Bradley Theatre Brings a Modern Take on a Western Classic to the Stage

February 24, 2022

Bradley University Theatre opens its spring 2022 season with a bracing, contemporary version of one of the world’s oldest dramas — Sophocles’ Antigone, as 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’s among the world’s earliest dramas and is considered a foundational work of Western civilization. Performances are March 2-6 at The Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts.

Following the civil war in which her brothers slew each other, Antigone, daughter of the cursed king Oedipus, tries to bury her rebel sibling 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/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.

Performance Schedule:

  • Wednesday thru Saturday (March 2-5) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday (March 6) at 2 p.m.

Ticket Info: