Director: Ding Yiteng
Institution: The Central Academy of Drama, China
Venue: ATEC Website
Time: 09:30, May 18, 2019
Event: The 4th World Theatre Education Conference with 6th Asian Theatre Schools Festival
This play is inspired by the classic tragedy Antigone by the ancient Greek writer Sophocles.
In ancient Greek, the word Antigone means "not to compromise, not to give up". In the famous play script by Sophocles，Antigone follows her heart and protects her family, even to the point of sacrificing her own life.
By setting up two characters in the style of Waiting for Godot，i.e. the brothers who cannot be buried, waiting in the underworld to meet their sister Antigone for the last time, and by using Beckett-style absurdity, this play shows the cruelty and ridiculousness of human fate in ancient Greek tragedy, as well as their desire for love and hope in the struggle against destiny.
The play explores the themes of "love" and "reason" in the context of "waiting" and "pursuit".——“All things in this world are impermanent, and all life is illusory. Only true love and true intention can break through the laws of reason, those laws of iron. They travel through death and life, overcome all difficulties, only for one person, only for one thing.”
The city of Thebes is in chaos, with years of war outside and political turmoil inside. The new lord of the city, Creon, is holding a solemn funeral for Antigone's elder brother, Eteocles, but leaves his second brother, Polynices, in the wilderness and declares to all the citizens that the elder brother is a hero who has defended the city-state and is to be buried and mourned, while the second brother is a traitor who has attacked the city-state and deserves to be exposed and spat upon. Everyone in the city mourns the dead and comforts the living, except Antigone, who is determined to bury Polynices so that he can rest in peace. After the funeral, Creon hopes that Antigone and his son Haemon, two lovers by marriage, will enter into a new life. He also hopes to secure his throne with a marriage to the Oedipus family. Antigone, however, is preoccupied with burying her brother and breaks with her sister Ismene, who has come to persuade her, and sets out on a journey to bury him alone. After burying her brother, Antigone is bent on going to the underworld in order to be reunited with her beloved brothers. Creon, however, has her imprisoned for disobeying orders. Ismene comes to the rescue to no avail and finally understands her sister and decides to sacrifice her own happiness by making a deal with Eurydice to marry Haemon herself in order to set Antigone free. Antigone finally sets out on a journey to find her brothers, while Haemon, unwilling to disobey his lover, leaves home and dies in battle. As a result, Creon loses his son, Eurydice falls into madness, Ismene stays on earth, and time runs out for Antigone's two brothers who have been waiting for her on the road to the underworld. In the end, Antigone passes away with her two brothers. The deceased go on to a new life, leaving Antigone alone.