ANTIGONI_05_B 2023

Antigone by Jean Anouilh

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Directed by: Maria Protopappa
After Anouilh’s Antigone was first presented at the Greek Art Theatre, Maria Protopappa approaches the play once again, both as a director and performer, further evolving her initial vision. Undertaking to utter herself the biggest part of Antigone’s words, the director attempts to comment on the signifier and signified of the heroine’s existence. Does Antigone exist? To what extent is the desire/need that gives birth to Antigone real?
ANTIGONI_marilena_anastasiadou_photography 2023

Φωτογραφία: Μαριλένα Αναστασιάδου

The performance features actors Christos Stergioglou, Giannis Tsortekis, Dimitris Mamios, Dimitris Margaritis and Maria Protopappa. The latter takes on the play’s direction as well as the role of Antigone, which she shares on stage with emerging actress Ilektra Barouta.
Antigone as a mythical figure has been posing a captivating riddle throughout the centuries; what urges her to confront authority? Does this confrontation justify her life’s sacrifice? Are there any mitigating circumstances for Creon, whom Antigone opposes? How much does each society need the presence of an Antigone and for which reasons, except the obvious ones?
Ancient Greek playwright Sophocles was the first to take Antigone’s myth on stage in 441 BC, while French dramatist Jean Anouilh reshaped it during World War II.
Creon issues a law to prohibit the burial of Antigone’s brother, Polynices, because he rallied an army and attacked his brother Eteocles and the town of their ancestors. Antigone opposes this order and confronts Creon. The power of her uttered words, their potential ability to shape realities or be perceived as reality, is the main claim of this play’s reading.
Since Anouilh’s Antigone premiere in 1944, the play has been presented on theatrical stages all over the world, always sparking heated discussions. In Greece it was performed for the first time in 1946-1947 at the Greek Art Theatre (Theatro Technis) under Karolos Koun’s direction, starring renowned actress Elli Lambeti. This summer the play is travelling to Andros Open-Air Theatre for a unique performance under the starry skies.
Director’s note
In extreme historical circumstances like the ones we live in today, which include cosmogenic changes that we CANNOT be aware of before they are complete; during these abrupt Transitions-Mutations of humankind, the framework and need for the collective ARE CRUSHING individuals and their public character. We abruptly transition to technologically and politically pinned down humans who get deprived of their public discourse, democracy and control of themselves and their lives –let alone their individual freedom and privacy, since they are “voluntarily” exposed with everybody, in the eyes of everybody.
Their value derives from the fact that the events which are supposed to have occurred at a given time in the distant past, constitute a structure that remains unchanged in the present, the past and the future (Claude Lévi-Strauss).
Anouilh invites his audience to reflect on the meaning of life and deny every form of compromise. His play belongs to his Pieces Noires (Black Works), which are filled with irony and sarcasm. He has found a way to laugh at misfortune: “My plays are mostly Molieresque. Thanks to Molière, French theatre isn’t bleak. Just like soldiers at war, we laugh with our misery and terror”.
If it were easy to decide which side is right or wrong, we wouldn’t be talking about tragedy. The value of tragedy doesn’t lie in the clash between good and evil or innocence and guilt, but in a conflict of moral values and political views in which it is difficult for the average person to adopt a clear stance. Pertaining to the question “Is Antigone’s sacrifice justified?”, Sophocles’ and Anouilh’s plays do not give a definite and conclusive answer.
Translation: Marios Ploritis
Direction – Dramaturgy: Maria Protopappa
Set – Costume: Eva Nathena
Movement: Katerina Fotiadi
Music: Lolek
Lighting: Melina Mascha
Assistants to the director: Dimitris Stavropoulos, Orestis Stavropoulos
Assistant to the costume designer: Elsa Gogoglou
Promo photography: Roula Revi
Live performance photography: Marilena Anastasiadou
Promo photography make-up artist: Sissi Petropoulou
Promo photography jewellery: Noilence
Performance video-trailer: Michael Mavromoustakos
Graphic design – Poster design: Giannis Stamatopoulos
Communications: Anzelika Kapsabeli
Production delivery: Kart Productions – Maria Ksanthopoulidou
CAST: Christos Stergioglou, Giannis Tsortekis, Dimitris Mamios, Dimitris Margaritis, Ilektra Barouta, Maria Protopappa
Produced by Kart Productions in co-production with Karolos Koun Art Theatre
Duration: 110 minutes
Supported by
The performance is subsidised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports
“An actor of unique performative merit, Giannis Tsortekis revealed a polysemous Creon with prestige, expressive power and a little humanity and sensitivity…”
Rea Grigoriou, Kathimerini
“Significant renditions, profound direction on the French dramatist’s ironic work and a performance that dares to follow a path not necessarily fertile, but which is here rewarded by the result.”
Tonia Karaoglou, Athinorama
“Maria Protopappa constructed a performance carefully studied in every detail, focusing on both acting and symbolism.”
Olga Sella, Athensvoice
“A performance of exceptional dramaturgy, direction and acting, which addresses concepts such as human communication, authority, coming of age and the loss of childhood innocence. It’s worthy to see it even if you’re not a big theatre lover.”
Georgia Oikonomou,
“With Jean Anouilh’s Antigone, Maria Protopappa reaches the level of one of her generation’s greatest creators.”
Giorgos Voudiklaris, Ελculture
“Maria Protopappa’s mature direction of Anouilh’s political wit, accompanied by dynamic performances.”
Stella Charami,
“A performance that charmed and captivated me. I hope it continues its journey on stage.”
Giorgos Sarigiannis, Το Τέταρτο Κουδούνι
“Enjoyable and captivating at once, Christos Stergioglou in the role of Prologue – Chorus.”
Ntina Karra, only
“This Antigone cannot be forgotten!”
Aleksandros Stergiopoulos,
“Anouilh’s unique Antigone viewed through Maria Protopappa’s distinct perspective; it was one of the most intriguing performances I’ve ever seen.”
Anna Papadaki, mix grill
Start time
Open Theatre of Andros