About the project
The Dionysus Project is an innovative public health project that presents readings of scenes from Euripides' Bacchae, an ancient Greek play about the destructive power of intoxication, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the impact of substance abuse and addiction upon individuals, families, and communities. The project uses an ancient Greek tragedy, written nearly 2500 years ago, to engage audiences in crucial discussions about the timelessness of the human struggle with substance abuse and addiction, as well as resources and solutions that communities can utilize today.
About the play
The Bacchae by Euripides
First produced in 405 BC, Euripides' Bacchae tells the ancient story of the arrival of Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication, in Greece. When Dionysus comes to the city of Thebes, he liberates the people from their homes, sending the citizens - dancing and drinking - into the hills. A young king, named Pentheus, tries to subdue the revelry and restore order to his city, waging an all-out war against the god. But when Pentheus first tastes the drug that has ravaged his city, he too succumbs to its power and is murdered by his own mother, in a deranged state of intoxication.
The Dionysus Project Highlights
Full performance video
The Greene Space WNYC & WQXR / 2018
Addiction & Substance AbuseRum and Vodka
This project presents a one-man Irish play about a 24-year-old whose life is coming apart, due to drinking, in order to provoke discussions about alcoholism and addiction within diverse communities.
Natural DisasterThe Tohoku Project
The Tohoku Project: Sumidagawa presents powerful dramatic readings by professional actors of Sumidagawa, a Noh play from the early 15th Century that timelessly depicts the unique challenges faced by parents in the wake of unimaginable disaster. Each reading is followed by the responses of community panelists, culminating in a lively, facilitated audience discussion. This interactive event promotes healthy, constructive dialogue about the lasting impact of the Tohoku disaster upon individuals, families, and communities—fostering compassion, understanding, awareness, and positive action.
Racism & Social JusticeThe Drum Major Instinct
Commissioned by BRIC, The Drum Major Instinct engages audiences in dialogue about racism, inequality, and social justice. The performance features a dramatization of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final sermon, embodied by prominent actors and supported by a large gospel choir, composed of singers, activists, police officers, and musicians from St. Louis, MO, and Brooklyn, NY.