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Paul Giamatti, Sonja Sohn coming to Baltimore for social justice-focused 'Antigone' performance

Paul Giamatti, Sonja Sohn and more will perform a Greek classic with a social justice tilt in Baltimore.

Actors Paul Giamatti ("Billions") and Sonja Sohn ("The Wire") are coming to Baltimore later this month to participate in a social justice project and free public performance.

The two are among a handful of actors who will perform a staged reading of "Antigone in Ferguson" at Coppin State University on Jan. 21, according to a news release from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

The reading is co-sponsored by the alliance and the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based nonprofit Outside the Wire, which presents readings of ancient Greek combat plays as a catalyst for discussing the wounds of war.

Sophocles' "Antigone" tells the story of a teenage girl who defies a government edict and buries her brother, who fought on the other side in a brutal civil war. The tragedy asks hard questions about what happens when personal convictions clash with the law.

The crucial role of The Chorus, which expresses the sentiments of the larger community, will consist of a gospel choir of more than 30 people that includes police officers and activists from Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore.

The 7:30 p.m. show at Coppin's James Weldon Johnson Auditorium, 2500 W. North Ave., will culminate in an audience discussion of how the play relates to contemporary social issues.

The reading previously has been performed three times in Ferguson, which erupted in riots after 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer in August 2014. 

"By performing Sophocles' 'Antigone' for diverse audiences ... our goal is to create a safe space for people to stand up, speak their personal truths, and feel respected and heard," director Bryan Doerries said in the news release.

Tickets are free. Members of the public can register to attend the performance here

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com

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