Solo performance based on the tragedy of SOPHOCLES

Author and Director – BIRUTE MAR
Costume Designer – JOLANTA RIMKUTE

ANTIGONE – the daughter of Oedipus, former ruler of Thebes
ISMENE – her sister
KREONT – new ruler of Thebes
– his son, Antigone’s fiancé
TEIRESIUS – the prophet

All characters are performed by BIRUTE MAR

Duration: 50 minutes

Translated from Greek to Lithuanian language by ANTANAS DAMBRAUSKAS

A renewed performance at Solo Theatre in 2018 (previously created and shown at the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre)

The performance is performed in Lithuanian or Russian language

Antigone, the daughter of King Oedipus, is punished by Creontus, the new King of Thebes, to be buried alive for trying to bury the body of her Brother Polinycus. She had just poured a handful of sand over her brother’s body.

Inspired by the classical tragedy of Sophocles, “ANTIGONE” explores the way to unite the ancient and contemporary languages by contrasting the sequence of video images of chorus with the human figures in the front: Antigone, her sister Ismene, Creontus, his son Haimon, the guard and the prophet Teiresius – they all are performed by one actress. Fragility of the human body and virtuality of projections are joined by the tremendous action of music and text.

A documentary film about the performance “ANTIGONE” with English subtitres (2020)

Birute Mar:

“I had a dream and it was to make a different take on “Antigone” by Sophocles and to break away from traditional theatre. I was inspired by the classical tragedy, the musicality of its language and the monologues in which “the avalanche of words” resemble folk laments. The meaning of these words is not possible to understand only by listening (same as in poetry).

I was interested to find images that could speak the ancient and contemporary languages at the same time. What could be the face of the contemporary chorus? Eventually, we decided to create the performance as a sequence of video images contrasting huge figures of the chorus in the background with personages of the tragedy of Sophocles as small lively spots in the front. This contrast resembles Antigone’s crime, her handful of sand on her brother’s body.

From Press Reviews

“The actress turned to an exceptional material – an antique tragedy by Sophocles, in which such ambiguous concepts as duty and responsibility, betrayal and loyalty, sacrifice as well as the greatness of characters and the gravity of their actions transcends the boundaries of a show including only one actor.

Birute Mar’s performance is in a constant internal motion in which its elements change one after another. At one point you see that the right to oppose unjust oppression is extremely important to the actress and at another you see that what is at stake are the questions of values shared by people, of moral responsibility. Another couple of scenes and the focus moves to the subjects of violence, war, and human suffering. From the artistic view it is certainly a theatre of considerable stature. It is a performance, a drama showing the world as it is seen by one protagonist or another – depending on who the actress plays at that very moment. All this leads to an amazing scene in which the image from the video projection becomes another actor, another person on the stage. The final song of the chorus resonates of the way Sophocles perceived the world, it is like an author’s commentary to the tragedy; it shows which side the author takes in this argument between the law imposed by gods and the one imposed by humans. All of this can be found in Birute Mar’s performance. Thanks to Birute you begin to understand that, although centuries pass and aesthetic ideas change, there are these ethical norms, a great and absolute truth about human deeds. This idea is echoed in Birute’s monodrama as a heavy bell whose sound reaches us from the abyss of centuries.”

Valery Chazanov, Theatre Critic, Honourable President of the International Society of One Theatre Actors Festivals – ITI, UNESCO (from the book “Birute Mar. Bez maski. Be kaukes. No mask”, published in Wroclaw, Poland, 2010)  


“Perhaps the best way to witness the ancient Greek tragedy, “Antigone” is in the driving rain and cold wind as I did on Friday in the courtyard of the Palace of Grand Dukes in Vilnius. Directed and performed solo by Birutė Mar this performance of “Antigone” is dedicated to those who protest peacefully for freedom and democracy in Belarus. In the write-up, the creators of the play state: “This play encourages people to reflect on how the desire for political power and the fear of relinquishing power may evolve into totalitarianism.” Listening to Birutė Mar’s passionate monologues of Antigone, King Creon, her fiance’s Mother, the Servant, and others, I remembered the truths this ancient play teaches humanity: Virtue, Decency, Truth, and Love, are all that we as humans must aspire to. How interesting, I thought, that courageous Antigone is a woman. As a woman, with all of her society against her, she stands alone for what is right and just. As I watched Birutė Mar’s brilliant performance, on a stage in which the predominant colors are black and white, suddenly the face of Belarusian activist Maria Kolesnikova flashed before my eyes. I saw that image of her, that I’d seen on the news, locked in a cage, sentenced to 11 years hard labor, but smiling, smiling. Maria Kolesnikova tore up her passport rather than allowing herself to be exiled out of her own country. She believed in a life in Belarus that is just and fair. She defied the dictator of Belarus. As a woman, she stands alone, caged, like Antigone, true to the principles she believes in. How is it that this ancient play is so relevant today? Antigone could be Maria Kolesnikova. Maria Kolesnikova could be Antigone. Thank you, Birutė Mar, for this brilliant performance that reminds all of us that pushed to our extremes, we must all stand for that which is right, and just, and true, and that we must do it with love in our hearts.”

Laima Vince, Lithuanian-American writer (from Laima Vince website, 2021)

“An actress, dressed in a simple black dress of a light-dark two-tone veil, changes into another costume with only one hand gesture, Birute Mar reincarnates different heroes of Sophocles’ tragedy. One of the heroes is scared stiff of Antigone who is burying her brother against the will of the king. Another hero reminds us of a gentle Ismene enveloped in a veil whilst Creon with an amplified voice and powerful despot gestures conducts a choir depicted in a huge video projection, transforming into moving shadows that grow like an octopus into a monster. “Antigone” has become an exceptional work for its immersive acting, effectively accompanied by expressionist video images which allow other language speakers to understand the play.”

Sabine Tholund “Sophocles Under a Veil“ (“Sophocles im Schleier“), „Kieler Nachrichten”, Germany, 2017.


Wroclaw City Award at International Theatre Festival “Wrostja”, Wroclaw, Poland (for the solo performances: “LOVER”, “ANTIGONE” and “WORDS IN THE SAND”), 2004 

1st prize at St. Petersburg International Monodrama Festival “Monocle”, Russia, 2005

Winner’s Diploma at European Women Theatre Festival, Tornio, Finland, 2005

Grand Prix at International Monodrama Festival “Atspindys”, Visaginas, Lithuania, 2011

Actor’s Society of Poland Award at International Theatre Festival, Torun, Poland, 2013

Diploma for the BestFemale Role at International Theatre Festival “Classic Today”, Kamenskij, Ukraine,  2019  

Certificate of Appreciation at Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre, Egypt, 2023

International Festivals and Tours

International Theatre Festival „TRANSIT 2001“, Odin Theatre, Holstebro, Denmark

II International Monodrama Festival “THESPIS”, Kiel, Germany

International Ancient Greek Drama festival – 2001, Pathos Amphitheatre, Cyprus

Taipei International Theatre festival 2002, Taipei National Theatre, Taiwan

Sharjah International Theatre Festival 2003, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

International Theatre festival “Krakowie Reminisencie Teatralnie” 2003 Krakow, Poland

International Theatre festival KIEV TRAVNEVYJ, 2003 Kiev, Ukraine 

Moscow International Monodrama festival, 2004 Moscow, Russia

Wroclaw International Monodrama festival “Wrostja 2004”, 2004 Wroclaw, Poland

Kaliningrad, Theatre “Na Basseinoi”, guest performance 2005, Kaliningrad, Russia

International Monodrama festival “Monocle 2005”, 2005 St. Petersburg, Russia

European Women Theatre Festival, 2005, Tornio – Haaparanta, Finland – Sweden

ITI World Theatre Congress/Theatre Olympics festival, 2006, Manila, Philippines

International Theatre festival “La Citta dell’Uomo”, 2006, Torino-Rivoli, Italy

Essauria I International Theatre festival, 2007, Essauria, Morocco

Cheb International Monodrama festival, 2007, Cheb, Check Republic

Moscow International Monodrama festival “Solo”, 2008, Moscow, Russia

Minsk International Monodrama festival “I”, 2008, Minsk, Belarus

Fujaira International Monodrama festival 2010, Fujaira, UAE

Manila International Monodrama festival 2011, Manila, Philipines

International Monodrama festival “Atspindys” 2011, Visaginas, Lithuania

International Monodrama festival “Armmono” 2012, Yerevan, Armenia

Al Madina theatre (guest performances of “Antigone”), 2012, Beirut, Lebanon

Torun International monodrama festival, 2013, Torun, Poland

Kuwait International monodrama festival, 2016, Kuwait

“Thespis” International monodrama festival, 2016, Kiel, Germany

“Monofest’2016” International theatre festivaI, 2016, Selcuk, Turkey

International arts festival “Paphos-Cultural Capital of Europe 2017”, Paphos, Cyprus, 2017

International theatre festival “Classic Today”, Kamenskij, Ukraine, 2019

International theatre festival “Melpomena Tavriji’, Kherson, Ukraine, 2019

Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre, Egypt, 2023

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