American Shakespeare Center Performs Antigone in Smith Theater
On October 15, Roxbury Latin boys and faculty enjoyed a performance by one of our nation’s most respected touring theater troupes, the American Shakespeare Center (ASC) on Tour. This performance, part of the troupe’s six-month national tour, was brought to RL thanks to the Claire Berman Artist-in-Residence Fund, established in 2005 by Ethan Berman ’79 and his wife Fiona Hollands in honor of Ethan’s mother.
The ASC actors performed an enlivened and current version of Sophocles’s Antigone, complete with a Hamilton-esque rapping intro, musical performances by the actors during intermission, epic battle scenes, and extensive use of the aisles, most notably for blind Tiresias’s slow and ominous entrance. With the audience sharing the same light as the actors, students and faculty felt part of the action. About twenty boys even shared the stage with the actors, their seats only feet away from King Creon’s wrath. The cast was diverse and talented, and though half were dead by the end of the performance, the actors performed an excellent version of the ancient tragedy. A lively “talk back” with cast members followed, and RL boys were curious about the actors’ theatrical and musical backgrounds, their tactics for approaching emotional scenes, and, of course, Tiresias’ all-white contacts and whether he could really see out of them. (The answer is no, by the way.)
While RL’s older boys had already read Antigone in their classes, younger students were prepared for the performance by extra attention paid to the play in their Latin classes leading up to the production.