Woodburn High School presents "Agatha Rex," a modern-day version of "Antigone," at 7 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16

Theater-goers can prepare for “Agatha Rex,” a modern adaptation of the Greek tragedy “Antigone,” at Woodburn High School Nov. 8, 9, 15 and LINDSAY KEEFER - Agatha Rex, played by Jasmine Snider, is lifted in the air by two members of the chorus, John Bagley (left) and Zach Nieve, during a rehearsal for the show based on the Greek tragedy, 'Antigone.' Showtimes are Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. at Woodburn High School.

The play will be at 7 p.m. in the high school lectorium, 1785 N. Front St. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors.

“Agatha Rex” is about a preparatory high school in which students must adhere to strict rules. When Agatha Rex’s brothers break the rules and come to school with their ears pierced, one is told he must write an essay while the other is expelled. Agatha, who is the student council president, must choose whether to stand up for what she sees as an injustice.

“It’s not so much that she’s sticking up for her brother, because they don’t really like each other that much,” explained Director Amy Sidwell. “It’s more about what she believes is fair.”

Sidwell said she chose the play because some students study it in classes.

“I thought it would be good for them to see a version that perhaps they can connect with more,” she said. “I like to be able to connect as many things with school as I can when working with them.”

Like the ancient Greek plays, a large part of the action is spurred by a chorus, which is an ensemble of students who mainly sit on steps positioned on either side of the stage and chant in rhythm, speaking the stream of consciousness of characters and addressing the audience throughout the play.

“They have to work on their moments and work on being together,” Sidwell said. “That’s the hardest part. But it’s the third biggest part in the show as far as lines.”

The play is also similar to the Greek style with minimal set and props.

“It’s very much representational,” Sidwell said. “We’re trying to set it up like a semi-arena.”

In the cast and crew of 32, 14 have never been in a play before, Sidwell said. Among them, three main characters are double-casted, allowing for more students to gain experience in lead roles.

Woodburn High School students will have even more opportunities to shine onstage this school year, with “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” as the February musical and a play written by International Baccalaureate students based on their own experiences with bullying.

“It’s going to be an exciting year,” Sidwell said.

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