Quintessence Theatre Presents Anouilh's ANTIGONE, Previews 2/29


Quintessence Theatre Group continues its second season with Jean Anouilh's 1943 adaptation of Sophocles' ANTIGONE, in a translation by Jeremy Sams, directed by Alexander Burns. ANTIGONE will start previews on Wednesday, February 29th at 7pm and open on Saturday, March 3rd at 8pm at the Sedgwick Theater, 7137 Germantown Ave in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, 19119. To purchase tickets, visit www.QuintessenceTheatre.org or call 1.877.238.5596.

About the show: Antigone's prideful father King Oedipus sought the truth at the cost of losing his kingdom, his queen, and his eyes. A civil war erupts over which of Antigone's brothers is to rule Thebes and both are killed in the battle. The new leader, her uncle Creon, decides to make one of her brothers a hero. The other is left to rot unburied in the field. Antigone defies her uncle's edict and does what she believes is right. Can a civilization and its ruler survive her civil disobedience?

Written in 1943 during the German occupation of France, ANTIGONE is one of the great adaptations of classic drama which combines the master of Greek tragedy, Sophocles, with the modern wit of French dramatist Jean Anouilh. Celebrated British dramatist Jeremy Sams translates this masterpiece into potent, poetic and contemporary English.

Quintessence has announced Lavita Shaurice*, Robert Jason Jackson* and Cheryl Williams* will make their Quintessence debuts in ANTIGONE. Lavita Shaurice delighted Philadelphia audiences in the Wilma Theatre's production My Wonderful Day and will be taking on the titular role. Celebrated Broadway actor Robert Jason Jackson will come to Philadelphia to bring to life the complex leader Creon. Barrymore Award winner Cheryl Williams will play the nurse. Maechi Aharanwa will also be returning to Philadelphia to make her Quintessence debut as Ismene. Following his celebrated performance as Sganarelle in last season's Don Juan, John Williams will play Prologue. Khris Davis (Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice and Arlecchino in The Venetian Twins) will play Prince Haemon and Sean Bradley (Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice) returns as the First Guard. The cast also includes Alexander Harvey (Alice in Henry V and Lancelot in The Merchant of Venice) and Doug Greene (Quintessence's Measure For Measure) with Matt Tallman making his Quintessence debut as the Second Guard.

Quintessence Theatre Group is Philadelphia's new professional classical theatre company, dedicated to the performance and adaptation of epic works of classic drama and literature for the Contemporary Stage. Rooted in the traditions of classical drama, we explore what is essential in theatre and human nature, igniting the mind of artists and audiences through the power of the live actor, design and the spoken word.

Over the next five years Quintessence Theatre Group will work to establish an acting ensemble and a rotating repertory at the historic Sedgwick Theater in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. This past fall The Venetian Repertory marked Quintessence's first demonstration of the power of a classical repertory ensemble. Quintessence Theatre Group will continue its residency at the historic Sedgwick Theater, playing a central role in the renaissance of main street Mt. Airy, a thriving and diverse neighborhood located in northwest Philadelphia.

ANTIGONE plays February 29th – March 25th. A special PAY WHAT YOU CAN preview will be presented on Wednesday, February 29th at 7:00pm. A discussion on Sophocles, Anouilh and Antigone with director Alexander Burns will occur before the show on Thursday, March 15th. A post show discussion with the cast and creative team will take place on Sunday, March 11th and Wednesday, March 21st.

Performances take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $30, $20 for seniors (65 and over), $15 for youth (25 and under). There are $10 industry and student rush tickets available at the box office one hour before the performance. To purchase tickets visit www.QuintessenceTheatre.org, or call 1.877.238.5596. For information on any of the performances or above events please email BoxOffice@QuintessenceTheatre.org.


On Saturday, March 17th Quintessence Theatre Group will present Sophocles' entire Oedipus Cycle. This rare opportunity will allow audiences to hear Sophocles' entire trilogy in one day. The first two plays, OEDIPUS REX and OEDIPUS AT COLONUS will be presented as readings in the afternoon, followed in the evening by the performance of Anouilh's ANTIGONE. OEDIPUS REX will be read at 2pm. OEDIPUS AT COLONUS will be read at 5pm. ANTIGONE will be performed at 8pm. Casting for the readings will be announced shortly.

Tickets for the individual readings are now on sale for $10. Tickets for the entire cycle are available for $40. Please visit http://www.quintessencetheatre.org/ for more information.

2011 - 2012 SEASON

Quintessence Theatre Group's 2011 - 2012 season opened with Goldoni's THE VENETIAN TWINS and Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE presented in repertory. The season will conclude with Chekhov's THE SEAGULL. Each play is dominated by an ambitious young protagonist who strives to discover identity, truth and honor; each celebrates the power of the young mind in the face of adversity.


Maechi Aharanwa (Ismene) New York: The Blacks: A Clown Show, Macbeth, Mother Courage (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Romeo and Hamlet (GFNY), Katori Hall's The Beyonce Effect (Horsetrade Theatre Group). Educational: Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Julius Caesar, The Greeks Part III: The Gods, Antony and Cleopatra, The Cherry Orchard (Juilliard). Television: 30 Rock, Mercy. Training: Juilliard.

SEAN BRADLEY (First Guard) Quintessence: The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, Measure for Measure, Apology. Philadelphia: Lord of the Flies (Curio Theatre); A Prometheus Bound (Renegade Classic Theatre); As You Like It, Hamlet (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre); The Winter's Tale (Delaware Shakespeare Festival); Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre Horizon); Winners (Round Table Theatre); Titus Andronicus (Plays and Players). Educational: The Cider House Rules Pt 1 & 2, The Philadelphia Story, Measure for Measure, Venus (University of the Arts). As Fight Director: Othello (Goodwill Theatre); See What I Want to See, Dog Sees God, In the Blood (Philly Fringe); A Prometheus Bound (Renegade Classic Theatre). Training: BFA, University of the Arts.

KHRIS DAVIS (Haemon) Quintessence: The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, Henry V. Philadelphia: Ruined (PTC); Go Green (WST Outreach tour); Black Nativity (Theatre Double); Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (Camden Rep); First Breeze of Summer (Adrien Theatre); u/s Blue Door, Superior Donuts (The Arden Theatre).

Alexander Harvey (Messenger) Quintessence: The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, Henry V. New York: Long Day's Journey Into Night (Theatre Row/York Shakespeare Company); Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear (ShakespeareNYC/Vook); Dreams of a Common Housefly (BAX/Upstart Festival); The Merchant of Venice and The Jew of Malta (YSC); King Lear (Balloon Heaven/Producer's Club); Mrs. Warren's Profession (Compassion Theater Co.); To Walk In Darkness (Turtle Shell). Regional: Doubt , Hip/Shake, The Red Sun and The Green Moon (Syracuse Stage). UK: The Merchant of Venice w/s (Shakespeare's Globe); Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Midsummer Night's Dream (new vic). Training: RADA, The Bristol Old Vic and Syracuse University.

DOUG GREENE (Third Guard) Quintessence: Measure for Measure. Philadelphia: Lucky in Waiting for Godot, Moritz in Spring Awakening – Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Ensemble (EgoPo Classic Theater); Darkplay or Stories for Boys (Theatre Exile); The Lover in The Art of War – Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Ensemble (Vagabond); Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, The Philadelphia Artists' Collective; Iris Theatre Company; Theatre Ariel; Wandering Rom; Isis Theatre Company; City Theatre Company. Upcoming: The Temperamentals (Mauckingbird).

ROBERT Jason Jackson* (Creon) Broadway: Amonasro in Aida, Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler (starring Kelly McGillis). New York: The Merchant of Venice (Public Theatre); Bubbly Black Girl (Playwrights Horizon). Regional: title role in Othello (Denver Theatre Company and Shakespeare Santa Cruz); Polonius in Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Scott Joplin in Tin Pan Alley Rag (Cleveland Playhouse); Richard II – NAACP Best Actor nomination (Mark Taper Forum); Death and the King's Horseman (Goodman Theatre); The Greeks (Hartford Stage). TV/Film: Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Third Watch, New York Undercover, New Jersey Drive, Altamont High. As a singer: Carman Moore's Music Ensemble at the Twin Towers Winter Garden, Lincoln Centers' Out of Doors Festival, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Obie Award winning jazz opera Running Man, You Don't Miss the Water with Lyn Austin's Music Theatre Group, featured jazz solo vocalist at The Public Theatre's New Jazz Series. Recordings: "Conjure: Music to the Texts of Ishmael Reed", "Dancing with Cab Calloway" (Pangaea Records). As director, playwright, and actor: rap-poetry-monologue Word to the Mutha (Urban Griots at MK's), In Search of Paul Robeson (Sun Media Arts Consortium), staged reading of play with music Hellhound On My Trail (Harold Clurman Theatre), Happy Birthday Madam Alberta (Minetta Lane Theatre). Training: Northwestern University. Robert Is currently editing an independent feature film he directed this past summer, Half Married, Half Crazy.

Lavita Shaurice* (Antigone) Philadelphia: Winnie Barnstairs in My Wonderful Day – 2011 Barrymore nomination for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play (Wilma Theater); Ona Judge in A House With No Walls (InterAct Theatre). New York: A Home Across The Ocean (MTWorks); She Like Girls – 2009 GLAAD award, I Used to Write on Walls (Working Man's Clothes). Training: Temple University. Lavita is also a proud member of MTWorks Theater Company.

MATT TALLMAN (Second Guard) Philadelphia: Act a Lady (Azuka); Hamlet (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Tour); Regional: Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Pride and Prejudice (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Hamlet, The Tempest, Love's Labors Lost, All's Well That Ends Well (American Players Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Dallas Theater Center); As You Like It (Water Tower Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, A Christmas Carol (St. Croix Festival Theatre); The Voice of the Prairie, What the Butler Saw (Next Act Theatre); The Tempest, Othello (Milwaukee Shakespeare); Ghosts, Much Ado About Nothing, Misalliance (Commonweal Theatre Company); A Life in the Theatre (Nevermore Theatre). Film: I Become Gilgamesh. Training: MFA, Southern Methodist University. Upcoming: The Temperamentals (Mauckingbird Theatre Company).

Cheryl Williams* (Nurse) Philadelphia: Grace in Pterodactyls (New City Stage); Francis in The Breath of Life – Barrymore Award (Lantern Theatre); Dorothy/Narrator in Respect: A Musical Journey of Women (Act II Playhouse/Society Hill Playhouse/Phoenix Tour); Aunt Julia in Hedda Gabler (Mauckingbird Theatre Co.); Frau Schlemmer in The Street of Useful Things (Act II Playhouse); Amanda in The Glass Menagerie (Act Out Theare, NJ); Female Greek Chorus in How I Learned to Drive (Mayphair Theatre Co). Regional: Chicago Dramatists; Chicago's Court and Goodman Theatres; Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; the Detroit area's Purple Rose, Attic, Jewish Ensemble, and Meadow Brook theatres; The Human Race; Madison Rep; Orlando and Illinois Shakespeare Festivals. Film: Future Weather, The Silver Linings Playbook. Cheryl is a recipient of The Princess Grace Award and is proud to be an adjunct acting faculty member with the Temple University theatre program.

John Williams (Prologue) Quintessence: Measure for Measure, Don Juan. New York: Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Pulse Ensemble Theatre); Platanos and Collard Greens (Between the Lines Productions); Blood Sky (Looking Glass Theatre). Regional: Blue/Orange (Peppermint Creek Theatre Co); The Zoo Story, Much Ado About Nothing, Three Sisters, Burn This (Stella Adler Studio). International: Witches Riches and Wedding Cake (Shoestring Players, Edinburgh Fringe). Commercials: Kaplan University, Bank of American, Miller Brewing Co, Maryland Lottery. TV: As the World Turns. Training: BA, Rutgers University.

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

ALEXANDER BURNS (Director/Artistic Director) Quintessence: The Merchant of Venice, The Venetian Twins, The Importance of Being Earnest, Don Juan, Apology, Henry V, Measure for Measure. Regional: Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Shakespeare Festival), Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre Company, DC @ Carter Barron), Henri Gabler, Diabolique, The Maids (Exigent Theatre). Alexander was a Directing Fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. As an assistant director Alexander has worked at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Old Globe, Steppenwolf Theater, The Goodman Theatre, The Flea Theatre, The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Alexander has assisted directors Frank Galati, Michael Kahn, Gale Edwards, Robert Moss and Ethan McSweeny. Training: Northwestern University, LCT Directors Lab, and the Jack O'Brien Directors Lab.

Adapted from the SOPHOCLES
In a translation by Jeremy Sams

Performance Schedule:
Wednesday, February 29 at 7pm Pay What You Can preview
Thursday, March 1 at 7pm
Friday, March 2 at 8pm
Saturday, March 3 at 8pm Opening Night
Sunday, March 4 at 3pm
Wednesday, March 7 at 7pm
Thursday, March 8 at 7pm
Friday, March 9 at 8:30pm
Saturday, March 10 at 8pm
Sunday, March 11 at 3pm Post-show Discussion
Wednesday, March 14 at 7pm
Thursday, March 15 at 7pm Pre-show Discussion (6:45pm)
Friday, March 16 at 8pm
Saturday, March 17 at 8pm
Sunday, March 18 at 3pm
Wednesday, March 21 at 7pm
Thursday, March 22 at 7pm Post-show Discussion
Friday, March 23 at 8pm
Saturday, March 24 at 8pm
Sunday, March 25 at 3pm

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