Open to Public
The Frederick Douglass Project
The Frederick Douglass Project presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of speeches by Frederick Douglass for diverse audiences on Zoom as a catalyst for powerful dialogue about the impact of discrimination, racialized violence, structural inequality, and deferred justice upon individuals, families, professionals, and communities. The event will feature a reading by the Emmy Award-winning actor Keith David (Nope, Platoon, The Princess and the Frog) of a speech delivered by Frederick Douglass at the National Convention of Colored Men in Louisville, Kentucky on September 24, 1883, followed by community panelist remarks, and culminating in a guided audience discussion aimed at fostering compassion, understanding, and positive action.
Co-presented by Theater of War Productions, the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, and the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State in collaboration with the Colored Conventions Project and Douglass Day at the Center for Black Digital Research at Penn State.
Directed and facilitated by Bryan Doerries. Co-facilitated by Dominic Dupont.
Support provided by Richard Robert Brown Program Endowment. Additional support provided by the following Penn State partners: College of the Liberal Arts, College of Health and Human Development, University Libraries, Office of the Vice Provost for Commonwealth Campuses, Smeal College of Business, and Penn State Wilkes-Barre.
Support for our digital programming is provided, in part, by the Mellon Foundation.
The Frederick Douglass Project will take place on Zoom Webinar and can be accessed on personal devices. The event Zoom link will be distributed via email and available to registered attendees starting 2 days prior to the event.
This event will be captioned in English.
All of Theater of War Productions' events follow the same format:
- The performer will read the text.
- Community panelists will kick off the discussion with their gut responses to what resonated with them across time.
- We will open the discussion to the audience, co-facilitated by Bryan Doerries and Dominic Dupont. During the discussion, please raise your hand using the button at the bottom center of the screen. If called upon, please accept the invitation to be promoted to speak and you will be visible and heard by the entire audience for the duration of your comments. If you would prefer not to be seen, please disable your video.
Caregiving & DeathTheater of War Frontline
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.
Pandemic & Climate CrisisThe Oedipus Project
The Oedipus Project presents acclaimed actors reading scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, constructive, global conversations about the climate crisis, ecological disaster, environmental justice, and healing online conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon diverse communities throughout the world. Sophocles’ ancient play, first performed in 429 BC, just after the first wave of a plague that killed nearly one-third of the Athenian population, is a story of arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy, intergenerational curses, and a pestilence and ecological collapse that ravages the archaic city of Thebes. Seen through this lens, Oedipus the King appears to have been a powerful tool for helping Athenians communalize trauma and loss, while interrogating their own complicit role in the suffering, not just of those around them but of generations to come.
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.