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A radical new hybrid performance film of Sophocles’ Antigone –
rehearsed online, made online, performed online.
From the translation of Sophocles’ play by Seamus Heaney. With permission by Faber&Faber.
UC Davis gets creative to save long planned theater show
I was invited as the Granada Spring Artist-in-Residence at UC Davis California to direct a production of Sophocles’ Antigone at the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre. When it was clear how huge the impact of COVID 19 would be I, along with my collaborator and co-director Margaret Laurena Kemp, was moved to consider how the show could still go on. How could we follow through on our collaboration, creativity and community engagement in this unprecedented moment in history? How could we create a piece that would speak to this crisis?
Our reimagined production of AntigoneNOW answers the call.
A dead body in quarantine, unburied and left to rot. A state in strife, a nation in fear, a woman bereft: Antigone is forbidden to touch and lay to rest the body of her deceased brother.
Award-winning Irish director and University of California Davis, Granada Artist in Residence Sinéad Rushe, will co-direct with UC Davis, Associate Professor Margaret Laurena Kemp, a ground-breaking contemporary response to the classical play, Antigone. Made collectively between the USA, Japan, Singapore, China and the UK using mobile phones, Ipads and video, this all-female cast and creative team will create a stunning new film that confronts the isolation of our moment. A culturally diverse ensemble of female identifying actors – each in seclusion – will evoke the breadth of Antigone’s grief and defiance against devastating loss.
This production is part of Kemp and Rushe’s ongoing creative exploration of character through polyphonic vocalisation and collective composition. They posit that character, like a place or a country or a nation state, is not a point of departure but a construct or result, the assumption of an ever-contested role.
Co-director Margaret Laurena Kemp is an actor, a multi-disciplinary performing artist, writer and teaching artist and Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance at UC Davis. She trained at The George Washington University at The Shakespeare Theatre and B.S. Interdepartmental Studies, School of Speech, Northwestern University. She is also a Fitzmaurice Voicework Certified Associate Instructor.
She has performed at Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Yale Rep, South Coast Repertory, La Mama Theatre (Melbourne, Australia), Theatre of Changes (Athens, Greece), Red Pear Theatre (Antibes, France), and The Magnet Theatre (Cape Town, South Africa). She won worldwide praise for her starring role in the film Children of God. Other screen credits include the supernatural film thriller, The Dark Rite, Blood Bound, The Orlando Jones Show and Commander in Chief.
Her visual work has been shown in solo and group shows at Art Share Los Angeles and The National Gallery of Art in Nassau, Bahamas. Her latest work CITE opened on October 25th, 2019 at the Elaine Jacobs Gallery in Detroit, Michigan. Recent awards include a 2019 Lucas Art Residency at Montalvo Arts Center, 2019 Kennedy Center KCAT award for directing, 2019 Michael Chekhov Artist Scholar Award and the 2019 VASTA Featured Artist Award. Other awards and residencies include The Headlands (USA) 2017, Bundanon Trust (Australia) 2017. She holds memberships in One Union (SAG-AFTRA) and Actors Equity Association (AEA).
Her research explores authorship and spatial politics through performance. Within actor training environments while specifically teaching voice, speech, movement and acting, she incorporates and re-contextualizes interdisciplinary topics such as Identity, Movement Theory, Accents-Dialects, Contemporary and Classical Heightened text, Solo Performance and Devised Theatre. Read more here.