Student of Grade 11 studied about Authoritarian States and its leaders. They discussed about the Rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany. The students then analysed various sources related to the rise of Hitler and presented it in class.
Bringing Sophocles to Your Screens - Antigone 24x7
Antigone 24x7 presented by The Pomegranate Workshop is a contemporary re-imagination of Sophocles' Greek tragedy, Antigone. Directed by Gerish Khemani, this production was shot and presented entirely on Zoom by young actors who ensured that the essence of the play transcended virtual boundaries and created a lasting impression.
The most impressive aspect of this production was how it seamlessly adapted to the online-streaming medium. The idea of a play being streamed on a screen is alien to audiences considering that traditionally, a play borrows heavily from the stage’s properties to deliver its message. In the IB English Language and Literature classes, by engaging in a close reading of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, students have begun appreciating the importance of stage properties and directions. However, Antigone 24x7 virtually deconstructs the audience’s established understanding of conventional stage theatre, while simultaneously employing aspects of a classic Greek tragedy like the chorus.
The production has managed to construct a play that appeals to the youth through its use of modern symbols. The glimpses of archaism in the language used by the main characters, juxtaposed with the non-literary, colloquial language used by the chorus through media like WhatsApp chats and Face-time conversations makes the play more comprehensible for young audiences. Kush Shah, whose portrayal of Haemon and Chorus 1 was superlative said that, “Adapting [the play] to the now was hard because at the time (the play was first presented in 2016 to a live audience) it was not as accessible as it is now, so I think adapting it to make it more accessible for people younger than us and for who we are now, was hard.” He expressed the added pressures of having to walk the fine line between making the play graspable for younger audiences while also staying true to the play and their personal preferences as dramatists.
Anachronism or a chronological inconsistency in some arrangement, especially a juxtaposition of persons, events, objects, or customs from a different period, has made multiple appearances in the play. The representation of the complex relationship between the protagonist Antigone, and her lover Haemon, through Instagram, is a commentary on the production’s dedication to borrow from new-age technological applications to enhance the preexisting elements of the Greek tragedy.
In our “Q&A” session with the cast and crew of the production, Gerish Khemani spoke about the challenges they faced when they decided to embark on the journey of presenting a “streamed play”. “The production is a hybrid”, he mentioned when asked about whether or not the medium used to deliver the play transforms it into cinema. When faced with the question, “Does this hybrid need new nomenclature?”, Khemani said that this form is still evolving and developing. The idea of streaming it,
perhaps, borrows from cinema, but it still is a series of frames strung together to form one piece. That “one-take” philosophy is theatre.
While the play is a testament to the ceaseless debate regarding art and its form, what I admired the most about the play was its politics. Not only is Antigone 24x7 a critique of patriarchy but it is also a commentary of our acceptance of political confinement. To avoid a civil war, the King of Thebes, Creon sends the city into lockdown. Under the garb of safety and protection of the city’s sovereignty, the King chooses to employ this political ploy and eliminate voices of dissent that threaten his throne. Alluding to
our current political climate through a contemporary reconceptualisation of a Greek tragedy makes the play relevant and profound.
In a world full of countless re-imaginations of Sophocles' Greek tragedy, Antigone 24x7 has made a name for itself by attracting viewership from across the world and contributing to the diversification of the “Zoom-play” genre. Overall, the play allowed one insight into the future of theatre in a world plagued by a pandemic!
Tripura Chamy, IBDP 1
Theme - Identities
Indian art and culture is reflective of our constitutional values of “ unity in diversity” and ‘ Shilpgram” a cultural exhibition in Udaipur, is emblematic of that sentiment. Not only is it a testament to the intricacies of Indian fine art but Shilpgram also provides small business with a safe and comfortable market wherein they cam sell their products without falling prey to predatory pricing systems. Tripuras presentation focused on highlighting these aspects while simultaneously expressing the effects of colonization on our understanding of Indian language, politics and art.