Antigone Challenges Authority Again
Written by: Harel Feldman
Let’s be honest. One of the quickest ways to make someone’s eyes glaze over is to start talking about Greek tragedies.
That’s part of what makes Another Antigone so exceptional – it updates a Greek tragedy written more than two and a half thousand years ago by Sophocles in a way that is intelligent and yet accessible and enjoyable to even the most average person.
Currently being presented by JEST, the Jerusalem English-Speaking Theater (which would probably appreciate me mentioning here that they have been Jerusalem’s premier English-language theater group for a quarter of a century), Another Antigone is a funny and touching play about a gifted college senior who has to write a paper about a Greek tragedy in order to graduate, but decides instead to create and stage a modern version of Antigone to match her life ideals.
Her stubbornness and unwillingness to compromise (or even follow course requirements) pit Judy Miller (played by Moriyah Shacham) against her professor Henry Harper (portrayed by David Glickman) in a way that turns her into another Antigone, while Harper — who can rattle off classical witticisms without effort, yet has trouble relating to a modern student — becomes a Creon figure. The Antigone/Creon parallels could have been pedantic and tiresome, yet they are achieved in a natural and credible modern university context.
The tragic-comic play touches on a range of life issues including prejudice and understanding, anti-Semitism, hubris — and tragedy, as Professor Harper discovers he has more to lose than he thought.
Ably directed by JEST’s legendary Leah Stoller, the production features excellent performances by all four lead actors, rounded out by Rachel Bachner’s portrayal as Harper’s supervisor Diana Eberhart and Toby Trachtman as Miller’s boyfriend David Appleton.
Much credit goes to the playright and to the theater troupe for making a Greek play that is older than some of the books of the Bible relevant and even captivating to Jerusalem audiences today.
Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem
The kibbutz may be reached via bus no. 7
Tickets: call JEST at 02 642 0908
Thursday January 14th 8 pm
Wednesday January 20th 8pm
Thursday January 21st 6 pm
Tuesday February 2nd 8 pm
Thursday February 4th 6pm