This fall’s 1212 Play has student actors drawing upon millennia of theater history. Yet Sophocles’ Antigone, while centuries old, explores universal themes that remain relevant today, says director and performing arts faculty member Peter Parisi. Its depiction of the danger of authoritarian politics, blind loyalty, and division among families are as familiar in modern society as they were in ancient Thebes.
“Antigone challenges us to question where our responsibilities lie when the law requires something we know is wrong,” Peter says.
The 1212 play is a Milton tradition, offering an intimate theater experience, typically involving small casts, minimal technical demands, and often challenging material for the performers and the audience. Science department faculty member Gabrielle Hunt and Jocelyn Sabin (I) are assisting with the production. Andrew Willwerth (II), plays Creon, the king of Thebes, and said the play has challenged the cast with its dark themes and the characters’ complex motivations.
“Creon has nuances I’m still learning about,” Andrew says. “This role has challenged me because Creon is such a cruel and manipulative man that it takes concentration to get into that mindset. As old as Antigone is, I find certain parts of it relatable to our world today. It deals with complex parental relationships and the impact of power and wealth, something that affects all of us.”
Ira Sobchyshyna (II), is part of the chorus and also plays the blind prophet Tiresias. “The great part about being in the chorus is that you get to create your character from scratch and convey some unique feelings to the audience,” she says. “What I like about Tiresias the most is the fact that she emanates an aura of mysticism and otherworldliness, often prompting people around her to reconsider their actions.”
Antigone opens Thursday, November 29, at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Friday performance at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m., in Wigglesworth Hall.