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From backstage to center stage

Northeastern senior Victoria Oggioni, AMD’15, has worked on many Department of Theatre productions over the past few years, including The Phantom Lady, Romeo and Juliet, and One Flea Spare.

She served as the stage manager for each of those plays, working behind the scenes to help make the shows a success. For the next two weeks, however, Oggioni will move from backstage to center stage as the title character in Antigone, which opens Tuesday night and is the department’s first production of the academic year.

“On a whim, I decided to audition, mainly to get the experience of auditioning,” said Oggioni, a theatre major. “And I ended up getting cast. It’s kind of crazy.”

Antigone Dress Rehearsal

The cast of Antigone perform a scene during a dress rehearsal Monday night. The show, the theatre department’s first production of the academic year, opens Tuesday night. Photo by Maria Amasanti

Antigone is a timeless tragedy by the Greek playwright Sophocles, who penned the story in or before 441 BCE. It centers on Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, who rebels against society by giving her brother, who is considered a traitor, a proper burial even though she knows her actions could lead to her death. The theatre department’s production is using an adaptation of the play by Irish poet Brendan Kennelly.

“Antigone is this powerful, rebellious woman, and she doesn’t care what people think about her,” Oggioni noted. “She’s going to do what is right, and this role is helping me recognize that in my own life.”

When she started working on stage productions, Oggioni had not yet considered acting. But taking the required first-year acting class made her reconsider onstage work.

Her first and only other role was a minor part in Donnie Darko in 2013. She said her decision to audition again was also inspired by a lesson she learned while working on co-op at Rose Brand, a New Jersey-based theatrical fabrics company.

“If you are just on one side of theater you don’t see the rest of it,” Oggioni explained. “I’ve managed to now work in almost every area of a production. And the more well-rounded a theater major student is the better off they will be for the future.”

This role will offer Oggioni an opportunity to further research the topic of her senior capstone project: the development of plus-sized actresses in leading roles.

“As a plus-sized girl I never saw acting as a real possibility because there was not much representation of plus-sized actresses for me growing up,” Oggioni explained. “So coming into this show and getting thrown into this role is really opening my eyes to the possibility.”

One of her biggest challenges in rehearsal has been translating Antigone’s poetic language into modern verbiage. “It’s poetic, but it doesn’t sound like poetry,” noted director Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, an associate professor of theatre. “There is a musicality to it that is quite enchanting. It is a very challenging piece, but rehearsals have been very fruitful.”

The show will run from Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. in the Curry Student Center’s Studio Theatre to Sunday, Oct. 26. Here is the complete performance schedule and ticket information.

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