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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Guest artist portrays king in "Antigone"

Guest artist and theater instructor Rod Mechem brings his experiences as a teacher and professional actor to the stage in "Antigone," the New Mexico State University Department of Theatre Arts and American Southwest Theatre Company's last production of the season. "Antigone" plays April 26-May 5 at the Hershel Zohn Theatre on campus.



New Mexico State University guest instructor and artist Rod Mechem plays Creon and theater student Diane Stern plays Antigone. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

"Antigone" is the story of a young woman who defies her family and government by burying her brother. King Creon, played by Mechem, decrees that the brother, Polyneices, is not to be mourned or buried because he fought against Creon in a civil war.

Mechem graduated with his bachelor's degree in theater from New Mexico State in 1991 and received his Master of Fine Arts in acting at the University of Minnesota in 1997. He worked at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis for a year.

Mechem said the role of Creon is one he is revisiting. "The last play that I was in here as an undergraduate was a production of 'Oedipus' and I played Creon in that," he said. This is the last play he will be in as a staff member in the theater department because he is teaching here only for this year.


Mechem said he enjoys working with the student actors and directed several of them in last semester's production of "A Philadelphia Story."

"It's been fun to watch them work and experience a process," he said. He said working with the students gives them the opportunity to critique their instructors as a part of the teaching process.

"Antigone" will feature a traditional Greek chorus and an elaborate set designed by Set Designer Jim Billings and is directed by Theater Department Head Ruth Cantrell. The costumes are designed by Costume Shop Manager Glenn Breed. The cast also includes New Mexico State theater students Diane Stern as Antigone, Jennifer Griffee Perrotta as her sister, Ismene, Kevin Coyle as her brother, Polyneices, and community member Ed Kruise as Teiresias, a blind seer.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday showings of "Antigone" are $8 for students, $10 for university faculty and staff and senior citizens, and $12 for others. The Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday showings will be $7 for students, $9 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $10 for others. For more information, show times and ticket reservations call the Hershel Zohn Theatre Box Office at (505) 646-4515.

First photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/antigone_01.jpg.
CUTLINE: New Mexico State University guest instructor and artist Rod Mechem plays Creon and theater student Diane Stern plays Antigone. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Second photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/antigone_02.jpg.
CUTLINE: Detailed traditional Greek costumes are worn by Rod Mechem, Gavin Worth, Diane Stern and Kevin Coyle (counterclockwise from top) in "Antigone." (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Sarah Wheeler
April 24, 2002