[ skip to content ]

Burial at Thebes is Modern Adaptation of Sophocles' Classic Tragedy

"The Burial at Thebes," Seamus Heaney's modern, poetic adaptation of Sophocles' 442 BCE Greek tragedy "Antigone," will be performed this month at Old Dominion University under the direction of Steve Earle.

How would you choose if the law were at odds with your religious beliefs, family honor, and heart? How much, and which freedoms, are you prepared to surrender to keep national order?

"The Burial at Thebes" is a timely, and timeless, exploration of the tension between individual human rights and the security of the state. Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, learns her brothers have killed each other, having been on opposing sides of civil war. When Creon, the new king of Thebes, grants burial rites to one but not to the other, Antigone defies his order. Creon condemns her to death for insubordination, although she was to marry his son. As the dominoes continue to fall, discord within the king's family results, and he is warned that the gods disapprove. Creon at last bends and revokes Antigone's death sentence, but not before it is too late to halt the now-inevitable calamities and despair.

"The Burial at Thebes" presents concepts as debate-worthy and thought-provoking today as they were in 442 BCE. Earle's direction evokes both the timeless nature of these issues and humankind's seemingly never-ending penchant for war and conflict by blending and contrasting contemporary American and ancient Greek imagery. Seamus Heaney's modern translation is accessible while remaining true to Sophocles' original poetic form.

"The Burial at Thebes" opens Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Goode Theatre, located at the intersection of Monarch Way and 46th Street. Other shows will be held Nov. 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.ODUArtsTix.com or by contacting the Box Office at 757-683-5305. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

First Fridays

Get an inside look into your major of interest when you speak to professors and current students at our monthly First Friday events.

Spring 2023 Commencement

Celebrate the achievements of approximately 2,000 graduating students during ceremonies on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6.