The Antigone Play

Letter from the playwright

Tabia Lau

The Antigone Play is not a translation, as Tig is not Antigone.
A Zoom play is not a staged performance, as it is not onstage.
But as time and pressures continue to build, Antigone finds mysterious ways to defy these laws.
Antigone will always defy man’s laws.
Antigone’s absoluteism and pride in her righteousness is an energy that sears through time.
Antigone never hesitates.
Antigone never flinches.
Antigone will always find the Indestructable Answer.
We’re placing a hat on a hat when we talk about unprecedented and uncertain times, but Antigone has
survived destructions of empires to come into my hands. So too has theatre survived plagues before to
come to this moment online. Life – theatre – Antigone – finds a way.
When the clouds roll in, I always turn to Antigone, which everytime, teaches me something new
about family,
about virtue,
about compassion,
about grief,
about keeping on. No matter what.
My deepest thanks to David, Chloe, Sienna, Sara, Araceli, César, Mya, Tamara, Felix, Rachel, Hasib, Sepehr, Wasifa, Cathy, Matt, and of course Marlis and the whole Theatre @ York team who have all collectively breathed so much joy, passion, and life into this project during uncertain times, and continuing to inspire everyone through that unspeakable magic of live performance.

N one of us needs reminding what a strange and anxsious time we’re living in. And everyone working in the theatre knows how hard it’s been hit. But, each day, working with this next generation of artists, I’ve been inspired by their capacity to look at the world in rich and complex ways, by their passion for telling stories, and by their great goodwill. In them, I witness optimism and resilience. It feels really good working with them.

Of course, they are a generation coming of age at a time of intense upheaval. Beyond our current pandemic, systems of injustice are being held to the light and forced to change; our climate crisis intensifies; digital technology surrounds and changes us; while capitalism presides over all of it.

This moment asks us to consider Justice and to act. To do something.

That’s the subject of both of these plays. We know the systems are broken; we know we need to do something. Yet striving and fighting for justice are never straightforward. Justice and striving for justice take many forms, move at different rates, mean different things to different people. Justice is messy. And both Aaron and Tabia’s plays, in their unique, beautiful, funny, honest and artful ways, express the chaos and pleasures that come with trying to birth a society that is more just.

I hope you enjoy them.

Director, David JAnsen
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