About the project
Antigone in Ferguson is a groundbreaking project, developed by Theater of War Productions, which fuses dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Antigone with live choral music performed by a diverse choir, including police officers, activists, youth, teachers, and concerned citizens from St. Louis, Missouri and New York City, culminating in powerful, healing discussions about race and social justice. Antigone in Ferguson was conceived in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014, through a collaboration between Theater of War Productions and community members from Ferguson, MO, and premiered at Normandy High School, Michael Brown’s alma mater, in September of 2016.
About the play
Antigone by Sophocles
Sophocles’ Antigone is an ancient play about a teenage girl who wishes to bury her brother, Polyneices, who recently died in a brutal civil war. Creon, the new, untested king, has ruled that Polyneices’ body must remain above the earth, and that anyone who breaks this law will be put to death. Antigone openly and intentionally defies his edict, covering her brother’s body with dirt and publicly declaring her allegiance to a higher law, one that transcends that of the state—the law of love. Creon is then forced, by his own political rhetoric, and the by fragile social order that he has barely begun to establish since the civil war, to make an example of his niece, by sentencing her to death. In the process of following through with his own decree, Creon loses everything. At its core, Antigone is a play about what happens when personal conviction and state law clash, raising the question: When everyone is right (or feels justified), how do we avert the violence that will inevitably take place?
Antigone in Ferguson Highlights
House Seats: Antigone in Ferguson
All Arts / 2019
Experience a powerful fusion of Sophocles’ classic tragedy, Antigone, with live music from a contemporary gospel choir and highly personal community discussion. This multifaceted production explores themes of tragedy, trauma and social justice, and shows us that a 2500-year-old play is still relevant today. The all-star ensemble of actors includes Samira Wiley, Chris Noth and Tamara Tunie. Watch the video.
Duane Foster sings in Antigone in Fergsuon
Wellspring Church, St. Louis, MO / 2016
Crowd on the basketball court
Howard Playground, Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY / 2017
Paul Giamatti playing Creon
Coppin State University, Baltimore, MD / 2017
Mrs. Norma Leggette speaks in the audience during Antigone in Ferguson discussion
Wellspring Church, St. Louis, MO / 2016
Meet the Antigone in Ferguson Choir: Duane Foster
Meet the Antigone in Ferguson Choir: Marcelle Davies-Lashley
Brooklyn, NY / 2018
Meet the Antigone in Ferguson Choir: De Andrea Blaylock-Johnson
Ferguson, MO / 2018
Antigone in Ferguson, Meet the Choir: De-Rance Blaylock
Normandy High School, St. Louis, MO / 2018
Antigone in Ferguson, Meet the Choir: Willie Wooodmore
St. Peters, MO / 2018
Meet the Antigone in Ferguson Choir: Lt. Latricia Allen
St. Louis, MO / 2018
The Healing Power of Greek Tragedy
Smithsonian Magazine / 2017
What About Justice?: Paul Giamatti and Sonja Sohn star in 'Antigone in Ferguson' at Coppin
City Paper / 2017
Read the article
Michael Brown and the Raw Power of ‘Antigone in Ferguson’
The Daily Beast / 2018
A Chorus Remembers Michael Brown in ‘Antigone in Ferguson’
The New York Times / 2018
Michael Brown Sr. served on the panel during the discussion of Antigone in Ferguson. Read the article.
Antigone in Ferguson brings protest theater to Harlem
Time Out / 2018
Missouri Theater Embraces Ferguson Echoes In 'Antigone' Production
NPR / 2016
Antigone in Ferguson - Onassis Festival NY - Antigone Now
Onassis Foundation USA / 2016
Antigone in Ferguson presented at the Onassis Foundation's Festival Antigone Now
Antigone in Ferguson presented at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Nostos Festival
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens, Greece / 2017
Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence Project
Addressing the impact of domestic violence on individuals, families, and communities, the Domestic Violence Project premiered in Maine in April 2013 and will be touring all five boroughs of New York City under the current PAIR residency.
Natural DisasterThe Tohoku Project
The Tohoku Project: Sumidagawa presents powerful dramatic readings by professional actors of Sumidagawa, a Noh play from the early 15th Century that timelessly depicts the unique challenges faced by parents in the wake of unimaginable disaster. Each reading is followed by the responses of community panelists, culminating in a lively, facilitated audience discussion. This interactive event promotes healthy, constructive dialogue about the lasting impact of the Tohoku disaster upon individuals, families, and communities—fostering compassion, understanding, awareness, and positive action.
Theater of War Productions and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in partnership with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, will present readings of scenes Peter Weiss' play The Investigation, a piece of documentary theater adapted from the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965. Premiering in November, the project will center on guided discussions about mass murder and its lasting impact upon individuals, families, communities, and countries throughout the world. Performed by a diverse cast, including international performers from communities affected by genocide, The Investigation will seek to generate powerful dialogue across cultures and communities about the human capacity for evil, as well as the systems and hierarchies that create the conditions for unthinkable violence.