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"Antigone." You surely remember her from that classics class you took in high school or college. She’s the daughter of Oedipus, the king who accidentally fulfilled a prophecy to murder his father and marry his mother.
Antigone is one of four children from that marriage. And her life is pretty much what you’d expect from a Greek tragedy.
Kate St. Pierre of the LAB theatre has decided to do an all-female version of the play "Antigone" on the steps of Las Vegas’ City Hall. At dawn. This Saturday. Followed by breakfast at PublicUS, which will benefit the theatre.
St. Pierre told KNPR's State of Nevada that she picked dawn for the start of the play because that is how the play was originally done by the Greeks. The plays would start at dawn, she explained, and then continue throughout the day. St. Pierre was also part of Gorilla Theatre in Kansas City, which produced a cycle of ancient texts at dawn.
“[It was] on the steps of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and I just loved this concept that grew into this beautiful opportunity for the people and I wanted to bring that to Vegas,” she said.
Sabrina Cofield plays "Antigone." Yes, she said, she is not used to getting up - much less performing - at dawn. But when St. Pierre asked her to participate, she said yes immediately.
“It’s such a beautiful story. And we talked about it, it’s such an important story. We both felt especially now at this time, it was a no-brainer,” Cofield said.
Cofield was drawn to "Antigone" because of its political themes. She said it felt relevant to the partisan atmosphere our country is in.
In the story, Antigone's brothers kill each other in battle. The king, Creon, has ordered one of the brothers buried with full honors, because he feels that he was heroic in saving the city of Thebes from her second brother. Meanwhile, the king has ordered that the second brother's body should be left unburied.
Antigone can't abide that decision and decides to bury her brother herself. Her decision to disobey the king leads, of course, to tragedy.
This production of Antigone is an all-female cast. The idea of a woman speaking up for justice in the face of possibly unjust laws appealed to both Cofield and St. Pierre.
“I think this is a perfect example of how when you do try to quiet that voice of a woman how all we do is yell louder and unite and put our foot down and I think that’s what's happening now in this country,” Cofield said.
And St. Pierre thinks the play resonates in today's political atmosphere, in which the concepts of "justice" and "illegal" are sometimes at odds. Even though Antigone sees her actions as just, the king sees that she has broken his law.
This dawn production of "Antigone" will take place on the steps in front of Las Vegas City Hall, 495 S. Main St. St. Pierre said the actors use the landscape of the stairs, the pillars, even the cactus in the landscaping of the steps at city hall. Audiences will walk to follow the action of the 35-minute piece.
The cast has been rehearsing all week, as people have been coming in to work. St. Pierre says that the interaction with city workers - many of whom have made up stories about what the play must be about - is the point of the LAB's outdoor, immersive theatrical experience.
Kate St. Pierre, artistic director, the LAB Theatre; Actress Sabrina Cofield, who plays Antigone