Review by Liz Eichler

I am a lover of many versions of Antigone (one of my favorites is the campy Oh! Antigone musical) but this is the first time I have seen Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s by Madhuri Shekar, presented by Miami University Theatre. I really want to see it again.

The Plot

A lot is riding on the success of this high school production: It is the first show of St. Cat’s newly revived drama program, and the first show for director Mr. Reed. It is also a chance for some of the cast to increase their social standing at the school, and well, boyfriends are in the audience.  When it is revealed the director has had indiscretions with one of the cast, must the show go on?

The story of Antigone, the play they are rehearsing, can be summed up by Antigone’s lines to her sister, Ismene. Creon, their father the king, buried one brother with military honors, but for Polynices, their other brother, Creon decrees no one should bury him or mourn him. The penalty is death by public stoning. Antigone fights against this edict–balancing her life with her values.

Juxtapose this classic conundrum with the inner workings of the drama team, and their recently hired director. He conducts “private lessons” behind closed doors with one of the pupils. Once this is discovered by a classmate, how should it be addressed? What danger does she put herself in if she reports this…and how does it affect the drama club?  

Cast of ‘Antigone, presented by St. Catherine’s’ at Miami University.

Production Team 

Technically, the door steals the show.The technical team nailed the sound of a heavy wooden classroom door slamming, and not having the set shake.  Kudos to Gion DeFrancesco’s scene design, which 100% has the feel of an institutional mid-century Catholic High School. Very thoughtful decision about the floor, too. The lighting, by student Seth Cousin, captures well both the subtle quality of fluorescent lighting, pivots to interior monologues and pivots again to night scenes. Costume Design by student Nina Haurani shows an understanding of how to make the uniform non-uniform. From bedazzled knee socks to rolled up skirts, she has a very strong attention to detail. 


Director Oluchi Nwokocha, Assistant Professor of Theatre, built strong tension and slow unraveling of the secrets.  Student Alexandra Leurck choreographed the chorus scenes, some in unison, some chaotic. This show features some of the younger performers in the program, and they demonstrate amazing maturity.


Performances are solid. Zamani Munashe as Greta and Max Kaufman as Jamie/Mr. Reed are standouts. Greta is focused and determined, and yes, the character may have been better cast as Antigone than Ismene. Munashe has power. I can’t wait to see where she goes. Kaufman is amazing in his confidence and delivery, as the smarmy and increasingly creepy drama director. The rest of the cast are technically strong sophomores and freshman: Marilyn (Caroline Miller), Lily (Gianna Colarich), Anna (Hannah Jones-Beyene), Tamsin (Avery Smith), Susan (Lily Jackett). 


As written, there are some unresolved script issues.  Should we know their backstories? Or should this be universal, with a touch of Everyman, and not have all of the threads sewn up neatly? Is it important to know exactly where this boarding school is? For me, it reminded me of my high school–down to the desks. I lean into the Everyman/Everyplace, but I am curious about Head Girl Susan’s relationship with Mr. Reed.


This is a great selection for a college group, and a great piece for women. There is a lot to discuss on the car ride or walk home. It is a powerful piece about making hard decisions, and sticking to your values– maybe for the first time. 

Limited Tickets

Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s runs through March 17 in Miami’s Studio 88 Theatre. Get your tickets HERE.