In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

munal dressing space can be examined by the audience through the wide slits of an airy curtain. The public is endlessly fascinated by the metamorphosis of the occidental players into oriental characters through dress and makeup. The latter is applied as carefully as one builds a painting by the players who sit at low tables decorated with fresh flowers. The oriental ambience sets the mood for the cast and those who view this ritualistic transformation. The audience is also allowed to wander over to a platform where the musical instruments have been carefully prepared. Among Eastern and African flutes and drums, there are unidentifiable instruments because they have been rebuilt or adapted. The music is no more blatantly Indian than the acting style. There is simply a hint of the Orient, an interfusion of many cultures. The musical'score spreads a richly textured underpinning throughout the performance. The Terrible but Unended Story of Norodom Sihanouk did not open to critical acclaim. It was judged lengthy, slow, uneven. But the critics have had no influence on attendance. The play is the major triumph of the 1985-1986 Paris season. Antigone Sophocles Directed by Andrzej Wajda Stary Theatre (Krakow) Marc Robinson As political theatre, Andrzej Wajda's Antigone, with its overt allusions to current events inside Poland, contains a formalism in approach that is rare in the genre. Wajda develops a social critique using the vocabulary of space, time, and sound, manipulating each theatrical element as a way to further an intellectual argument begun in the text. Words are no longer the sole purveyor of this type of thought. Wajda's images originate from and return to a visible context-a political one-the current tension between power and powerlessness embodied in the Polish social system. Wajda affirms this context-and relies on every spectator's acknowledgement of and familiarity with it-to give force and structure to his images. Sophocles's text needs no extensive treatment for its politics to come through. The story of one woman's battle for justice against the force of pride, a leader who is deaf to public opinion or counsel, has clear parallels to current Poland-parallels which every spectator will need no encourage- ment to perceive. Therefore, Wajda instead pushes spectators to broaden their responses, to go farther than simply to name his, or Sophocles's, images with their counterpart in Polish life. Since Wajda doesn't need to raise a Polish spectator's consciousness, he instead works to expand it. Even before Wajda's production begins, he encourages us to begin making these connections. The program contains photographs from events familiar to all who watch or read the world news: the charred bodies of the failed Iranian rescue attempt, a man wearing a bushel of toy missiles fashioned into a hat, a stand-off between a nun and a heavily-armed soldier (is it from Northern Ireland?), other photos from the hostage crisis, photos of the Pope on tour, more images of various military confronting groups of civilians or marching down city streets-perhaps in South or Latin America. These images , from a variety of times and places, open a canon of iconography reflecting contemporary power, subjugation, and resistance that is furthered in Wajda's production. On stage, Wajda depicts Sophocles's characters in ways that recall an array of specific types in recent history-types drawn from the same canon reflected in the program. In many ways, the chorus is the center of the production , and the sequence of its changing appearance evolves Wajda's political analysis. At the opening, the chorus appears dressed as camouflaged soldiers, brandishing weapons, announcing that "the war is won." Whey they reappear accompanying Creon, they have changed into pinstriped Politburo-type party leaders, each wearing several medals on his breast pocket. Later, after Antigone's capture, the chorus composes a demonstration, denim-clad, carrying placards with Antigone's photograph. Finally, at the conclusion, they appear dressed as shipyard workers, not unlike those at Gdansk. The basic similarity among all the symbols of power is stressed, as is the similarity among the symbols of resistance. Antigone is dressed in black from head to toe, reminding one of...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 50-54
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.