The Memphis Flyer, February 17 - 22, 2006, 2001

Ann Tigony Opens At TheatreWorks


One has to wonder if Bill Baker, the founder and artistic director of Our Own Voice Theatre Company, is wearing too many hats. On top of writing and directing OOV's Ann Tigony, he is also running lights and sound. Baker's theatricals are always thought-provoking and can be startlingly fine, but Ann Tigony seems -- like the man himself -- stretched a little thin.

Baker's last offering was The Passion of Joni Dark, a righteous if redundantly anti-Bush remix of St. Joan. He knows how to reinvent a classic and has done so with humor and insight. Ann Tigony plays out a bit too much like an After School Special about recognizing the early warning signs of teenage suicide.

Antigone is the original rebel, and Creon is a sympathetic tyrant blinded by his faith and patriotism: Sophocles' tragedy should be relevant. OOV's adaptation, while sometimes beautifully scripted, lacks the passion of the original and the teeth. Instead of a battle over whether or not to bury a brother, Antigone and Creon fight over a rock concert -- it's not the same.

Ann Tigony feels like a good play that never got too far beyond the first draft. Baker's use of the chorus is interesting. His development of the rocky relationship between Antigone and her sister Ismene is honest and eloquent, but the mighty Creon is never anything more than a repetitive ideologue who grows stale after the first speech.

At TheatreWorks through February 19