On Jan. 21, “Antigone in Ferguson” will come to Coppin State University in Baltimore. It is a theater project in which actors present dramatic readings of scenes from Sophocles’ “Antigone,” an ancient Greek tragedy about what happens when personal conviction and state law clash and violence ensues. Each performance will be followed by town hall discussion about issues raised by the play.
“Antigone in Ferguson” features Paul Giamatti (“Straight Outta Compton” and “Billions”), Duane Foster (“Ragtime” and “A Christmas Carol”), Marjolaine Goldsmith (“Compromise” and “The Three Musketeers”) and Sonja Sohn (“The Wire” and “Body of Proof.”) Bryan Doerries serves as director and translator). The show premiered in Ferguson, Mo., in 2016 to positive reviews.
“By presenting our adaptation of the play in Baltimore for a large, diverse audience—including concerned citizens, law enforcement, activists, students, city officials, and members of the faith community—our goal is to create the conditions for powerful, constructive, healing dialogue, allowing people of many different perspectives and life experiences to stand up and speak their personal truths, while feeling respected and heard,” Doerries, artistic director of Outside the Wire, the company that produced the play, told the AFRO. “If we had one message to deliver it is this: If your life has been touched by any of the issues portrayed in the play, you are not alone in your community, not alone across the country, and—most critically—you are not alone across time.”
The choral sections of the play will be performed by the Phil Woodmore Singers, a gospel group that includes members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Choir, Trinity Community Church Choir, Center of Creative Arts Singers and Baltimore’s One Love Alliance, which is under the direction of Bruce Henderson.
Jeannie L. Howe, executive director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, which brought the play to Baltimore as part of its 15th anniversary celebration, told the AFRO: “Outside the Wire’s ‘Antigone in Ferguson’ demonstrates the power of art as a vehicle for communities to reflect, heal, and generate potent dialogues about the pain and triumph of humanity. The cast is amazing and that it includes Sonja Sohn, who has given her heart to Baltimore, makes it even more special.”
“Antigone in Ferguson” will be performed at the James Weldon Johnson Auditorium at Coppin State University, located at 2500 W. North Ave. in Baltimore, Md., on Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. To reserve seats, visit: antigone-coppin.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact [email protected].