What Are People Saying About "Antigone"?
“L. L. West’s direction of this production was superb. Normally I am ambivalent about
changing the setting and time period of classic scripts. Sometimes the new setting
works, and sometimes it doesn’t. But West’s decision to set Antigone in present-day
Syria was an excellent choice that helped me to commit myself fully to watching the
story. Rather than merely dressing up the actors in modern clothes (as is usually done
in such productions), West committed fully to the new setting by having the Greek
chorus act as a variety of slices of modern society, including the media, a mob, social
media addicts, and more. West’s choices for the chorus succeeded greatly in
making this convention of ancient Greek theatre seem less foreign than it usually does.
Almost all of the non-chorus characters all had clear, recognizable analogs in 21st
century society, such as the Gaddafi-like Creon
and the efficient bureaucrat who was Creon’s advisor.”
Russell Warne, Editor, Utah Theater Bloggers
“Bravo for an excellent production of Antigone. I loved the concept and the translation. It
worked well in today's world, and for the electronic generation of our students. The
music/sound track was solidly integrated, the costumes were spot on, the set was so
simple and effective (excellent for traveling), and the acting was quite good. Thanks for
a wonderful lecture and a beautiful show. Looking forward to next season's production.”
Rodger Sorensen, BYU
"Annie Brings’ Antigone and Jared Thomson’s Creon are impassioned
and well-matched adversaries, taking turns commanding the stage.
Hailey Henderson conveys the desperation of Ismene, who knows she is trapped in an untenable
situation, and Connor Montgomery’s Haemon transitions deftly between trying to reason with his father and dissolvingin frustration when he can’t. Holly Fowers is especially impressive as the blind seer Teiresia, neatly balancing the dual calls of compassion and condemnation.
It’s a nice touch to have a woman play this role.
Conor Thompson’s blabber-mouthed guard injects a touch of welcome humor, and Tamara Howell, Vicki Pugmire, and Wyatt McNeill complete the eloquent chorus.
West cleverly makes the most of a small cast by double-casting roles, and his taut
direction crackles with tension. Darlene Casanova’s always-in-motion choreography
expressively blends Eastern and Western influences. Unfortunately, it appears that the
story of "Antigone" will never become outdated. We would do well to heed Greek
tragedy’s call for moderation, a watchword that’s sadly missing in our modern world.”
Barbara Bannon, Tribune
“From the beginning, the audience quickly realizes this version of Antigone is going to be
anything but traditional. While electronic music booms from the speakers on the Red Butte
Garden stage, the chorus starts chanting about “money, success and fame.” The program
invites the audience to scan a QR code with their smart phones to follow along with the story unfolding on stage, cuing moments to check your phone with an eagle screech through the sound system. It’s a clever conceit to modern audiences, and tied in with the mob crowds need to document the protests against Creon on stage through social media.”
Dan Nailen, City Weekly
“Theater, as those who practice it are aware, has remarkable institutional memory. The
annual continuity of the Classical Greek Theatre Festival enriches each new
performance as seasoned veterans share expertise, anecdotes, and history with the upand-
coming. A glance at the playbill for this season’s performance of Antigone makes
clear the CGTF’s simultaneous commitment to tradition and innovation. Jim Svendsen,
artistic director and dramaturge, has been with the festival from the very beginning, and
director L.L. West along with many heads of production are proud returnees. This, in
itself, is a strong show of confidence and dedication within the program. And yet the
festival is anything but inward-looking, each year introducing dozens of participants and
thousands of attendees across the Mountain West to the unique joys of Greek theater.
“Antigone, the most frequently staged Greek drama of the past century, has hardly
staled from its recurrence. Today’s Antigone takes on fresh urgency in the wake of
attacks of women’s dignity, autonomy, and freedom of expression across the the world.
The CGTF production tackled these issues head-on while studying the role of
technology and media not only creating and sustaining—but also undermining—state
authority. A cast of talented actors from Westminster College and the greater Salt Lake
community put their hearts into a marathon month-long production run, complete with a
travel schedule seen only among the most ambitious and best organized community
and collegiate productions. The success of this year’s Antigone, itself the product of
decades of building momentum, has left its audience looking
forward to next season’s performance.”
Al Duncan, University of Utah