Open to Public
The Oedipus Project: Nobel Prize Summit
Tue, Apr 27.2021 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM + Google Calendar
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.
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.
Elizabeth H. Blackburn
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.
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.
Ethics & The Justice SystemTheater 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.