CSUN Student Actors Give “Antigone” an Old-School Outdoor Treatment

  • CSUN students gather in front of the Oviatt Library on April 7, 2016, to see a CSUN theatre group perform the Greek tragedy "Antigone." Photo by Cati Mayer.

  • The CSUN theatre group after their performance of "Antigone" in front of the Oviatt Library on April 7, 2016. Photo by Cati Mayer.

  • In the classic Greek tragedy "Antigone," protagonist Antigone wants to honor her brother's death with a proper funeral and tries to convince her sister to go against the king, who orders that their brother's body remain uncovered on the battleground. The play was presented April 7, 2016, in front of the Oviatt Library. Photo by Cati Mayer.

  • CSUN students watch a dramatic scene of the Greek tragedy "Antigone," performed by a CSUN theatre group in front of the Oviatt Library on April 7, 2016. Photo by Cati Mayer.

California State University, Northridge’s Department of Theatre held a free performance of the immersive Greek tragedy Antigone on April 7 in front of the Oviatt Library.

Antigone tells the story of a young woman whose brother dies in a civil war. In her mission to honor him with a proper funeral, she goes against King Creon, who rules that his body should remain unburied on the battlefield.

Directed by CSUN professor Anamarie Dwyer, the outdoor performance was the group’s final show of Antigone, after presenting eight performances in the VPAC Experimental Theatre in February. It was the first time performing an immersive play outdoors for most of the student actors, who had to improvise between the outside noises and students skateboarding through scenes.

“It was definitely a unique experience with lots of energy,” said Ryan Lisman, a psychology senior who played the role of King Creon. “We had to speak much louder than inside [a theatre], but doing it outside was really fun. I enjoyed seeing all the different people.”

Theatre major and Puerto Rican exchange student Adrianna Ivelisse, who played the starring role of Antigone, said the performance reached a more diverse array of students who might not have attended a traditional theatre show. She prefers indoor performances because of the atmosphere, but said she enjoyed overcoming the challenges of the outdoor experience.

“You improve quick thinking and quick acting,” she said. “You have to keep the characters’ emotions fresh and not recycled, so you have to change a lot of things you’ve prepared.”

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