This week, students can catch “Burial at Thebes” one night, and “Another Antigone” the next, as Theatre TCU presents two interpretations of the Greek tragedy “Antigone.” They’re two different plays, but both are based on Sophocles’ “Antigone” — a project called “Antigone in Rep.”
Each play has a separate cast and crew and will be performed in rotation at Hays Theatre through Oct. 1.
An “in repertory” show like this has not been performed at TCU since 1972, said Preston Swincher, publicity assistant for Theatre TCU.
Harry Parker, chair of the theatre department, said the department chose to do a show “in rep” for both the audience and theatre students.
“Audiences have the rare opportunity to see two unique versions of the same classic myth in the same week,” Parker said. “For our students, there’s the unique challenge of getting two completely different casts and crews rehearsed and prepared for performances simultaneously.”
The first play ,”Burial at Thebes” by Seamus Heaney, is a modern translation of Sophocles’ “Antigone,” said Connie de Veer, director of “Burial at Thebes”.
It centers around a young girl named Antigone whose two brothers are killed in battle, said de Veer, assistant professor of theatre. Because of a law set by the king, one brother is not allowed to be buried.
Kristin Quaid, who plays Antigone, said the character buries her brother anyway because she thinks the law is unfair and is then sentenced to death.
The second play, “Another Antigone” by A.R. Gurney, is also based on Sophocles’ play, but has a different story line.
It’s about a college student named Judy who has followed the rules all her life, said Ryan Mulkey, who plays Dave, Judy’s boyfriend. Judy then takes an unexpected route to complete an assignment for one of her professors, which he refuses to accept, he said.
“The professor is just as stubborn as she is,” said Mulkey, a freshman theatre major. “They end up destroying each other in the end.”
Compared to “Burial at Thebes,” “Another Antigone” relates more to today’s society, said Lyndsey Simmons, director of “Another Antigone.”
“It’s something that could happen right here at TCU very easily,” Simmons said.
Brittany Ray, who plays Diana, the dean of humanities in “Another Antigone,” said she hopes students will see both shows, since TCU rarely presents Greek plays.
“To see a Greek tragedy in rep with a modern take on it gives it a whole new spin,” said Ray, a junior advertising/public relations and theatre major. “It gives students more to think about. They can make comparisons between the two.”
Quaid agreed that students should use this opportunity to experience Greek plays.
“Things back then are so timeless. The situations and the characters that were a part of Greek life are still applicable to how we live our lives today,” Quaid said.