Antigone Getting Ready for Production

Cleveland’s Drama Department Getting Ready For Production

Clarion photo Danny Danh
A Rehearsal Of Antigone, Now

Antigone, Now is a contemporary look at the classic Greek drama by Sophocles. It’s about a young woman who stands up to the government and is willing to die for her stance on a certain political belief. She is willing to put everything in jeopardy for that belief. James Payne, the director for Antigone, Now, took a moment to talk about the upcoming production.

Clarion: How are rehearsals going?

JP: “They have been exceptional! We have a cast of 34 and it’s the first time we’ve done a Greek drama tragedy this big at Cleveland. It’s something to be very proud of and everybody is on board with this type of difficult material but the (the cast) are doing it like young professionals.

C: Will the audience be socially distancing? Are snacks and drinks going to be a possibility?

JP: “We will be separating families together and each family pod will be six feet apart from each other. Our auditorium seats about 1200, and so if we did it at 25 percent capacity we would be looking at a capacity of 300 that could still be socially distanced. Snacks and drinks will not be available at our show until we get clearance from Portland Public Schools.”

Will masks be required in the production?

“The cast will be required to wear masks at all times, and that’s why I chose Antigone to think of something that works with masks. In Greek theater they wore a facemask, and I thought, ‘well,
that makes sense to me’ of why we are wearing masks in this contemporary world.”

Have you accounted for the muffling of masks?

“What we are going to do is if we have a single voice but it’s amplified by 25 people, it’s going to have more clarity and that’s why we have a Greek chorus. Instead of one person speaking, the chorus will have multiple people speaking at the same time.”

What are some challenges you are running into?

“It’s just trying to get students to understand what Greek theater is and what it’s like and how it’s done and how Greek theater is done and how big and loud – it’s loud and like opera. That this play is about larger than themselves. “

If you would like to watch Antigone, Now, you can watch it in the Cleveland Auditorium on Nov. 9, 10 and 12 at 7 p.m. It will be a mask on event and the price is whatever you feel comfortable in giving.