Mesa Community College’s first feature film, Antigone, premieres April 2. The film, featuring more than 30 theatre artisans including MCC students, faculty and alumni, is based on the Greek tragedy written by Sophocles around 441 B.C.
The film will be streamed virtually in six showings the week of April 2-10 and two drive-in movie showings for the premier April 2 and 3.
Antigone features the question of the difference between the spirit of the law and letter of the law. The ancient play highlights themes of honor, loyalty, love, betrayal and conviction, according to a release.
Work on the project started in August 2020. A student-designed film, the work began as the Fall 2020 semester did. After online rehearsals, filming commenced in February 2021 on the MCC Southern and Dobson Campus while observing CDC social-distancing guidelines.
Eleven student actors and nine student designers contributed to the project, in addition to MCC faculty and staff members. The film also features six MCC alumni: Travis Masala, AJ Young, Sean McBride, Billy Jones, Jason Kleinschmidt and Kristi Quiroz Kleinschmidt.
The film is a labor of love for Kevin Dressler, director of the MCC Theatre and Film Arts department. Directing Antigone is his last major MCC performing arts project before retiring.
“I think everyone will be surprised with the Theatre & Film Arts film of Antigone. It’s the first full-length movie the department has ever produced,” Mr. Dressler said in the release. “Given the fact that the entire film was shot in 10 eight-hour days, while also adhering to COVID protocols, the end product is remarkable. And, it was a terrific introduction to the work of the film industry for all involved, especially our students.”
Alumnus AJ Young served as the director of photography for the MCC presentation of Antigone. He graduated from the MCC in 2010, and has built a career as a director of photography for a number of feature films and music videos. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Travis Marsala, associate director of Antigone, also graduated from MCC in 2010. He now resides in Chicago and has worked as a screenwriter, director, and is an accomplished puppeteer and cartoonist.
Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning.