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ANTÍGONA by José Watanabe; translated by Cristina Pérez Díaz

The sun rises on Thebes in the aftermath of a war between heirs as a Narradora breathes in the “transparent air” of peace, and the people briefly “start to forget” the violence. Ignoring pleas to “Listen to the People. Listen to the Heavens,” the new king denies burial rights to the losing brother, an act of tyranny with devastating consequences. Originally presented in 2000 by the Yuyachkani theatre, this radical remaking of Sophocles’ ancient Greek parable, brought to life by one woman, reflects the struggle for humanity to transcend oppression which leads to deafening silence, but does not bring peace.

ANTÍGONA by José Watanabe
Translated by Cristina Pérez Díaz

Directed by Sarah O'Connell
Featuring Gigi Guizado 

An international collaboration
he Asylum Theatre
Winchester Dondero Cultural Center
Barons Court Theatre
Out Of the Wings Collective
WEST: World of English Speaking Theatres



José Watanabe (1946–2007) was born in Laredo to a Peruvian mother and a migrant Japanese father. He did not finish his college degree in architecture, instead going on to work in television and film (he wrote the scripts for the films Ojos de perro (1983), Maruja en el infierno (1983), and La ciudad y los perros (1985)). His first book of poems, Álbum de familia (Cuadernos trimestrales de poesía, 1971), won the national prize Priemo El Poeta Joven del Perú, and his subsequent books earned him a prominent place in recent Latin American poetry. His Poesía Completa was published posthumously in Spain (Editorial Pre-Textos, 2008). Antígona is his only work for the theater. Though poems in English translation have appeared in magazines (including Cold Mountain Review and Guernica Magazine), his work remains fairly neglected in translation.

Cristina Pérez Díaz (b. 1985, Puerto Rico) is an emerging translator who works with multiple motherless tongues. She is a Ph.D. candidate in classics at Columbia University, where she specializes in translation and reception studies in ancient Greek literature. She publishes her translations into Spanish of Greek lyric in her weekly column “Miel que me das” in the Puerto Rican newspaper Claridad’s cultural supplement En Rojo. An episode of the podcast Orden de traslado featured readings of her translations by indie Puerto Rican artists. Her version of Antigone, Western, a play starring Antigone and her brothers, was produced in New York in 2016 (Caborca, The Clemente). Her poems in Spanish and English have appeared in the magazines Queen Mob’s Tea House, Círculo de poesía, Poesía, Distrópika, Periódico de poesía, amongst others.Her translation of José Watanabe’s Antígona in a bilingual edition with critical essays, is publised by Routledge.

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Gigi Guizado is an actor, writer and theatre translator based in Las Vegas. She earned her BA in Drama at SF State University and plays “The Boar” in the audio drama We’re Alive: Descendants. She is the Resident Playwright at The Asylum Theatre. Her micro-play, Letter to a Clone Manufacturer, has been translated into Hungarian. Her poetry is published in The Emerson Review, Rogue Agent Journal, Salamander Ink Magazine, The Bluebird Word, among others and has been nominated for Best of the Net. Her translations have been published in Another Chicago Magazine, Asymptote Journal, The Mercurian, and featured on Performing International Plays.

Sarah O'Connell Assumed the role of The Asylum's Artistic Director in 2003. Originally from SF Bay Area,  she served as the Associate Artistic Director of Impact Theatre. She holds an MDra in Directing from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). Her work includes several regional and world premieres. She is an alumnus of the Director's Labs in L.A. and Chicago, and La Mama ETC in Umbria. In addition to teaching at UNLV, she has worked at American Conservatory Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, the SF Mime Troupe, and Glasgow's Theatre Cryptic.  She is the publisher of

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