‘Antigone Project Revisited’ shows universal effects of war

By on March 2, 2011

The Quinnipiac Theater for Community presented “The Antigone Project Revisited” at the College of Arts and Sciences Black Box Theater Feb. 24-27.

Directed by senior theater major Travis Weisse, and co-written by professor Crystal Brian and the Quinnipiac Theater for Community members, the play examined war’s effects on families and soldiers alike.

Opening with a personal note from Weisse, the play’s tone was somber and the small stage gave it an even more personal feel.

Focusing on the Iraq War, El Salvador’s civil war, the Falklands Conflict, the Vietnam War, and Nicaragua’s civil war, it became apparent to audience members that war affects many people from many different parts of the world.

The small cast included only ten members who gave strong performances showing how war has multiple effects on people’s lives. Throughout the play each cast member embodied a different character while expressing a personal story.

Opening every new scene with a lineup of cast in a military march accompanied with music, the performance illustrated how even though they are physically fighting the war, it’s affecting them personally.

“The message the audience should carry away is that war transcends all cultural boundaries,” Weisse said. “Even those who do not consider themselves affected are deeply affected because wars impact entire societies…War shouldn’t be distanced from the public and we all have a responsibility in making sure that it is not distanced.”

The play added a personal touch when Samantha MacFarland came out and read her personal letter she wrote to her husband while he served an eight-month tour outside of Afghanistan.

Senior Michael Lewis also gave a strong performance during scenes about post-traumatic stress disorder. The performance he gave was chilling, giving audience members an inside look on how soldiers deal with the change of lifestyle after coming home.

Lewis was so in character during his performance, he actually caused the shelf with household items on it to fall.

“That scene gave me chills, literal chills,” sophomore Erin Crowley said of Lewis’ performance. “He made it seem like he actually was suffering from PTSD, it was fantastic.”

With a small stage and minimal space, the cast and crew did a wonderful job with the lighting to signify a scene change and spoke clearly and loudly to make sure their words were heard. However, it was difficult to know exactly what war the characters were talking about unless it was mentioned in their monologue.

The costumes were basic and every character wore modern clothes, allowing the scenes to seem more personal and actively hitting close to home. To signify a character change, the cast simply changed their shirt, allowing the audience to know they had become a different character.

Photo credit: Alexandra Toombs

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About Erica Siciliano

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  1. Noah

    March 3, 2011 at 1:17 am

    On behalf of myself and the cast of APR, i want to thank you for the article! We put a lot of time, effort and hard work into the show so i’m glad it payed off. Just a quick note: you mention how it was sometimes difficult to tell what war the actor was talking about. While some of this have needed to be more clear, the objective was show the unifying theme of how war effects people’s lives no matter what the conflict.