Thursday Think Tank: Antigone Role-Call

ANTIGONE previews tonight at the MET, so in honor of opening weekend, we bring you an ANTIGONE role-call:

Devin Gaither* – The Onlooker

Favorite line(s):
Either: “Sometimes, lying on your back with your toes behind your ears can be the only way to get back on your feet.” -or- “Comfort the living instead. Walk down the empty path of their life with them, for a while… until they find the courage to walk by themselves again.”

What has been your biggest challenge?
Honestly, the German dialect was my biggest challenge. I speak French and Romanian… and it was very easy to accidentally fall into those dialects instead.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?
I hope that audiences will take away the universality of the human experience through history and across the world. No matter when and where someone lives, we are all human beings striving to live in this crazy, unfair world.

Describe The Sister:
The Sister (Ismane, in the original Sophocles story) is an idle bystander. She feels the same way as Antigone, and has the passion and intensity, but she lacks the courage to act on her beliefs. She represents those individuals that sit back and allow bad things to happen. She’s a survivalist… but at what cost?

Five words:
Reunion (Clockwork Orange Cast!), Intensity, Bravery, Fear, Excitement.

Ashley Hall* – The Advocate

Favorite line(s):
Probably “Crack open the crust of hatred & distrust & let the love & the forgiveness bubbling within you flow out.”

Describe The Advocate:
Overall, my character is the Advocate.  She tries to bring awareness to injustice or the persecuted. .  Specifically, I play Hannah Curran & Sharon Cohen. Hannah Curran was a real person. Stephen Fuller, the only survivor of the Ballyseedy Massacre, made his way to her house seeking help. What happens in the show is purely fictional, but knowing what this man has gone through, what his fellow soldiers went through, has caused her to act. Sharon Cohen, on the other hand, works for the fictional Women’s Institute of Brooklyn & comes to help Antigone. She wants to help her by raising international awareness about Antigone’s situation, but needs to convince Antigone to ‘play the game’ a little in order to do so.

Five words:
Fluid, effect, move, honor & love


 Joe Jalette – The Idealist

Favorite line(s):
“The hurried shuffling of dirt and a rushed whispered prayer in the night will be sad substitutes–even in war.”

What has been your biggest challenge?
Accents: learning and switching between scenes offers quite a bit of tongue twisting trial and error. Physicality: building and constructing/deconstructing physical characteristics to give each character a life of their own, as well as breaking my physical habits.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?
I hope  audiences will leave the show with a strong urge to examine modern life and discuss the privileges of society as it has evolved, as well as the consequences of developed nations trampling all things that may get in the way of “national interests.”

Karen Paone* – The Nurturer

Favorite line(s):

What has been your biggest challenge?

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

Describe The Nurturer:

Five words:

 

 Reiner Prochaska* – The Patriarch

Favorite line(s):
“She must have run out of kitten stew” (yes…we cut that part…but still :) )

What has been your biggest challenge?
Writing, acting, and producing video required a lot of juggling–and I didn’t want to sacrifice quality on any of them.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?
I hope it will make the audience members think about the themes of war, grief, and integrity. As the writer, I also want to convey that there are equally valid diverse view points.

Describe The Patriarch:
My character(s) is/are passionate, caring, loyal, fair, and conservative.

Five words:
Collaborative, challenging, emotional, political, humanistic

Bill Stitely – The Pragmatist

Favorite line(s):
I don’t think it’s fair for me to choose a favorite line…

What has been your biggest challenge?
I think one of the toughest things but also one of the most exciting things was working so directly with the creative process. There’s always a wonderful feeling bringing a playwright’s words to life,  but to actually be part of the process and having scenes re-written from one night to the next is rather exhilarating ( I have no idea how Reiner accomplished all those damn changes ).  Oh!, that and the accents too.  “What do you mean my character’s not French anymore, I kinda’ have that accent down”.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?
That warm fuzzy feeling you get when you see any good Greek tragedy.

 Vanessa Strickland* – “Antigone”

Favorite line(s):
“How can he have an honest face when his strong hand is burying the truth?” // “Why are we frozen in cowardice when the righteous course of action is so clear?”

What has been your biggest challenge?
Being specific about my actions and emotions: differentiating between states of grief, mourning, disappointment, abandonment, fear, and betrayal while still fighting for my beliefs, remaining strong, determined, righteous, vulnerable AND(!) still finding the lighter moments; moments where “Antigone” is happy, amused, grateful, empathetic, and at peace.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?
I hope audiences will find themselves not just emotionally moved, but intrinsically motivated by this show.  That “Antigone” is a symbol of motivation and clarity of justice, and not merely a “tragic figure.”

Describe “Antigone:”
She’s “driven by emotion and righteousness,” and to me, that summizes her humanity and strength in a single phrase.  Her fierce loyalty to family precludes any concern for herself.  Even in her final moments, through her fear, she continues to place others in front of herself.  When someone finally agrees with her, takes her side, and loves her, she is fulfilled and validated by her commitment to family and justice.

Five words:
Unconditional.  Perseverance.  Finality.  Worth.  Love.

ANTIGONE continues it’s run at the MET Thursdays – Saturdays at 8pm, and Sunday 3/25 & 4/15 at 7pm, and Sunday 4/1 at 2pm with a post-show talkback.  Tickets are available online or through the MET box office at 301-694-4744.

* – Indicates MET Company member
Photos by Vanessa Strickland & Devin Gaither, 2012