“Antigone” Powerful Drama From KOLT Run Creations

Patrick Murphy and Kelly Ogden in “Antigone”

I sat down at Temple coffee house with Lisa Thew, Kolt Run Creations’ director, and Kelley Ogden, who plays the title character in their next production, “Antigone.”

ANTIGONE Rehearsal Photo Gay Cooper (Nurse), Kelly Ogden (Antigone) Lisa Thew, director

We started out talking about Kolt Run Creations itself. “Antigone” is the fifth production since Ogden and Thew founded the company. Kolt Run Creations is considered community theater, since the company does not have an Equity contract. Like many of the community theater companies in Sacramento, they produce a very high quality product. Unlike much of community theater, they are willing to take big risks producing more serious productions. Even the comedies tend to be black comedies.

They cited keeping down costs as one thing that allows their risk taking. With Equity, there are a lot of rules that increase the cost of productions. “Not having a specific season,” and, “not having a subscriber base,” were two other reasons cited by Ogden and Thew, though they do have a following that helps to support what they are doing.

Kolt Run Creations has also had several Elly nominations. Kelly Ogden won Best Supporting Actress-Drama and Patrick Murphy won Best Supporting Actor-Drama for “Crime and Punishment” last year.

This production of Antigone is a 1941 adaptation by French writer Jean Anouilh. The Greek classic was written by Sophocles in about 442 B.C. Kolt Run Creations provides us a short synopsis.

“Anouilh’s adaptation focuses on the conflict between King Creon and his niece, Antigone, when she defies his order to prohibit the burial of her brother after a brutal civil war. Seen through the prism of our current time, Antigone raises a crucial question – When the towers of society/politics/finance are crumbling around us, do we fight for what works even if that’s wrong or do we fight for what’s right even if that means our end? Idealism versus compromise, individual versus the state, moral rights versus human laws.”

Speaking with Ogden and Thew on how they choose plays in general and “Antigone” specifically, they explained that they look to what is going on around them. They see theater as “a dialogue,” much like church is a dialogue.

“There must be a reason to do a play,” stated Ogden.

“Antigone” was selected in October 2010. They both felt that the events that have happened since support that decision. They were referring to the uprisings in the Middle East led by citizens and especially women. They also looked at what was happening in this country, including the fall election and the diverse factions on what to do with the deficits at all levels of government.

When Sophocles wrote “Antigone,” it was a time of chaos in Greece. Needless to say, 1941 was a time of chaos in Europe. “Antigone” questions “holding on to the status quo.”

Kolt Run Creations is open about their process of creating what the audience sees on the stage. They talk about this in their blog. 

They use processes created by Viola Spolin, known as Theater Games, as part of their creative processes. Spolin did much of her work in the Chicago theater scene. Ogden and Thew originally met when they were theater students at DePaul University in Chicago. Ogden’s first professor was Patrick Murphy, a Kolt associate artist, who plays King Creon in “Antigone.” All this works together to create a very lively and intense creative process.

Ben Moroski as HAEMON, Kelly Ogden as ANTIGONE in Rehearsal

When asked “what does ‘Antigone’ bring to the audience?” Besides a strong cast and a reasonably priced ticket, Ogden replied, “It is timeless. Anyone can relate.”

Thew added, “(It) holds up a mirror to us.”

With this production, they hoped that they “carry a truth to the audience and out the door.”

By Jean Anouilh
April 29 – May 28, 2011
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
California Stage, 2509 R Street
 More information and tickets

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