John and Winston are political prisoners on South Africa’s infamous Robben Island, spending their days toiling at grueling, futile tasks in the prison’s quarry. At night, they secretly rehearse a two-man version of Antigone and find solace and strength in their burgeoning friendship. The Island is at once a sobering glimpse into the social, physical, and psychological wounds of Apartheid; a lesson in the complex work of liberation; and a testament to the transformative power of theatre.
- JOHN: Sentenced to 10 years in prison for belonging to a banned organization (played by Kai A. Ealy)
- WINSTON: Sentenced to life for burning his passbook—a key tool for segregation—in front of police (played by Ronald L. Conner)
- HODOSHE: The unseen and brutal prison guard
Antigone: History and Summary
In The Island, John and Winston are rehearsing a 2-man version of Antigone. Check out this background on Antigone or the 2-minute video summary of the play below:
How do you predict the themes and plot of Antigone may play into the story and themes of The Island?