Open Forum

Antigone vs. Crucible

  • 1.  Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-09-2019 13:53
    Just hoping to draw from your experiences on these shows. I'm considering Antigone and Crucible as options for our winter show next year.  I'm looking for a dramatic play that is more of a classic. The rising seniors will have worked on the following plays in this winter production slot: Peter and the Starcatcher, The Visit, and The Government Inspector.  I like to find shows with a large cast size (15+) in this production slot. Would love to hear about your experiences working on either play OR hearing other suggestions worth considering that would contrast the previous three we've done. Thanks for your help.

    Christina Kemmerer
    Upper School Theatre Director
    Brooklandville MD

  • 2.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-09-2019 20:47
    I have been in both plays, and directed The Crucible. It depends largely on what translation of Antigone you're looking at, but I think The Crucible would be more accessible and relatable in general. I also love that The Crucible allows SO many students to shine, more than Antigone does. Another thing I love about it is that most students read The Crucible, so it attracts interest from the entire school and you can even do cross-curricular work with the English classrooms.

    Not that Antigone would be a bad choice. It could be a fun challenge for you to have them actually take on the Greek chorus as one unit like it would have been performed anciently, and that has some spectacle in and of itself. Or you could have THEM decide how to split up the chorus lines and make sense of them, offering a more cerebral challenge.

    I could go on about both, but I'll spare you the novel (I literally wrote a thesis on The Crucible). Suffice it to say that I would choose The Crucible, but both are viable, historically and culturally significant options.

    Tiffany Garner
    Theatre Director
    American Leadership Academy Gilbert Noth
    Gilbert AZ

  • 3.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-10-2019 08:45

    I love both plays, and both plays are taught in my school's English department.  Every time I hint to students about wanting to direct The Crucible, they moan and groan - I don't know if it's something about the way our teachers handle it or what.  When I announced a few years ago that I would direct Antigone, on the other hand, they responded with interest, and we had a good show with great audience turn-out.  We even performed an in-school matinee for English classes whose teachers chose to bring them, and that captive audience was engaged and well-behaved.

    Perhaps it helped that we performed a somewhat free adaptation of Antigone rather than a literal translation of the play.  It was written by David Rush and is published by Playscripts.  It runs about 75 minutes, which is how we were able to do our in-school performance (on a block schedule with 90-minute classes).

    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher, Aesthetics Department Chair
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville FL

  • 4.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-10-2019 09:03
    We wrapped up "The Crucible" in late February with wonderful audience response, intense language and all. I did the the show with relative "newbies" and they were magnificent. It's a very intense experience and a lot of of hard work, but worth every minute. Those kids were so proud of their accomplishment, and certainly sold on theatre and performance. I do think it allows a lot of students to really dig in and shine. I would recommend it in a heartbeat, but do be prepared to work hard with your actors, both one on one, as well as with the ensemble.

    Robert Putka
    Cuyahoga Falls OH

  • 5.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-10-2019 10:00
    We did the David Rush version of Antigone in the fall of 2016. It was received well by the parents, faculty, and students. I LOVE The Crucible and hope to direct it someday. Break a leg with your production! CK

    Carolyn Kovar
    McCluer North High School
    Ferguson-Florissant School District
    Florissant MO

  • 6.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-10-2019 11:16
    I think both plays resonate currently.

    I have directed The Crucible three times in high school, and the students have always enjoyed working on it.  It is hard for some students reading it in English class to understand the language, so teachers appreciate the chance for students to see it.  The royalties and script charges are high for a straight play--lots of characters, and $100 per performance when we produced it last.  We found a donor who paid the royalty for an in-school performance, since we can't charge during the day.  You need some really strong men, and at least one who can handle really long speeches.

    I have never directed Antigone, but one of my very favorite directing experiences was Medea by Euripides.  We used Ian Johnston's translation, which is online.  I contacted him for permission to produce it, and he did not want any royalties for an educational version.  We downloaded the script and printed our own copies.  He also gave his blessings to any cutting we wanted to do.  I double-cast the "actor" roles, split the Messenger into two, and used a large group of girls for the chorus.  We also had two drummers on djembes, who kept rhythm for the chorus and a Butoh teacher who choreographed the chorus.  We were able to do multiple school-day shows because there were no royalties.  Ian Johnston's Antigone is also available online.

    C. J. Breland
    Asheville High School
    Asheville NC

  • 7.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-10-2019 12:34
    If you do Antigone, try the Jean Anouilh version.  I did it many years ago and had great success.

    Jenny Brotherton
    Drama Coach-Teacher
    Scranton PA

  • 8.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-11-2019 09:42
    I want to piggy back on Anouilh's version of Antigone. We did it many years ago, but it has remains a favorite and I would love to do it again. It is currently on my list for next year. The wonderful thing about Antigone are your options for setting and time. We used the Civil War South and had our 'chorus' represent North and South. There are so many places where civil war is happening or has happened and where brother has fought brother. You cannot make a mistake with either play. I also have The Crucible on my list for next year, so this blog chain is helping me out as well.

    Jill Campbell
    Gifted Support/Learning Enrichment ARTsmART
    State High Thespian Troupe 5029
    State College Area High School
    State College, PA 16801
    (814) 231-4114

  • 9.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-11-2019 10:48
    We just finished a modern take on "Antigone" by a friend of mine - Andy Wibbels. The cast was about 37 people in total and then we had a crew of another 10. There was video feed, simple set - using chairs and tables to establish new locations, students in the ensemble got to play all kinds of different roles, costumes were contemporary - easy, stage fighting - fun for students and it was well received. I say - go "Antigone"!

    Melissa Carroll-Jackson
    Director of Theatre
    Phoenix AZ

  • 10.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-11-2019 11:08
    My favorite version of Antigone is Too Much Memory published by DPS. It's a modern take with 6m, 3w, though the chorus could be expanded. A soldier character uses some rough language, but perhaps you could get permission to soften that up if it's a concern.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 11.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-11-2019 11:45
    When I did the Anouilh version many years ago, I divided the chorus lines up into three different parts, one male student represented male dominated society, and two female who represented youth and age. It could also be done with a large choral ensemble to back and echo the three.

    I also did "The Women of Lockerbie" a couple years ago and it's written to model a Greek Tragedy, though the lines flow much more naturally then typical verse.  It was a a huge success and you can make the Chorus of women any size you choose.  We had a raked stage and a working stream. The show ended with a Tableau of the women washing the clothes in the stream, lit from underneath, while a scroll of the terror events that have happened since the downing of the flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, was projected on the cyc.  The audience was sobbing.  To keep with the theme of the clothes that the women were trying to wash, we covered the entire raked set in clothes (mostly weeded from our wardrobe storage) and then painted them to look like the Scottish hillside, rather than using canvas or muslin.  But we did leave the edges unpainted and there was the occasional glimpse of a sleeve or a zipper. Pictures are attached below.


    Jenny Brotherton

    Knight Players

    Scranton High


  • 12.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-11-2019 17:14
    I showed up as the new Theatre teacher this year and started off with The Crucible.  I am soooo glad I did!  It pushed the students in directions they had never gone before and reaffirmed for them what I already suspected:  that they were capable of doing GREAT theatre.  And we pulled it off in 5 weeks.  We also were able to tie in with the English dept. and did a special show for the entire Junior class since they study it.  The students who saw the show were blown away and had a new appreciation for theatre; the performers gained a boost in what they are capable of handling as actors and have grown exponentially as artists.  I agree that you need to expect some hard work to be put in, but I think it is well worth the effort.  I also created a "prequel" showing the girls dancing in the woods with Tituba, all done in silhouette, with Rev. Parrish stumbling upon them, Betty screaming & fainting to blackout.  Helped to set the scene for Act I.

    E. Denise Royal
    Theater Director
    Goodyear AZ

  • 13.  RE: Antigone vs. Crucible

    Posted 04-12-2019 07:52
    Don't know where your political leanings lie but "Witch hunt" has taken on very new meaning lately and will carry very different message than intended

    Joseph Gels
    Theatre Teacher
    Boston Latin School
    Boston MA