About the project
Theater of War: Ajax, has been presented to professional medical communities to spark candid dialogue and reflection about the unique challenges and stressors faced by medical students and professionals, as well as the lasting impact of physician suicides upon individuals, institutions, and communities.
The town hall-style discussion that follows the performance of scenes from Sophocles’ Ajax elicits first-person testimonials and powerful comments from healthcare professionals and trainees of all ranks, with a special focus on the repercussions of abrupt loss of life, whether by illness, injury, or choice. Community panel members kick off the conversation with their gut reactions to the play, relating the 2,500 year-old story to their own personal and professional experiences. Then, a skilled facilitator asks the audience a series of questions designed to pull out timeless themes from the story of Ajax.
About the play
Ajax by Sophocles
Written in 5th Century B.C., Sophocles’ tragedy follows Ajax, a Greek warrior who falls into an interminable depression. Coping with the death of great warrior and friend, Achilles, Ajax is slighted when Achilles’ armor is unjustly awarded to the poet Odysseus instead. Ajax becomes furious and driven into madness resolves to murder those responsible for this decision but is put under a spell by the goddess Athena and massacres innocent cattle and herdsmen in his confusion. His family and friends attempt to console him, but filled with shame and remorse for his actions, Ajax ultimately commits suicide.
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.
CorrectionsPrometheus in Prison
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 years, 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.
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.