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Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Osbourn High School Antigone

By • Nov 19th, 2007 • Category: Cappies

Samuel Hulett and Jimmy Dwyer
Blood-red light drenches the stage and eerie screams fill the silence of the air. Bodies, tattooed and violent, rush the stage in a frenzy of fighting and dieing. The proud silhouette of Kreon stands alone, dark and brooding.

So began Osbourn’s production of Antigone, Sophocles’ Greek tragedy about pride and loss. Antigone (Emily Nelson) buries her disgraced brother in defiance of a royal decree issued by her uncle, King Kreon (Peyton Tucker). Antigone is sentenced to death, but, in the words of the prophet Teiresias (Brennan Penders), “a corpse for a corpse” will be the price of Kreon’s actions.

Osbourn’s production rested firmly on a strong understanding of the text, powerful dramatic acting, and the creative use of lighting.

Peyton Tucker, as Kreon, was wholly committed to his character and dynamic in his performance. Using voice and posture he clearly emphasized the contrast between his character’s stubborn pride and eventual grief. Emily Nelson, as Antigone, acted with similar confidence and strength, which created a palpable tension between herself and Kreon.

Nick Golden stood out for his realistic and emotional portrayal of Haimon, using expressive body language and a clear understanding of his lines to demonstrate the character’s youth and wisdom. Brennan Penders, as Teiresias, also made the most of his stage time by immediately creating a powerful and rich character. The Chorus, which served as both narrator and ensemble, was interesting and varied. It often spoke as a unit in traditional Greek fashion, but individual members were also given focus on isolated lines.

The make-up, although somewhat inconsistent, was creative and representative of the characters. Members of the Chorus and others were tattooed in tribal reds and blacks, giving the production an earthly feel. The lighting was exceptional, incorporating reds, oranges, greens, and purples to complement the action onstage. Spotlighting gave focus to individual actors during their most dramatic moments, and lighting transitions were both seamless and appropriate.

The ancient text of Antigone was revitalized without the use of gimmicks in Osbourn’s suspenseful production. Actors tackled difficult lines with superb articulation and understanding, and the pace of the show, which consists almost entirely of dialogue, rarely dragged. This production would make any tragedian proud, whether he be modern or ancient.

by Peter Hawes of Westfield

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