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The Oedipus Project: Nobel Prize Summit

Translated, Directed, and Facilitated Bryan Doerries


Free Event

Please RSVP through the link provided. The event Zoom link will be distributed via email, and available to registered attendees starting 2 days prior to the event.

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Tue, Apr 27.2021

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The Oedipus Project presents acclaimed actors reading scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King on Zoom as a catalyst for powerful, constructive, global conversations about climate change, ecological disaster, and environmental justice. Sophocles’ ancient play, first performed in 429 BC, just after a plague that killed nearly one-third of the Athenian population, is a story of arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy, intergenerational curses, willful blindness, 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.

This event is presented as part of the Nobel Prize Summit: Our Planet, Our Future, hosted by the Nobel Foundation and organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research/Stockholm Resilience Centre/Beijer Institute.

You are warmly invited to register for the full Nobel Prize Summit, " Our Planet, Our Future" on April 26-28, 2021.

Featuring performances by Bill Murray (Lost in Translation), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), Frankie Faison(The Wire), David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck), Marjolaine Goldsmith (Company Manager of Theater of War Productions), and Jumaane Williams (New York City Public Advocate), and a Chorus of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, including Elizabeth Blackburn and Harold Varmus.

Translated, directed, and facilitated by Bryan Doerries.

Support for our digital programming is provided, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

We are very pleased to be able to offer the Nobel Prize Summit audiences this special opportunity to attend a performance hosted by Theater of War Productions in the Digital Amphitheater. The topics we are broaching as part of our Summit are scientifically complex, often emotionally difficult, and even potentially contentious as we acknowledge different points of view. Performance and storytelling provide a critical common ground and a shared language to discuss important topics in new ways.
Anna Sjöström Douagi, Programme Director Nobel Prize Summit 2021, the Nobel Foundation.
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About the play

  • Oedipus the King by Sophocles

    Sophocles’ Oedipus the King tells the story of an overconfident ruler during the time of a great plague, who refuses to listen to trusted advisors, ignores prophecy, and—after launching an investigation—discovers that he is the source of the contagion that is ravaging his people and his land. Upon uncovering the truth about himself and his role in the disaster, the king loses nearly everything—his crown, his wife, his power, his country, his honor—and wanders off into exile, a fate worse than death in ancient Greece. Oedipus the King is a timeless story about leadership, accountability, and the challenges faced by citizens and elected officials during pandemics and plagues.

Cast Members

  • Bill Murray Headshot

    Bill Murray

  • Frances McDormand Headshot

    Frances McDormand

  • Corey Hawkins Headshot

    Corey Hawkins

  • Jeffrey Wright Headshot

    Jeffrey Wright

  • Marjolaine Goldsmith Headshot

    Marjolaine Goldsmith

  • Frankie Faison Headshot

    Frankie Faison

  • David Strathairn Headshot

    David Strathairn

  • Jumaane Williams Headshot

    Jumaane Williams

  • Harold Varmus Headshot

    Harold Varmus

  • Elizabeth H. Blackburn Headshot

    Elizabeth H. Blackburn

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