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In the 'Antigonick' of Time

By Zoe A. Kessler, Contributing Writer

In Anne Carson’s translation of “Antigone,” she attempts to express the importance of what is left unsaid. By choosing to take out much of the original text, Carson zeros in on the most pressing themes of the original Greek classic, at the same time creating space for the audience to fill in some of the gaps. In collaboration with the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club, visiting director Ianthe Demos will put up a production of “Antigonick,” opening Oct. 25 on the Loeb Mainstage.

As student producer David C. Manella ’14 explains, Demos approaches Carson’s script with additional nuance. “She does not just come in with a set vision for staging and blocking and impose that on the cast,” Manella says. “Rather, [she] spends a lot of time in the rehearsal room with the text to try to bring the cast to develop their understanding of the text.”

Manella says that this is a different directorial strategy than is usually used by student directors, a result of her unique background in dealing with unconventional theater pieces. In the past, Demos has directed Sarah Rudl’s “Eurydice” and Mark Ravenhill’s challenging show, “pool (no water).

In addition to constantly updating the staging, Demos decided to exclude Nick—a mute character added by Carson meant to keep time throughout the production.

“One thing we worked with the director on was the idea of the audience being Nick,” set designer Daniel J. Prosky ’16 says.

Manella hopes that the absent character, meant to represent the “nick of time,” will be filled in by the understanding the audience gains throughout the production. In Carson’s version, Nick illustrates how the characters’ rash decisions lead to the tragic situations that unfold, but that job is left to the audience in Demos’s interpretation.

“We want to bring in an audience of people who will hopefully come out with an awareness of the...on-a-dime nature of chaos and frustration,” Manella says.

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