Writers: Jean Anouilh


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Antigone by Sophocles
Number of Acts
First Produced
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
Thebes, Ancient Greece., In front of a palace.
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, mature adult, adult, late teen, child, early teen characters


French dramatist Jean Anouilh’s Antigone is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek play by Sophocles. The play centers around the young, headstrong Antigone’s defiance of her uncle Creon, the king of Thebes. When Antigone’s brothers Eteocles and Polynices are killed fighting each other in an attempt to take over as king, Creon takes the throne and dictates that only Eteocles will receive a proper burial. Because he led the attack against Thebes, Polynices’ body will lie on the battlefield. Bound by familial duty and her conviction that Creon’s order is invalid, the defiant Antigone buries Polynices and boldly faces the consequences alone. Anouilh’s adaptation preserves the mythology of Sophocles’ text, but makes the characters feel and sound human to a contemporary audience. The play is less political than Sophocles’, focusing more on the sentiment of the relationships between Antigone and her family. The English translation by Lewis Galantiere has easily accessible language and works well for both performance and classroom use at the high school level.

Lead Characters

Antigone guide sections