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11/2/2004 Antigone to be presented

McMINNVILLE -- Linfield College theatre students will explore age-old issues of greed, power and faith when they present "Antigone," the classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles.

The play will be presented Nov. 18-21 and Dec. 2-4 at the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall.

The story may have been written 2,500 years ago, but it is just as relevant today, according to director Kate Hawkes, adjunct professor of theatre and communication arts and guest director at Linfield.

"This play is about greed, jealousy, power, manipulation, all those sorts of things," she said. "It is very much like today?s reality shows, which are about thrusting people together and watching them duke it out."

In a fast-paced 80 minutes, the production travels through time from a classic Greek theatre style to a fully contemporary vision. As Antigone defies her uncle Creon and buries her brother, the play examines issues of conscience, such as the individual versus the state, and divine law versus human law. These questions grip contemporary global society just as they tore at the heart of Greek culture.

The production features a cast of 18 Linfield students, and the work of additional students who have collaborated on music, costumes, lighting, set design and publicity. Two student musicians, sophomore Gerald Turner and junior Seann Branchfield, created original music to underscore parts of the chorus and will play during the performance. The hands-on experience offers students the chance to work behind the scenes and get a feel for what it takes to put on an entire production.

For cast members, the biggest challenge has been tackling the translation of the play from its original Greek, Hawkes said.

"It is a challenge to make sure we?re real people talking to real people rather than getting stuck on language that feels foreign," she added. "But these students are very open and what they lack in experience they make up for in willingness."

Hawkes, who played the lead role of Antigone during a high school production in Australia, was looking for a play that was pre-20th century and included ample roles for students when she thought of "Antigone."

"I remember clearly what a powerful play it was to be in," she said. "Theater is a good way to make a strong statement about who we are today and how we live our lives. I wanted people to know this could be about us now."

Performances will be Nov. 18-20 at 8 p.m., Nov. 21 at 2 p.m., Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3-4 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors (62+). Tickets will go on sale Nov. 8 and may be purchased at the Marshall Theatre box office Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., with expanded hours on performance days. The box office is located just inside the lobby of Ford Hall. Tickets may also be reserved by phone, 503-883-2292, or e-mail, theatre@linfield.edu. For more information about the production, contact Hawkes at khawkes@linfield.edu.

To reach Ford Hall from 99W, turn east on Keck Drive at the McMinnville Market Center in south McMinnville. Turn right on Lever Street and right again on Ford Drive. Ford Hall is located at the west end of the parking lot.