Antigone at Indianapolis Museum of Art, through Sept. 26

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NoExit Performance, Inc.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Directed by Georgeanna Smith

With chest-beating monologues and excessive exposition, Greek tragedy can play like ancient soap opera. Who screwed whom? Who was loyal? Who will go down in flames? By the grace of Zeus, however, brilliant Georgeanna Smith blends these elements in the ethereally beautiful IMA gardens to put mortal woes in perspective and put us into the story. Like the citizens of Thebes sniffing out gossip, audience members follow the players up and down shaded stone paths. We witness two brothers battle to the death in a fountain and then chase after their mourning, arguing sisters. Only Antigone will risk her life to bury her disgraced brother Polynieces, against the King's commandment. Once we Thebans are settled on the lawn behind the majestic Lilly House, King Creon and the unrelenting Antigone, then Creon and his son (who loves Antigone), and finally Creon and his wife (who loves their son) can cajole, scream and wail to their hearts' content. The towering trees and dusky blue skies absorb their frantic echoes, while we consider the ultimate question. Is it better to die for the dead or live alone for power? Using nature, architecture, and earnest performances (including two ghostly interlopers), Smith so masterfully frames the problem that it's difficult to imagine any other option. Through Sept. 26; www.noexit.org.

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