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Casting former chancellor as villain, students’ play goes on

A play written by Queens high school students finally came to the stage last Friday, after igniting controversy for its criticism of former Chancellor Joel Klein.

Administrators at Jamaica High School, which the city plans to close next year, initially banned the play. They then reversed their decision, permitting students to put on their adaptation of the Greek tragedy “Antigone.”

In the play, Klein assumes the role of King Creon, who in the original story favors one brother over another and refuses to give the one he dislikes a proper burial. But in the students’ play, the two brothers are Jamaica High School and the schools that now share its building. The adaptation’s authors are clear: Jamaica is the unpopular one.

In this scene, the prophet Tiresias comes to visit Klein to advise him against closing the school: