“Xtigone,” directed by Wayne State associate theater professor Cheryl Turski, is a modern take on Sophocles’ “Antigone.” The play portrays the Greek tale from the point of view of a young woman living in present-day Chicago. 

"Xtigone" graces the Studio Theatre at the Hilberry starting Oct. 12 through Oct. 27. 

Faith Berry, a WSU theatre student, plays the title role of Xtigone. Berry said her character’s “strong, unshakable” personality was a source of intimidation in the beginning. 

“At first, the thought of portraying her terrified me because she’s so resilient, and it’s rare for her to be seen in a moment of weakness,” Berry said. “She is an incredibly powerful person.”

Cameron Blackwell, another WSU theatre student, portrays the character Mayor Marcellus in the show and hopes audiences can find parallels between themes in the show and current events, he said.

The prevalence of gang violence in Chicago is “a very real problem, and it’s happening right now,” Blackwell said. 

“It may not be in the news every day anymore, but it’s still happening,” he said.

In the original play, Antigone’s brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, die in battle while fighting for rule of their kingdom. The new king, Antigone’s uncle Creon, decides that only Eteocles deserves an honorable burial and that Polyneices’ body will be left on the battlefield. 

The “Xtigone” cast and design team “were unbelievably creative,” Turski said. The majority of the ideas in the show came from the cast playing together and devising in rehearsal.

“The dedication to the show from the entire team is stunning,” Turski said. “I feel very lucky to have worked with such a dynamic group.”

Molly Minamyer, a junior psychology and Asian studies student, said that she and her fellow sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority are excited to see Angel Kennedy in the play.  

“We have a ton of people going to support our sister,” Mirnamyer said. “She’s awesome.”

Turski said she hopes the audience will take advantage of the show and use it as an opportunity to reflect on history’s impact on the present.

“Honoring our ancestors is a deep and powerful way to look at how history connects with current events,” said Turski. “We can learn from their mistakes and fuel our battles from their strengths.” 

Tickets and show times are available at www.theatreanddanceatwayne.com.

Cover photo by Chuk Nowak.

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