The Garret Players, the student theater group at American International College will present "Antigone" for its fall production, November 16-18, in the Griswold Theatre.
"Antigone" a tragedy by Sophocles written in 441 BC, is arguably the first feminist in all of recorded literature. Frank Borrelli of West Springfield, the new theater director at AIC, said he chose the play because it reflects a society that is polarized by war, terrorism, financial meltdown and uncertainty. "Like Antigone herself, we as members of the world community make choices that are not always self serving, but instead serve those we love and those we believe will lead us through rough times," he said.
Antigone exists in a society in which women were powerless to enforce political or societal change. She represents the women of her society that longed to make their own decisions and carve out their own path in life. A strong woman, full of youth and vitality fighting for what she believes in at any cost including her own life," according to Borrelli.
"Antigone, represents our student community on campus as she discovers her own voice and fights to establish her own belief system and views on the world. Our students are doing that same work everyday. In philosophy, sociology and anthropology courses students are learning about the world around them and how they fit into it. A strong commitment has been made to choose plays that in some way directly reflects the student body of AIC," Borrelli said.
Borrelli has taught at Holyoke Community College and Asnuntuck Community College, and has conducted workshops at Mt. Holyoke College and UMass Amherst. He has also lectured at Roger Williams University and Rhode Island College.
The new director said he is excited about taking over the theater program at AIC and has some definite plans for expansion. "In this new vision for the theater program at AIC, I believe in the potential for a full degree program to be developed on campus. In addition to what the program currently offers, I am working to design new courses in performance, theory, and technical theater including courses in design," Borrelli said.
His recent directing experience includes the 'My Name is Medea: An Exploration of Gender Roles in the Ancient Play," Serious Play Theatre Ensemble, Northampton; "Maria’s Pictures," Southeastern Theater Conference, Atlanta, Ga.; and "South Pacific," The Suffield Players, Suffield, Conn.
"I believe in the strong potential that theater has to be successful on campus because it is a venture that is strongly supported from administration and the student body," he said. "The Garret Players theater group on campus will play a large role in the continued development of the program by engaging other students and by potentially producing student written and directed material in addition to the main stage production each semester."
One of the exciting things theater can offer to the community is a strong sense of togetherness and dialogue about the world we live in and the art that reflects it. I recognize the importance of community engagement and I will work hard to ensure that community members have a space to fill in this growing exciting theater program.
One of the projects Borrelli is working on involve bringing summer theater back to Western Mass. "In developing the summer theater the college community and the surrounding arts community of Western Massachusetts will be engaged to come and be a part of live theater on the campus of AIC," he said.
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