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About the project

Theater Of War In Rikers Veterans Unit

Prometheus in Prison

Dramatic Reading of Prometheus Bound, by Aeschylus

Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

Prometheus in Prison is an innovative public health project that presents readings of Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, an ancient Greek play about god who is imprisoned for stealing fire and giving it to humans, as a catalyst for powerful discussions about the challenges faced by individuals, families, and communities whose lives have been touched by the criminal justice system. For the past decade, this groundbreaking project has been used to open up healing dialogue in a variety of settings, including prisons, detention centers, and public venues throughout the country and the world.

I think the Prometheus reading was a great training tool. Not only was it enjoyable to watch but the open discussion afterwards was great. It made a person look at the situation from several different angels besides just the custody side of the story. Many times before in my career I have tried to put myself in the offenders’ situation in terms of how I'd like to be treated and it's been difficult. This production made it very easy to do that, and all who attended should now have a better understanding of what they are going through and will give us more tools to work well with them.
Corrections Officer, Algoa Correctional Center, Jefferson City, MO, 2009
Promtheus in Prison at Glenochil Prison, Scotland

About the play

  • Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus

    Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound is a play about a god who is imprisoned for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans. The incarcerated Prometheus admits that he willfully committed a crime and is sentenced for his actions. He is placed in extreme isolation at the end of the earth for the rest of time. Over the course of the play, Prometheus is visited by a number of characters, including friends and family. Each of these characters attempts to impart advice upon Prometheus about how he can lessen his sentence and increase his chances of being released. Increasingly enraged by each exchange, Prometheus, over the course of the play, shuts down, refusing to accept help or advice from anyone, and spends the final moments of the play shaking his fist at the sky, willfully provoking a far worse punishment than isolation.

Prometheus in Prison Highlights

Prometheus in Prison

Prometheus in Prison: Live from The Greene Space at WNYC & WQXR

The Greene Space at WNYC & WQXR / 2018

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