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Over the past ten years, Theater of War Productions has established a roster of over 20 projects, each providing a nuanced approach to pressing public health and social justice issues.

  • War & Mental Health

    War & Mental Health

    Theater of War

    Dramatic Reading of Ajax + Philoctetes, by Sophocles

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Rooted in discussions about the invisible and visible wounds of war, the company’s hallmark project is designed to increase awareness of psychological health issues, disseminate information on available resources, and foster greater community cohesion.

    Reg E. Cathey plays Ajax in Theater of War photo by Gregg Richards
  • War & Mental Health

    The Tecmessa Project

    Dramatic Reading of Ajax, by Sophocles

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    The Tecmessa Project presents readings of Sophocles’s Ajax, an ancient play about the visible and invisible wounds of war, as the catalyst for discussions focusing on the unique challenges faced by military family members, including couples, children, caregivers, and communities. This project is designed to promote understanding, compassion, and positive action.

    Frances McDormand plays Tecmessa photo by Gregg Richards
  • Domestic Violence

    Domestic Violence

    Domestic Violence Project

    Dramatic Reading of A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

    Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Addressing the impact of domestic violence on individuals, families, and communities, the Domestic Violence Project premiered in Maine in April 2013 and will be touring all five boroughs of New York City under the current PAIR residency.

    Bryce Pinkham plays Stanley in the Domestic Violence Project
  • Domestic Violence

    Medea

    Dramatic Reading of Medea, by Euripides

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Medea timelessly depicts how scorned passion can lead to revenge and, sometimes, unthinkable violence. This project, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June 2016, delves into under-discussed mental health issues that affect women and their families.

    Bill Camp and Elizabeth Marvel photo by Howard Korn
  • Racism & Social Justice

    Racism & Social Justice

    The Drum Major Instinct

    Dramatic Reading of The Drum Major Instinct, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Composed and Arranged by Phil Woodmore

    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.

    John Leggette sings in The Drum Major Instinct photo by Gregg Richards
  • Racism & Social Justice

    Frederick Douglass

    Directed by Bryan Doerries

    with original music by Phil Woodmore

    Frederick Douglass is a project that presents dramatic readings of Douglass' speeches by professional actors as a catalyst for powerful dialogue about racism, inequality, civil rights, education, and the legal system with the objective of fostering compassion, understanding, and positive action.

    Freedmans Frederick Douglass
  • Racism & Social Justice

    Mothers of The Movement

    A conversation with Gwen Carr—mother of Eric Garner, author of This Stops Today—and Valerie Bell—mother of Sean Bell, author of Just 23—about their tireless work as Mothers of the Movement to end police violence.

  • Refugees & Immigration

    Refugees & Immigration

    The Suppliants Project

    Dramatic Reading of The Suppliants, by Aeschylus

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    The Suppliants Project tells the timeless story of fifty female refugees seeking asylum at a border from forced marriage and domestic violence. The play not only depicts the struggle of these women to cross into safety, but also the internal struggle within the city that ultimately receives them. Using a 2,500-year-old tragedy by Aeschylus as a catalyst for powerful gatherings and crucial conversations, The Suppliants Project engages diverse audiences in humanizing, constructive dialogue about the challenges of the current immigration crisis and its impact upon all that it touches.

    Featuring a chorus of Garifuna singers, musicians, and performers from Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala

    2019 12 13 the Suppliants Project 210
  • Racialized Police Violence

    Racialized Police Violence

    Antigone in Ferguson

    Dramatic Reading of Antigone, by Sophocles

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Music Composed By Phil Woodmore

    Antigone in Ferguson is a groundbreaking project that fuses dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Antigone with live choral music performed by a diverse choir, including activists, youth, teachers, police officers, and concerned citizens from St. Louis, Missouri and New York City, culminating in powerful, healing discussions about race and social justice. Antigone in Ferguson was conceived in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014, through a collaboration between Theater of War Productions and community members from Ferguson, MO, and premiered at Normandy High School, Michael Brown’s alma mater, in September of 2016.

    De-Rance Blaylock sings in Antigone in Ferguson photo by Gregg Richards
  • Addiction & Substance Abuse

    Addiction & Substance Abuse

    Addiction Performance Project

    Dramatic Reading of Long Day's Journey Into Night, by Eugene O'neill

    Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Designed to raise awareness about opiate addiction and alcohol abuse, the project is intended to promote dialogue about helping those who are struggling with addiction.

  • Addiction & Substance Abuse

    The Dionysus Project

    Dramatic Reading of The Bacchae, by Euripides

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    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.

    Jesse Eisenberg plays Pentheus in The Dionysus Project photo by Wyatt Mason
  • Addiction & Substance Abuse

    Rum and Vodka

    Dramatic Reading of Rum and Vodka, by Conor Mcpherson

    Directed by Bryan Doerries

    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.

    Adam Driver performs in Rum and Vodka
  • Gun Violence

    Gun Violence

    Hercules

    Dramatic Reading of Madness of Hercules, by Euripides

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Drawing from an ancient Greek tragedy about a vicious act of violence committed by an angry man with an invincible weapon, this project aims to generate powerful dialogue between concerned citizens, members of the law enforcement community, victims and perpetrators of gun violence, and the general public.

    Obi Abili plays Hercules photo by Gregg Richards
  • Corrections

    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 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.

  • Caregiving & Death

    Caregiving & Death

    End of Life

    Dramatic Reading of Women of Trachis + Philoctetes, by Sophocles

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    End of Life presents readings of ancient Greek plays in public settings and medical communities as a catalyst for facilitated discussions about challenges faced by patients, families, and health professionals today around end of life care. This unique, participatory event is intended to promote powerful, open discussion among diverse communities - public and professional - fostering compassion, cooperation, and understanding about living with chronic suffering and the mortality we all share.

    Frances McDormand
  • Caregiving & Death

    King Lear Project

    Dramatic Reading of King Lear, by William Shakespeare

    Adapted and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    The King Lear Project presents streamlined readings of scenes from Shakespeare’s King Lear to engage diverse audiences—including older adults, caregivers, and family members—in open, healing, constructive, discussions about the challenges of aging, dementia, and caring for friends and loved ones.

    James Earl Jones as Lear, Linda Powell as Cordelia photo by Beowulf Sheehan
  • Caregiving & Death

    Theater of War Frontline

    Dramatic Reading of Ajax + Oedipus the King + Philoctetes + Women of Trachis, by Sophocles

    Translated, Directed, and Facilitated by Bryan Doerries

    Theater of War Frontline is an innovative project—developed by Theater of War Productions, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health—that presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of scenes from ancient Greek plays for audiences of frontline medical professionals to open up powerful dialogue about difficult subjects, fostering a sense of connection and promoting health-seeking behavior. By presenting ancient plays to doctors, nurses, EMTs, respiratory therapists, and the frontline community about emotionally-charged, ethically complex situations, Theater of War Frontline aims to create a brave space for open, candid dialogue and reflection, fostering compassion, a renewed sense of community, and positive action.

    Tow Medical Highlight
  • Ethics & The Justice System

    Ethics & The Justice System

    Theater of Law

    Dramatic Reading of Eumenides, by Aeschylus

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    A Collaboration with The Forum on Law, Culture, & Society at NYU School of Law

    Developed with New York University’s Forum on Law, Culture, & Society, and designed as a professional development program for legal professionals, as well as for the general public, Theater of Law drives conversations about moral justice in the court system. The project is aimed at engaging audiences who have in some way been disenfranchised by the law in constructive, powerful dialogue.

    Reg E. Cathey playing Apollo in Theater of Law
  • Political Violence

    Political Violence

    Acts of Violence

    Dramatic Reading of Thyestes, by Seneca

    Translated and Directed by Bryan Doerries

    Acts of Violence presents scenes from Seneca's Thyestes, a Roman tragedy that was written during the gruesome reign of Nero, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the impact of political violence upon individuals, families, caregivers, health and human rights advocates, communities, and nations.

    Bill Camp
  • Natural Disaster

    Natural Disaster

    Book of Job

    Dramatic Reading of The Book of Job, by Translated by Stephen Mitchell

    Directed and Adapted by Bryan Doerries

    The Book of Job Project presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of The Book of Job as a catalyst for powerful, guided conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon individuals, families, and communities. The Book of Job is an ancient Hebrew poem that timelessly explores how humans behave when faced with disaster, pestilence and injustice.

    Paul Giamatti, Arliss Howard, and Bryan Doerries in Joplin, MO photo by Wyatt Mason
  • Natural Disaster

    The Tohoku Project

    Dramatic Reading of Sumidagawa, by Kanze Motomasa

    Directed and Adapted by Bryan Doerries

    Facilitated by Setsu Hanasaki

    Translated by Nao Suzuki

    Developed in collaboration with the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University and Setagaya Public Theatre

    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.

    Tohoku Project
  • Genocide

    The Investigation

    Dramatic Reading of The Investigation, by Peter Weiss

    Theater of War Productions and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, in partnership with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, present readings of scenes Peter Weiss' play The Investigation, a piece of documentary theater adapted from the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963-1965. This project centers on guided discussions about mass murder and its lasting impact upon individuals, families, communities, and countries throughout the world. Performed by a diverse cast, including international performers from communities affected by genocide, The Investigation seeks to generate powerful dialogue across cultures and communities about the human capacity for evil, as well as the systems and hierarchies that create the conditions for unthinkable violence.

    Investigation
  • Pandemic

    The Oedipus Project

    Dramatic Reading of Oedipus the King, by Sophocles

    Translated, Directed, and Facilitated Bryan Doerries

    The Oedipus Project is an innovative new digital initiative by Theater of War Productions that will present acclaimed actors performing scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, healing online conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon diverse communities throughout the world. Sophocles’ ancient play, written and performed in 429 BC during the time of a plague that killed one-third of the Athenian population, is a timeless story of arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy, and a pestilence that ravages the city of Thebes. At the time the play was first performed, the audience would have been reeling in the wake of a pestilence and its economic, political, and social aftermath. Seen through this lens Oedipus the King appears to have been a powerful public health tool for helping Athenians communalize the trauma of the plague, through a story that is as relevant now as it was in its own time.

    Oscar Isaac plays Oedipus Screenshot of online premiere
  • Poetry for the Pandemic

    Using poetry as a catalyst for an Intergenerational performance and discussion during the Covid-19 pandemic.