Antigone in Ferguson (2019)

New York Theater Stages ‘Antigone in Ferguson’

The Greek play “Antigone” tells the story of a defiant woman sentenced to death by a king who refuses to practice mercy. After a bitter civil war that pitched brother against brother, newly crowned Creon honors one with burial and leaves the other to rot. Antigone, sister of both and daughter of Oedipus, defies the new king and buries her desecrated brother. When Creon learns of her lawlessness, he sentences her to death — a tragedy that ultimately takes the life of everyone dear to Creon.

“Antigone in Ferguson” retells the tragedy set against the backdrop of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of police in Ferguson, Mo. In 2014, Brown was fatally shot in a police altercation that many in the black community felt was an unjust response to an unarmed teenager. In both the play and in Ferguson, state power showed itself unwilling to extend mercy. 

The play, presented by Theater of War Productions, features a band, choir and actors on stage together at the St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn. Each one-hour performance is followed by a conversation between the theater company and the audience, exploring topics addressed in the play: state power, mercy, justice, misogyny and racism. 

Published for The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange - July, 2019.

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