OCCC Highlights the Dangers of the Refusal to Compromise, in a Contemporary  Adaptation of Antigone

A showcase of a modernized version of Greek tragedy, “Antigone,” will be performed at the Oklahoma City Community College Bruce Owens Theatre on Nov. 3-6 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for the show are ten dollars per ticket and can be purchased online at tickets.occc.edu or purchased at the door, depending on availability.

“Antigone,” by Sophocles, is a classic Greek tragedy. This rendition has been adapted by Director and Professor of Theatre Donald Russel to utilize original music by J-Fusion and choreography by Renita Fernandez.

Russel says the play is updated as they have cut several lines in the performance to shorten run time. The runtime for this adapted version of “Antigone” is roughly 55 minutes long.

Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, vows to bury her brothers’ bodies in defiance of King Creon’s decree that the body needs to be left to rot on the battlefield. Both Creon and Antigone struggle as they cannot reach a resolution. This conflict evokes a tragic story for all.

Antigone poster
Antigone – the daughter of Oedipus

The language in the original Greek Tragedy can be challenging to understand fully, so Director Russel says he and the cast adapted the wording to fit a more contemporary ear. The play will feature the cast playing live music written by musician J-Fusion and employs a traditional Greek Chorus.

The Antigone cast started rehearsals on Aug. 31, and construction for the set began the second week of October, right before OCCC’s fall break. According to Russel, the cast came on to set days they weren’t required to help and speed the process along with set construction.

Russel emphasized the talent of the cast made up of OCCC students.

“The actors were fantastic, they’ve never done anything like this before, and now they are incorporating speaking in unison, movement, and creating music,” he said.

Russel has been teaching at OCCC since 2019 but has wanted to perform this play for over a decade. He believes this tragedy showcases the idea of two powerful forces refusing to compromise, specifically referencing United States political tension, he stated.

Russel says he chose to stage “Antigone” now because it is an excellent reflection of current American politics where two opposing views refuse to see each other eye to eye, and in turn, the citizens of America suffer.

Additionally, he stated that he thinks “Antigone” is an excellent exploration of Greek Tragedy for theatre students from a professor’s standpoint.

The show will display students’ newly found talents and educate them towards Greek Tragedies while supplying fantastic entertainment for an all-ages audience.

Contact the OCCC Cultural Programs for more information at (405) 682-7576 or the box office at (405) 682-7579.