News: Choose Your Own Ending in Needs More Work Productions’ Trailblazing "Anti-Gone"

Photo by Sivan Raz. Editing by Hila Shats.

This July, Needs More Work Productions, one of New York City’s leading immersive theater companies, presents Anti-Gone, a one-of-a-kind adaptation of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Antigone. Join them this summer in Queens to have your say in deciding the famous play’s ending: Should Antigone be pardoned? Ismene crowned Queen Regent of Thebes? Maybe Creon was right all along? This summer, the choice is completely yours.

Led by Artistic Director Sivan Raz, Anti-Gone presents an innovative approach to the well-known classic. In the show, a modern acting troupe battles with the strict societal values presented in Antigone. The only way to solve the puzzle is through a complete dismantling of the theatrical form and an honest discussion with you, the audience. Is a happy ending for Antigone’s story possible? Will we be able to find that which has not been found in the 2,500 years since the play’s premiere - a solution?

“Antigone was always a play about political decision making,” says Raz, who is the visionary force behind this project and acts as its director and composer. “From ancient Greece to modern times, the public was always a crucial part of that process. It’s almost the next logical step for them, meaning you, to participate in the story and council Creon on his fatal decision.” Raz, a promising young director, wanted the show to correspond with current trends in political activism.

“This play was always meant to be topical,” they say. “Nowadays, we see a shift towards putting public trust in community-led solutions instead of official systems of power. To be true to Antigone’s spirit and original intention, I felt like I had to follow that guiding principle.” Raz expertly leads the show’s ensemble through a celebration of song, dance and ritual, utilizing every tool in the natural landscape around to create a true spectacle.
Photo and editing by Hila Shats.
“I think this play is relevant because it addresses questions many of us have today,” says Devon Khalsa, who plays the role of Ismene. “The argument between Antigone and Ismene represents a tension a lot of us have within ourselves. How much are we willing to lose to fight against unjust action? What is our duty as citizens of this country and as humans?” Katy Shafer, who stars as the titular character, agrees. “I think we feel that we do not have the power to do anything, but we actually do if we choose to take action, which is what Antigone does. Any person has the chance to make a difference.”

And the cast cannot wait to welcome audiences into this adventure. “I’m really excited for our audiences to have the chance to live inside my tragic hero’s flaws alongside me,” says Maggie Dickinson, taking on the role of the tormented Creon. Hila Shats, who plays the Chorus Leader, adds: “When we think of New York we always think about how urban it is, but my favorite thing about the city is the amount of green spaces everywhere. Encouraging people to spend a day outside is such a privilege.”

As Choreographer Gianna Vasquez Bartolini puts it, “Combining ancient ritual, contemporary movement vocabulary, classical theater text, and avant-garde approach to material creates such an exciting space to be a part of!”

The cast and crew of Anti-Gone is fully composed of women and non-binary/trans creatives.  Needs More Work Productions is proud to present the stories of individuals of BIPOC heritage and from the disabled community. It has been one of Needs More Works's top goals throughout this process to interpret this classical play through the lens of communities who rarely get to present their own take on such tales, and the company is thrilled to have a diverse cast of extremely talented creators.

Performances will take place on July 12th-14th and July 19th-21st, at 5:30PM at the Moore Jackson Community Garden, 31-57 51st St, Woodside, Queens, NY 11377. This is a free admission event, with a recommended donation of $25 per person after the show. Reserve your ticket today through
Photo by Katy Shafer. Editing by Hila Shats.
Cast & Crew:
Producing Organization - Needs More Work Productions.
Director, Producer, Composer, Haemon - Sivan Raz (Founding Artistic Director of Needs More Work Productions).
Musical Director - Joni Griffith.
Choreographer - Gianna Vasquez Bartolini.
Music Captain, Ismene - Devon Khalsa.
Props/Costume Master, Teiresias, The Guard - Eli Lomax.
Antigone - Katy Shafer.
Creon - Maggie Dickinson.
Chorus Leader - Hila Shats.
Translator - Ian Johnston.

Content Warnings: The show includes discussion of death, burial, execution, grief, arguments, police/army, war, suicide, religion-based politics, sexism. No violence is presented onstage. The following materials will be used: essential oils, fruit, incense, grass, flowers. Email for more information and possible accommodations.


Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Immersive "American Blues: 5 Short Plays by Tennessee Williams" Takes Audiences on a Marvelously Crafted Journey

Review: "How To Eat an Orange" Cuts into the Life of an Argentine Artist and Activist

Review: From Child Pose to Stand(ing) Up: "Yoga with Jillian" and "Penguin in Your Ear" at the Women in Theatre Festival