Tragedy gets modern make-over

Advanced acting teacher rewrites a Greek tragedy


Sophia Walsh

Brittney McDaniel helps senior Nathan Morris with his part in the musical “Ranked” during their practice.

Haylee Tafoya, Staff Writer

Acting teacher Brittany McDaniel is rewriting “Antigone”, a three-part Greek mythology, into a modern-day vampire story for her advanced acting class. They will be graded by how they perform, but she hopes it’ll be fun for everyone involved.

McDaniel said that Anne is a modern adaptation of Antigone, by Sophocles. It was originally written around 441 B.C. and tells the story of Anne, who rebels against her uncle, the king, after her two brothers kill each other in a civil war over their kingdom.

McDaniel got the idea while helping a group of students adapt a play into something different two years ago. “It just kind of evolved from there and that has just kind of stuck with me, I really wanted to do the show, but with vampires instead of classic Greek stuff,” McDaniel said.

The original is in Greek so she uses three translated versions to convert it into her own. McDaniel has written plays in the past but this is the first she’s rewritten one. She says figuring out how to phrase lines for each different character and making it sound more modern is time consuming.

McDaniel says the writing process is fun, she’s confident in it and the changes she made to make it sound like something people in this time era would actually say. “I like hearing the voices in my head,” McDaniel said. “It really sounds weird but as you type that you start to develop a voice and kind of get a feel for how each character talks because everybody kind of has their own flavor and word choice,“ she said.

She chose to rewrite “Antigone” because teenagers could relate to. Rebellion fighting against family members or the adults in our lives is something every teenager has been through. “It’s so perfect for high schools beca

Sophomores Arabella Roe and Talea Ochoa switching roles for an assignment in advanced acting (Haylee Tafoya)

use it’s very teenage angst and like stick it to ‘the man’,” McDaniels said.

McDaniel’s “Anne” will have more modern, sleek vampires instead of the old cliche Transylvania vampires with the cloak. In the original play, the brothers kill each other with spears but in the rewrite, the brothers shoot each other with silver bullets to make use of the vampire folklore.

If she could modernize another story it would be “Little Women”. “It’s a fun story and one that’s well loved by multiple generations, but to take and see how their lives look like in back then versus 2020, I think it would be interesting to see how they evolved,” McDaniel said.

Her students like McDaniel’s idea and would rather perform her version than the original. “I think it’s going to add a new aspect where people can see more into a dystopian world,” sophomore Olivia Stacy said.

When joining advanced acting, sophomore Dana Sorenson wanted to define her acting style and branch into new styles. “I’m really excited to get critiqued and become believable in acting,” she said. “I think McDaniel’s critique and advice is really going to help us.”

Both students said they are pumped and thinks it’s going to blow people away. “I hope a lot of people come see it, enjoy it for how much work we’re going to put into it and walk away from it saying that was really good instead of a silly one hour thing,” Sorenson said.