Written by Colm Tóibín for the actress Lisa Dwan, "Pale Sister" is a dramatisation of the voice of Ismene, sister of Antigone, who recounts Antigone’s defiance of the King as pressures mount on Ismene to act to vindicate her sister, or even follow her example. It arises from “The Antigone Project,” a course taught at Columbia University by Lisa Dwan and Colm Tóibín, which explores the ways the ideas animating Antigone–conscience versus law, defiance versus might, protest versus order, the individual versus authority, and a woman’s powerlessness emerging as power–have found expression at different times throughout history. There were versions made in France during the Nazi Occupation, in Ireland during the Troubles, in Germany after the war, in South Africa during apartheid, and among the Pakistani community in contemporary London.
This staged reading by Lisa Dwan runs for one hour and fifteen minutes and will be followed by a discussion with Colm Tóibín and Lisa Dwan, chaired by Patricia Dailey. The event is free with RSVP.
Presented with PEN America, the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at Columbia University.