City Views: Theater of War Productions presents ‘Antigone in Ferguson’ at Harlem Stage

August 15, 2018 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City's Harlem Stage and the Theater of War Productions will be taking on a number of national issues when "Antigone in Ferguson" begins its production next month.

Four years after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, the event is being retold through the lens of an ancient Greek tragedy.

"Law and Order" actress Tamara Tunie, who will perform in the production, and Monique Martin, the director of programming for Harlem Stage, explained what viewers can expect from Bryan Doerries' interpretation of Sophocles' "Antigone."

"Brian saw, you know, the similarities in that ancient play with what's happening right now in our country," Tunie said, adding that he first began work on it roughly three years ago. 

"Antigone in Ferguson" will put a modern twist on the Greek tragedy, but will still feature some excerpts from the original. 

Martin explained that the play "looks at power and power structures and community and how community can be separated and challenge and how community can come together when there is some tragedies."

Tunie said that the true goal of the play is to help viewers "find healing through art."

Performances, which will be free and begin on Sept. 13, will also act as a catalyst for panel and audience-driven discussion on race and social justice. Guided discussions immediately following "Antigone in Ferguson" will aim to promote healing and bridge the growing divide between law enforcement and local communities.

"Most of the conversations we have about these issues are contained among like-minded thinkers and rarely do the two get to talk to each other," Tunie said. "So, I find this is a very exciting project in order to have that happen where you can actually talk to each other."

The modern retelling will also have live choral music performed by a choir of activists, police officers, youth, and concerned citizens from Ferguson and New York City.

"Antigone in Ferguson" will and kick off Harlem Stage's 2018-2019 programming season and run for five weeks. The final performance will be on Oct. 13.

The Theater of War Productions presentation will feature a rotating roster of acclaimed actors, including Tunie and "The Handmaid's Tale" actress Samria Wiley.