published Friday, September 28th, 2012

Ancient work, timeless themes in 'Antigone'

IF YOU GO

What: "Antigone"

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday - Oct. 5, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

Where: UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

Admission: $12, $10 students and seniors.

Phone: 425-4269.

Website: www.tickettracks.com.

"Antigone" was written thousands of years ago, but it still speaks to contemporary audiences.

"We are all frequently faced with choices that are not easy for us," said Mac Smotherman, who is directing the UTC Theatre production opening Tuesday.

Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus, the man destined to kill his father and marry his mother. The shame brought upon the family by the disgrace and scandal causes suffering, yet they are still royal by blood.

As the play opens, Creon, uncle of Antigone and new ruler of the kingdom of Thebes, has determined that their two brothers who gave their lives fighting for control of the kingdom will meet opposing fates: Etocles will have a proper burial, and rebel Polynieces will be left for the vultures.

Antigone begs her sister, Ismene, to help her bury Polynieces under the cloak of night. Fearing penalty of death, Ismene refuses.

Smotherman said he believes audiences will be able to relate to the struggles and the different perspectives the characters face.

"We live in a time where we're questioning," he said. "It relates to many of the circumstances we find ourselves in. Do we do what we are told, or do we do what is right?"

Another theme, he said, is the juxtaposition of obligation to those that are close to us and obligation to the greater community.

It is about conviction, civil disobedience and irreconciliable conflict.

"Life has in it choices and problems that frequently have no straightforward or simple answer," he said.

Antigone represents the viewpoint that family takes priority over law and society, while Creon represents the opposite.

Determining which is right, Smotherman said, is not a matter of black and white. He believes the audience will be able to see shades of gray.

"We are not perfect," he said. "Our human lives are filled with imperfections. This play reveals that."

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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