CSUEB Play “Xtigone” Goes To Regional Competition

Aldrin Bulayo / The Pioneer

Shane Bond

“Xtigone,” a CSUEB production that began its run last fall, has been invited to the Regional Kennedy Center College Theater Festival. If the modern twist on the classic Sophocles tragedy “Antigone” wins the regionals, it will proceed to the national competition in Washington D.C.

The Regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) has selected CSU East Bay’s own “Xtigone,” performed last fall, for competition that stretches across seven states, according to the CSU East Bay Theater and Dance Department.

“We are very excited,” said Chairman of the Theater and Dance Department professor Thomas Hird. “It is a good show and says something about the type and quality of work we do here.”

It is the second time in the past two years that a play at CSUEB has been selected for regional competition, according to Play Director and Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Darryl V. Jones.

The play is an adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy Antigone, but adapted to cover modern day issues, according to Jones.

“The regional competition is great,” said Jones. “It is a very important play for us to continue developing an audience because people of color—particularly young men of color—are dying at an alarming rate.

“By 2023, most people of this country will be of color and it is a major problem when many of those same people are being killed by gang warfare,” Jones continued.

“People are being killed in the streets,” said Hird. “These are problems of the community, and government doesn’t do anything. It’s the same old story.”

The regional competition is an important aspect of not just bringing attention to CSUEB’s theater department, but also the issues shown in the play, according to Hird and Jones.

The regional competition will begin in February in Humboldt, and CSUEB will be part of region 7, which includes Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, according to KCACTF’s website.

If “Xtigone” wins the competition, it will be invited to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to compete against the winners of all other regions across the nation, according to Hird.

There have been changes since November to the play, according to Jones.

The changes are subtle, such as slower rap sequences for better understanding, and some dialogue cut out, according to Jones.

The lighting will be affected, due to the stage in Humboldt being used by multiple plays according to Hird and Jones.

Therefore the staff needs to be quick to set up, and ready by 12:00 p.m., according to Hird.

“The play is so ritualistic and magical, and lights play a huge part in that,” said Jones. “Hopefully the actors performance will make up for the lack of lightening that was available here at East Bay.”
Other changes include the replacement of three actors, whose situations Jones refused to comment on.

Jones hopes that success at the regional competition will open up opportunities for more regional productions.

“I hope this production will allow more of the university faculty staff to attend and take notice of the high level of performance and production values that we continue to produce right here on this campus,” Jones continued. “Faculty and staff need to be aware of what we are producing so that they can tell the community, and so the community will know this is a place to come and see quality theater.

“I hope this regional competition will bring that attention.”

The show will perform one more time on CSUEB’s campus on Feb. 12 at the University Theater before going to regional competition, according to the Theater and Dance Department.