ANTIGONE: NOW MORE THAN EVER
By A Noise Within
October 21, 2015
Emily James plays Antigone in a performance that is “impossible not to watch” (San Gabriel Valley Tribune). Here she confides that she feels more closely connected to this “powerful modern hero” (Los Angeles Times) than when she first read the play.
“Throughout the process of rehearsing and performing Antigone, many have asked, ‘Why this play and why now?’ While I believe this play will remain relevant as long as humans exist, I believe it is especially important today. Society surrounding us allows people to slip into easy, comfortable lives and the choice to be ignorant and impregnable to the horrors around us. We make excuses not to give money to the homeless person on the corner or encourage a friend who is suffering from depression. We choose close our eyes to news headlines of discrimination or of mass gun shootings that are happening in our own country. Desensitization has become the norm. We accept what we are told is ‘normal’ and lose our voice in the world.”
Emily believes, “This attitude is impossible for a character like Antigone to adopt. She has such wonderfully high expectations for her life—and lives the life she wants no matter her status or her gender. To my mind, Malala Yousafzai (the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner) is a modern-day example of the same kind of determination: a girl who simply wanted an education for herself, was stifled by Pakistani society and the Taliban, and in the felt she had no option but to take a stand; as a result, she was shot by the Taliban. But this suffering made her stronger, and she continues to spread her light and advocate women’s education today. Although they are not the same person, Malala served as a tether for Antigone to the real world. It reaffirmed that this strengths possible and it is a choice that every human can make. Human will power and faith must not be underestimated. I believe the whole world should witness this flame: the strength of these two women is contagious and shows us that, unfailingly, everyone deserves to have a voice.”
Antigone is playing in repertory through November 20th. Please click here to reserve your seats today.