People’s Branch Theatre closes its 2007-2008 season with The Antigone Cycle. The ancient Greek Oedipus cycle gets a bold, urban facelift in this radical re-imagination, as hip-hop music and dance and freestyle poetry blend with classical Greek drama to tell the tragic story of Antigone and her family.

Set against the backdrop of the war of Thebes, the modern parallel of how urban violence destroys families brings fresh relevance and a shocking new conclusion to this classic tale.

“We live in an era of increasing exposure to violence not only in television and films but also in our everyday lives,” says Artistic Director Ross Brooks. “And regular exposure to violent acts can lead to numbness. As Nashville continues to grow and to experience some of the problems of a large city, it’s an issue we cannot afford to grow accustomed to. The story of Antigone is truly timeless, and putting it into a modern context makes it more accessible and relevant to our lives. Plus, there’s a fascinating similarity between the function and execution of ancient Greek theatre and modern-day poetry slams as well as rap battles.”

The performance schedule for this PBT production is unique as well, featuring a late-night performance on Friday, April 11, and a special third weekend encore performance on Saturday, April 26.

The cast of five local actors includes Kamal Bolden, most recently seen as Jackie Robinson in the Nashville Children’s Theatre’s production of MVP, Rodrikus Springfield, Alicia Ridley, Stephanie Vickers, and local poet and spoken-word artist Rashad Rayford. The play is written by Brooks and features original music by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriters Lisa Kimmey and Juan Winans.

The production is sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Bridgestone/Firestone USA.

The Antigone Cycle runs April 10-19, with a late night performance on Friday, April 11, and an encore performance on Saturday, April 26, at the historic Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village. Tickets are $18 for general admission and $12 for seniors or students with ID and can be purchased through the Belcourt box office by calling 615-846-3150 or online at www.belcourt.org. This show is rated PG-13 and contains adult situations and language; there will also be gunshots.

For more information about The Antigone Cycle or about People’s Branch, visit their Website at www.peoplesbranch.org or go to their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/peoplesbranchtheatre.

Performance Schedule

  • Thursday, April 10 - 7:30 pm
  • Friday, April 11 - 7:30 pm
  • LATE NIGHT PERFORMANCE:  Friday, April 11 - 11:30 pm 
  • Wednesday, April 16 - 7:30 pm*
  • Thursday, April 17 - 7:30 pm
  • Friday, April 18 - 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, April 19 - 7:30 pm
  • ENCORE PERFORMANCE:  Saturday, April 26 - 7:30 pm

*Wednesday, Feb. 13, is a special "Pay-What-You-Can" performance.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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