The Island

By Athol Fugard, John Kani and Winston Ntshona
Directed by James Bohnen
January 27 – March 7, 2010

Athol Fugard’s daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles’ Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men’s friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone’s fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men’s fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.


“Banks and Bolden bring passion and brutal realism to their roles. It’s not easy to watch, but those with the strength to visit such a dark place will find real rewards.”
-Zev Valancy, Centerstage

“Kamal Angelo Bolden and LaShawn Banks deliver tough, nuanced portrayals of men trying to walk through hell without losing their souls.”
-Chicago Reader

“Banks is canny and commanding as John, while Bolden, charmingly buffoonish last fall in Chad Deity, lends the recalcitrant Winston a great comic dignity.”
-John Beer, Time Out

“Strong and well-acted…detailed, honest and credible… The poetry is eloquent, the pacing careful, the images poignant, the metaphors resonant.”
-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Director James Bohnen’s deftly-cast production… is immensely compelling.”
-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times


Production Photos


LaShawn Banks- John
Kamal Angelo Bolden- Winston


James Bohnen- Director
Baliegh Isaacs- Stage Manager
Tim Morrison- Scenic Designer
Rachel Laritz- Costume Designer
JR Lederle- Lighting Designer
Victoria DeIorio- Sound Designer
Nick Heggestad- Properties Designer
Kelli Marino- Dramaturg
Alison Ramsey- Production Manager