Bradley University Theatre opens its Spring 2022 season with a bracing, contemporary version of one of the world’s oldest dramas: Sophocles’ ANTIGONE, adapted by David Rush. Directed by Bradley senior Maggie Sullivan, the play is the final work of the storied Theban plays , preceded by OEDIPUS THE KING and OEDIPUS AT COLONUS. It is among the world’s earliest dramas and is considered a foundational work of a western civilization. Performances are March 2-6.
Following the civil war in which her brothers slew each other, Antigone, daughter of the cursed king Oedipus, tries to bury her rebel sibling rebel Polyneices in violation of a decree by the new king, her uncle Creon. Antigone’s act of defiance pits civil law against the demands of the gods and poses timeless questions about individual responsibility, the common good, the nature of power, the rights of women, and the bonds of blood. “Playwright David Rush gives us a visceral, compressed version of this mythic drama,” notes Bradley Theatre Arts chair, Scott Kanoff. “He delivers the urgency and impact of the classic text in a language both contemporary and highly suggestive of both Sophocles’ irony and his pathos.”
“And yet,” adds director Maggie Sullivan, “what David Rush’s version brings that I have never read before is the possibility of hope. Antigone has often been described as the first heroine of Western drama, whether you see her as a heroic saint or an adamant fanatic. She’s not all good and Creon is not all bad. They are both easily justifiable because of their extremely complex motives and absolute competitiveness. When I first read this Antigone, I couldn’t help but compare its post-war Thebes to our own historically rattled world.”
Sullivan, only the fourth Bradley undergrad to direct on the main stage, leads a cast featuring first- year student, Lilah Kreis, in the title role, and Bradley Theatre alumnus and Peoria native John Carroll as Creon. Faculty designers Chad Lowell (Scenery and Lighting), Johanna Miller (Sound) and former Bradley professor Becki Arnold (Costumes) complete the production team.
Performances are Wednesday – Saturday March 2,3,4 and 5 at 7:30PM and Sunday March 6 at 2PM.
Playwright David Rush has had productions of his plays at Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Stage Left Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Organic Theater, Center Stage, Raven Theatre and others. In addition to Prairie Lights, his credits include Cuttings (at Chicago’s Stage Left Theater), Police Deaf Near Far (Stage Left, awarded a Jeff Award for Best New
Work), The Prophet of Bishop Hill, (Chicago Dramatists, nominated for a Jeff Award and winner of an After Dark Award) and Dapples and Grays (Stage Left, winner of an After Dark Award). His Civil War drama, Leander Stillwell, was given a Jeff Award-winning production by Stage Left Theater; its production in Los Angeles was voted one of the Los Angeles Times 10 Best of the Year, and the script received a Drama-Logue Award for Excellence in Writing. Rush has also written for television, serving as story editor for Chicago’s Magic Door, for which he won two Emmy awards for writing. He has won three Illinois Arts Council Artists grants, is a member of Stage Left Theater ensemble and a resident writer emeritus at Chicago Dramatists. He has been a professional dramatist/educator for more than 20 years and headed the playwriting program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In that capacity, he was named Playwriting Teacher of the Year (2002) and Outstanding Artist (2004). His textbook, A Student Guide to Play Analysis, is published by SIU Press. He is represented in New York by Robert A. Freedman Dramatic Agency.
Bradley University Theatre presents
ANTIGONE, by David Rush; adapted from Sophocles Directed by Maggie Sullivan
When: Wed-Sat Mar 2, 3, 4,& 5 at 7:30PM Sun Mar 6 at 2PM
Where: The Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts Tickets and information:
- Cultural Events Box Office: 309-677-2650