Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Antigone Via Court Theatre February 2 – February 25, 2024

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 Court Theatre presents


Timothy Edward Kane, Ariana Burks, and Aeriel Williams 

All Photos by Michael Brosilow

Originally Written by Sophocles

Translated by Founding Artistic Director Nicholas Rudall

Directed by Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent

February 2 – February 25, 2024

Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre, is proud to present Sophocles’s timely masterwork, Antigone. Directed by Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent and featuring Founding Artistic Director Nicholas Rudall’s translation, this production brings Court Theatre’s Oedipus Trilogy to a stunning conclusion. Antigone runs February 2 – February 25, 2024 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. I'll be out for the press opening, February 10th, so check back soon for my full review.

The cast of Antigone includes Aeriel Williams (Antigone); Ariana Burks (Ismene); Timothy Edward Kane (Creon); Matthew C. Yee (Haimon); Danielle Davis (Demophilos); Cage Sebastian Pierre (Euboule); Julian Parker (Watchman Who Becomes Messenger); and Cheryl Lynn Bruce (Tiresias). 

The creative team includes John Culbert (scenic design); Raquel Adorno (costume design); Keith Parham (lighting design); Willow James (sound design and composition); Abhi Shrestha (production dramaturg and additional concept development); Becca McCracken (casting director); Celeste M. Cooper (associate casting director); Kate Ocker (production stage manager); and Katie Moshier (assistant stage manager). 

As Antigone mourns her brothers who have murdered each other in a civil war, she must decide if she will sacrifice her life to balance the scales of justice. Her victorious brother is posthumously exalted; her treasonous brother is left unburied by order of King Creon, Antigone’s uncle and adversary. Antigone deliberately defies the king’s edict and buries her traitorous brother, igniting a devastating chain of events and thrusting urgent questions of justice to the fore.

With Antigone, Sophocles’s timely masterwork, Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent (The Island) brings Court’s Oedipus Trilogy – Oedipus Rex, The Gospel at Colonus, and Antigone – to an exhilarating conclusion. Randle-Bent’s striking interpretation of Founding Artistic Director Nicholas Rudall’s translation not only completes this theatrical odyssey, but renders Sophocles’s classic tale electrifyingly alive, inviting audiences to hear his poetry anew. As a result, Randle-Bent frees Antigone from the trap of martyrdom, situates her in our modern conversation about the price of democracy, and asks – crucially – if it’s a price we’re willing to pay.

Danielle Davis and Cage Sebastian Pierre

“Antigone marks an important moment in our own legacy,” shares Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director. “The trilogy began with Oedipus Rex and with Nick Rudall. His translation, love of ancient Greek narrative, and belief in the classics’ modern relevance were the bedrock of this project and laid the groundwork for the redemptive joy of The Gospel at Colonus. Now, with Antigone, Gabby is carrying this project forward. It has been thrilling to bring the Oedipus Trilogy to fruition alongside them.”

“Aside from being a compelling story and a work of beautiful poetry, Antigone, as a text, has a unique civic utility,” adds Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre. “We use it in the Civic Actor Studio - a South Side leadership retreat created alongside the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement - to interrogate power and leadership. We use it as an entry point for students, inspiring nuanced conversations about morality and ethics. There’s a reason why people keep returning to this text and adapting it, and I cannot wait for Gabby to share her interpretation of this classic work.”

Associate Artistic Director and Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent concludes: “The thing that’s so interesting about Antigone isn’t the legacy of the play itself. It’s how this play continually comes back and manifests in different ways. People are interested in the enduring legacy of this story, and why it keeps coming back, and when it keeps coming back. We rarely choose Antigone - it chooses its moment - so the question then becomes, ‘What is it about now that means that we need Antigone?’ It feels really right for right now, and that urgency is incredibly exciting to me as a director, as a scholar, and as a person in our world at this moment.”

 Julian Parker and Timothy Edward Kane 

Court’s new Agora Conversations will complement this production of Antigone. Created by Court’s Engagement division, these discussions invite thinkers, creatives, and activists to share bold ideas that shed light on the lived experiences of Chicagoans today. The inaugural conversation will be held on Monday, February 12 at Experimental Station, 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. Confirmed speakers include dr. nick alder, Dr. Phyllis West, Andrea Yarbrough, and Associate Artistic Director Gabrielle Randle-Bent. Agora Conversations are free and open to the public, and reservations are required. Visit for more information. 

Individual tickets to Antigone, and subscription packages including this production, are on sale now. Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling the Box Office at (773) 753-4472 or online at

Antigone is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. This project is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Antigone (Rudall, trans.) is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

About the Artists

NICHOLAS RUDALL (Translator, 1940 - 2018) was the Founding Artistic Director of Court Theatre, having led the theatre from 1971 to 1994. He led the growth of Court from a community theatre to a leading professional Equity theatre. In addition to his achievements as an actor and director, Rudall was a Professor Emeritus in Classics at the University of Chicago, where he taught for over forty years. His translations for the theatre—known for their stage-friendly language and “playability”—are myriad and span many languages, but he is best known for his translations of ancient Greek tragedy. 

GABRIELLE RANDLE-BENT (Director, Associate Artistic Director) is a mother, director, dramaturg, and scholar. Her directorial highlights include The Island and The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (co-directed with Charles Newell) at Court Theatre; 1919 (Steppenwolf); and The Year of Magical Thinking (Remy Bumppo). She is a co-founder of the Civic Actor Studio, a leadership program of the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement. She has a BA in Drama from Stanford University, an MA in Performance as Public Practice from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University.

Cheryl Lynn Bruce 

CHERYL LYNN BRUCE (Tiresias) originated the role of Elizabeth Sandry for Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-winning The Grapes of Wrath (Broadway’s Cort Theatre, National Theatre (UK), La Jolla Playhouse). Stage credits include: Familiar (Woolly Mammoth, Steppenwolf); Head of Passes (Steppenwolf, Berkeley Rep); Cry, the Beloved Country (Goodman); and many others. Film/television credits include: Stranger Than Fiction; Daughters of the Dust; The Fugitive; There Are No Children Here; Prison Break; Separate but Equal; To Sir, With Love II. Directing credits include: La Havana Madrid (Steppenwolf, Goodman, South Coast Repertory); Written by Phillis (Quintessence); The House of the Negro Insane (Contemporary American Theatre Festival, National Black Theatre Festival); Splash Hatch on the E Going Down (Next Act). Awards include: Robert Rauschenberg Residency (2015), 3Arts Award (2010), Yale University Art Gallery Residency (2011). 

Ariana Burks

ARIANA BURKS (Ismene) is so blessed to be back at Court Theatre, where she previously played Ismene in The Gospel at Colonus! Theatre credits include The Gospel at Colonus (Court Theatre, Getty Villa); Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Marriott); Children of Eden (Cadillac Palace); Spring Awakening (Porchlight); Urinetown (BoHo Theatre); The Nutcracker (The House Theatre); Hairspray (Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane); Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure (Chicago Children’s Theatre); The Compass, Dance Nation (Steppenwolf); Trevor: The Musical, Next to Normal (Writers); Life After, A Christmas Carol (Goodman). Television/film credits include Beats, South Side, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, The Jr. Cuisine Cooking Show (2011 Emmy Award nomination), and PrankStars. 

DANIELLE DAVIS (Demophilos) is making her Court debut. Chicago credits: Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Dream, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Clyde’s, The Music Man (Goodman Theatre); Holiday Inn (Jeff Nomination – Performer in a Supporting Role), A Christmas Carol (Drury Lane Theatre); BLKS (Steppenwolf Theatre); Fun Home (Victory Gardens). She has worked with Definition Theatre (ensemble member), Lifeline, Theo Ubique, Black Ensemble, Rivendell, and Chicago Children’s Theatre, among others. New York credits: How To Catch Creation (Geva Theatre Center). Television credits: The Chi, Shameless, Chicago P.D., Empire, Sense8, and Easy. Davis is represented by Stewart Talent.

TIMOTHY EDWARD KANE (Creon) Court credits: An Iliad; The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice; The Gospel at Colonus; Oedipus Rex; All My Sons; Harvey; One Man, Two Guvnors; The Illusion; The Wild Duck; Titus Andronicus; Uncle Vanya; The Romance Cycle; Hamlet. Other Chicago credits with Northlight (Birthday Candles, Lost in Yonkers, She Stoops to Conquer, et al.), Writers (Buried Child, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, et al.), TimeLine, Goodman, Steppenwolf, and 20 productions with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, including Hamlet, Tug of War: Civil Strife, The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and King Lear. Regional credits: Mark Taper Forum, Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, Peninsula Players, and the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. TV: Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, and Empire. Awards: Jeff Award, AfterDark, Chicago Magazine. Mr. Kane is married to actress Kate Fry with whom he has two sons; he’s an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Loyola University Chicago.

JULIAN PARKER (Watchman Who Becomes Messenger) is excited for his Court debut! Select Chicago credits: Pass Over, The Gospel of Franklin (Steppenwolf); An Octoroon, Genesis (Definition); Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Hamlet, Julius Caesar (Writers); Prowess (Jackalope); The Hairy Ape (Jeff Award – Performer in a Principal Role, Oracle Productions); Landladies (Northlight); The Royale (American Theater Company). Regional credits: Seize the King (La Jolla Playhouse) and Our Daughters, Like Pillars (Huntington Theatre). Film: Pass Over (directed by Spike Lee), Devonte, Swing Shift. Television: 61st Street, The Chi, Chicago P.D., and others. Education: BFA, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Mr. Parker is a co-founding member of Definition Theatre Company. Represented by Stewart Talent Agency and Authentic Talent Management.

CAGE SEBASTIAN PIERRE (Euboule) is proud to be making his Court Theatre debut. Cage works as an actor and fight choreographer in Chicago and the greater Midwest. TV: Chicago P.D. and Empire. Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Romeo and Juliet, Penn & Teller’s Macbeth, and Q Brothers Christmas Carol. TimeLine Theatre: Kill, Move, Paradise and Too Heavy for Your Pocket. Writers: A Moon for the Misbegotten. American Players Theatre: Eurydice, King Lear, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pericles, and Cyrano de Bergerac. Cage received his BFA from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program. 

Aeriel Williams 

AERIEL WILLIAMS (Antigone) was last seen as Antigone in Court’s productions of The Gospel at Colonus and Oedipus Rex. National tour: The Color Purple. Off-Broadway: Trevor: The Musical. Regional credits include: Million Dollar Quartet, Memphis, Black Pearl: A Tribute to Josephine Baker, Women of Soul, Dreamgirls, A Winter’s Tale, and Seven Guitars. TV Credits: The Chi and Empire. Aeriel was recognized as one of the Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater and Top Performers in 2017 from the Chicago Tribune. Music available on all streaming platforms under Mon’Aerie. 

MATTHEW C. YEE (Haimon) is thrilled to be making his Court Theatre debut. Previous Chicago credits: Lucy And Charlie’s Honeymoon (Lookingglass Theatre), for which he also wrote the book and score; Cambodian Rock Band (Victory Gardens); Vietgone (Writers Theatre); Treasure Island (Lookingglass Theatre). Broadway credits: Almost Famous: The Musical. Film and TV: Empire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, and 61st Street. 


Previews:                    February 2 – 9, 2024

Press Opening:          February 10, 2024 at 7:30pm

Regular Run:               February 11 – 25, 2024



Wed/Thurs/Fri:         7:30 p.m.

Sat/Sun:                      2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.


Accessible Performances:

Touch Tour on February 24, 2024 at 12:30pm

Audio Description and ASL Interpretation on February 24, 2024 at 2:00pm

Open Captioning on February 25, 2024 at 2:00pm 


Location:       Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave.



$40.00 – $70.00 Previews

$56.00 –$88.00 Regular Run

Student, group, and military discounts available

Box Office:     Located at 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or

 Court Theatre reimagines classic theatre to illuminate our current times. In residence at the University of Chicago and on Chicago’s historic South Side, we engage our audiences with intimate and provocative experiences that inspire deeper exploration of the enduring questions that confront humanity and connect us as people.

 Aeriel Williams and Matthew C. Yee

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