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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

REVIEW: MMNT’s production of “Antigonick” acts as easy entertainment with a splash of awkward modern touches

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Lola Claire / Hilltop Views
This production of “Antigonick” is put on by Mary Moody Northen Theater and directed by Alex Bassiakou Shaw.

Mary Moody Northen Theatre kicked off the 2023-2024 season with a captivating performance of “Antigonick.” Guest-directed by Alex Bassiakou Shaw, the show comes alive in a brand new way, inventive to say the least. 

“Antigonick” is Anne Carson’s translation of Sophocles, “Antigone”, meant to relay this classic tale in a way that is more palatable to a younger crowd. The first Greek plays were written in language that can be difficult to understand given the nature of the stage. The aim of this showcase is to bring Greek classical theater to an audience who may no longer be interested in diving into it themselves. 

However, one wouldn’t be so quick to call it a translation. “Antigonick” sits somewhere between a loose translation of the original, leaning more toward what would be known as an adaptation. This is tricky because the story and the characters are still the same but the show, in my opinion, is far too new-age to feel like the original. 

Before the show began, one of the actors was doing drawings that became part of the set. (Lola Claire / Hilltop Views)

It’s possible that this was the intention all along, to feel familiar but far from the same. If so, Carson is accomplishing just that. It didn’t feel like I was watching a Greek play from the past so much as the latest episode of one of the many family reality shows of today. Look out, Kardashians, you’ve got competition. 

Carson does a great job of capturing the drama. One scene in particular is a fight between Kreon and Haimon, father and son, and I can’t say that much else has captivated me. Christian Meaux (Haimon) and Matt Hislope (Kreon) certainly know how to silence a room. Between throwing themselves on the floor and screaming so loud that even I thought I was in trouble, those two brought the house down. 

Furthermore, any scene with Antigone, played by Claire Lane, was a firestarter. Lane did a fantastic job bringing this character to life. In the show, Antigone is full of rage, taking any chance she can to scream at whoever is standing in her way. She knows what she wants, and she is not afraid to make it happen. Even death itself won’t make her shy away from her attempts to bring respect to her family. Lane knows exactly how to draw the crowd in, and she does it well. Sitting in the front row, I could feel the anger, the passion and desperation like heat on the skin. 

Unfortunately, there’s always a “but”, something that could be better. In this show, it’s the writing. This isn’t to say that the whole show is poorly written, but the back-and-forth between then and now feels a little too choppy in some scenes. It displaces the audience and feels more random than effective.

The transitions between scenes were abruptly modern, with music blaring, chorus members rolling around a voice synth and what felt like disco lights shooting across the stage. It felt disconnected from the scenes that came before and after. It was like watching a YouTube video for class, and all of a sudden, there was a new, unskippable Apple advertisement blasting in my ears. 

The wings on all sides of the stage were adorned with vases and various objects meant to blend together the classical elements with modern ones. (Lola Claire / Hilltop Views)

There were also random interjections of modern language from chorus members during what was meant to be impactful scenes, spoken in what was notably a more formal tone. The idea of combining classical and modern touches is lovely, but I do think that there could be some compelling scenes if they didn’t end up so awkward. There’s just no way to provide a seamless transition between a Greek play and an EDM dance break. 

Ultimately, the show is absolutely worth the watch, especially given the student discount. The cast and crew are wonderful and are clearly functioning as a unit. Even with its quirks, the show is exciting and entertaining. The modern touches were spot on for the most part, and I respect the idea of trying to cater a classic to a younger generation. It’s hard enough to get students to read a Greek classic like “Antigone” when they’re getting graded, so why not try adding a few awkward dance breaks?

I would see the show again, and I encourage you to see it. Tickets are available online, and I recommend sitting as close to the action as possible. The weekend of Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 is the final chance to see these actors and crew members in action. 

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About the Contributor
Lola Claire, Life & Arts Editor
Lola Claire is a junior writing and rhetoric major with a concentration in creative writing and a double-minor in Journalism and Digital Storytelling. This is her second year working with "Hilltop Views" and first semester as Life & Arts Editor. Previously, she has spent time with "Hilltop Views" as a Staff Writer and as Assistant Life & Arts Editor. She is quite excited for this opportunity to learn and grow as a journalist. Lola loves writing, digital media, playing the piano and learning new things. She hopes to bring something new to the table and make meaningful connections along the way!

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