By: Isabella Paxton
Starting on Wednesday, March 9, Bellevue College began performances of their adaptation of Emily Mann’s “Antigone.” The show was a modern adaptation of the timeless classic, with additional original music and choreography. Drew Brady, a student composer and musician wrote two new songs with the help of the director of the show Tammi Doyle. Additionally, Laura Peterson the faculty head for the Bellevue College Dance Company – better known as the BCDC – created some original choreography that three dancers from the BCDC performed on stage.
Mariesa Genzale, a student actress playing the role of Antigone, said “Antigone is the story of a family divided. Antigone believes in the laws of God, Creon believes in the laws of man. Her decision to bury her brother against her uncle’s decree sets off a spiral of events that ultimately leads to the demise of the country.”
Tammi Doyle added onto that by saying, “Thebes has just survived a civil war that included an invasion from foreign armies. Creon has established peace and has become King. He is worried about conspirators and is eager to reward the loyal and punish the traitors. Antigone is bound by conscience and custom to bury her brother. She will consider no other course of action. Neither will Creon. Two sides who are passionate about their issues and will not listen to one another. This is not ancient history. This is now.”
Although traditionally “Antigone” is a Greek tragedy, Tammi Doyle and the others involved in this production have worked to adapt it to modern society. Genzale elaborated by saying, “I absolutely love performing in Antigone. I think it’s a beautiful show, and adding the dancing and the incredible music has just made it even more special. Not to mention our lighting designer Zanna always makes the shows look absolutely magical! I think when people usually hear ‘greek tragedy’ they think of something old and boring (at least I used to) but Tammi has created a new, personalized, modern twist on the show that I believe everyone will enjoy. Our show is set today, here, now. We have cell phones and videos, we know the world is watching and that influences what our characters do/how we act. It’s really an exciting element to add to the show. Working with this group has been really wonderful. I only knew two of the other cast members at the start of this process, and it’s been so exciting getting to know so many new friends and working on this piece together.”
Outside of “Antigone” Bellevue College is planning to put on the musical “Heathers” in May, and has been a topic of hot debate as to whether it is appropriate to put on in at a school. Performances of “Antigone” went on from March 7 through 10. For future information about upcoming shows and events, go to https://www.bellevuecollege.edu/theatrearts/ or look on Bellevue College’s theater arts department.