author: shelbi glover | a & c writer
A look at the University of Regina’s production of Antigone
With the University of Regina’s production of Antigone quickly approaching, I managed to chat with lead actress Katie Abramovic and get her thoughts on the classic production.
1. How was this different from your former theatre experiences?
KA: This show was extremely different from other projects I’ve worked on. For my age, I feel very lucky to have been in so many shows and worked with so many professional artists. My personal background is in theatre devising. That is where my passion has always lived, so for the most part, all of the projects I’ve worked on, I’ve helped co-create. Jumping into classically written, scripted text was an adjustment. I very quickly realized that everything I had worked on had to be completely shifted. You can’t approach this the way you would approach modern text. Learning to re-learn and adapt was what really separated this from other shows I’ve been in.
2. What do you want the audience to take away from this show?
KA: Ultimately, I want the audience to hear how very directly this speaks to women. I have always had a very distinct personality. When I think about who I am as a person, I can confidently and happily say I am a strong-willed woman. I have never shied away from things I’ve wanted to do, and I’ve never been scared to work for what I want because I know that I am a fierce competitor, but I am well aware that because of these personality traits, lots of people find me unpleasant. This is how so many hard-working women are perceived. It’s how Antigone is perceived. And it’s exactly the kind of gender-biased thinking that plagues our world today. I think that if I was a young girl sitting in the audience watching this, I would walk away with a really genuine feeling of belief in myself and women as a whole.
3. What does it mean to perform ancient Greek theatre in modern times? How is it different – aside from the obvious, of course?
KA: I think that to perform ancient Greek theatre in modern times is to revive the earliest workings of theatre. It’s difficult because it’s not familiar. It feels different in almost all areas. Blocking speech, diction – it’s a whole new world for all of the actors involved. To imagine Sophocles himself creating this story is intimidating, but I think that only motivates the cast to work harder on all the new and difficult challenges that were presented to us in the rehearsal process.
4. What do you personally want to bring to the role of Antigone? What does her character mean to you?
KA: I want to make her as real and honest as I possibly can, so that the audience feels a sense of familiarity. I want to honour her morals, and show how unmovable she is in her stance on right vs. wrong. I want all the women in the audience to recognize this as a catalyst that causes them to reflect inward and think “what would I do if that was me,” which is exactly what it made me do. Playing Antigone means more to me than I thought it would. By taking on this role, I also took on the job of learning more about myself and my identity as a woman in the 21st century – an experience I didn’t expect but am deeply grateful for.
Antigone opens on November 1, 2017, and is free with your student ID, seats are limited.