographer Alyza DelPan-Monley. To integrate live taiko drumming, student actors have trained with the Puget Sound Taiko Club under the guidance of Nicholas Navin.
“I’m always looking for ways to build productions that utilize the unique and varied talents within the team so that the resulting production couldn’t possibly be made with anyone but the specific team of people assembled at this specific time,” says Smith.
“The multidisciplinary aesthetic choices of the production reflect both the diverse skills of our students, who come with a wide range of interests and training, and our professional production team members, who bring their own expertise to the room.”
Antigone will be onstage in the Norton Clapp Theatre, Oct. 26–27 and Nov. 1–3, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Nov. 3, at 2 p.m.
TICKETS: Tickets are available online at tickets.pugetsound.edu or at Wheelock Information Center, 253.879.3100. Admission is $11 for the general public; $7 for seniors (55+), military personnel, and Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff.