I like the comic relief aspect. It's a heavy play, and any little crack that allows some laughter is so welcome. I like that I get to do that. I find that the sentry is so relatable for anyone in the audience. Anyone who's ever had a boss they feared or even hated can feel the sentry's pain. Ever been falsely accused of anything? Relatable. Ever felt powerless and voiceless? Relate. Ever felt like just dropping everything in your life and moving somewhere else? Relate Relate Relate! But all this is conveyed in a way that finds the humor in pain, and to me that's usually where the heartiest laughs are.
Antigone was written around 440BC. what do you think the story of Antigone is about and why does it need to be told?
Yes, I think Antigone is a play that explores the struggle between what is right and what we feel is right. Creon understandably is furious at the dead Polyneices for betraying and attacking Thebes, therefore almost bringing about the ruin of the city and the safety of everyone in it. He calls a decree that forbids anyone from giving him a proper burial, which comes in conflict with what the gods order. It is understandable that this is what Creon wants, because if you've ever lived in a country or a city that has been torn by war or terrorism, or you yourself have been a victim of an unforgivable crime (whatever that means to you), then you're very likely acquainted with murderous rage, and you've probably wished the most painful suffering you can imagine on the perpetrators; and in Creon's case, that, is denying Polyneices spirit's passage through Hades and cursing him to roam throughout the earth for all eternity (it may not sound like much to us but to them that was a very real fate) To Creon, this feels like a right punishment, he is angry and many in Thebes are as well, and when a punishment fits the public mood we often confuse that with Fair Justice. On the other hand we have Antigone who sees her dead brother, not as a bloodthirsty monster eager to bring about death and destruction, but as a warrior who fought bravely for his birthright and was killed. Antigone's life has been marked by tragedy: Her father (Oedipus) her mother/grandmother, her two brothers Eteocles and Polyneices. Her life has been robbed from all those she loved, except for her sister. She has only known pain and shame for her Family's fate, yet in the play she is ready to fight and says "I was born to join in love not hate". That is a wisdom that transcends our understanding and our feelings, we say we look for love and forgiveness, all our religions and many of our philosophies claim love, and preach it, but more often than not when we are wronged we are quick to side with Creon. She doesn't know or understand why all these things have happened in her life but she doesn't begrudge them, instead she chooses to heal, and that means giving Polyneices his proper rites. I think that in the face of tragedy, these are the choices people have: To punish or to join in love.
Every play brings different challenges. What areas of your craft has this play exercised?
The classical text, the chorus, the ensamble work, as an actor in straight plays it is so common to just work on your part, but working in a chorus where there is no singing, just speaking and moving and breathing together. It would be good for the sake of the ensamble to meet every day, but that's near impossible in NYC and the current economic climate for struggling actors.