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The Suppliants: Ukraine

Translated and Directed by 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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Sat, Jul 16.2022

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The Suppliants Project: Ukraine presents live, dramatic readings of Aeschylus’ play The Suppliants on Zoom—featuring professional actors and a chorus of Ukrainian citizens—to help frame global discussions about the War in Ukraine and the unique challenges now faced by the people of Ukraine and those who support them. Using a 2,500-year-old text as catalyst for a powerful, international discussion, The Suppliants Project: Ukraine will amplify and humanize the voices and perspectives of Ukrainian citizens, refugees, soldiers, immigrants, politicians, activists, and artists who will participate in the performance and discussion on their personal devices on Zoom from locations within Ukraine and in neighboring countries.

The Suppliants is an ancient Greek play about a group of refugees who seek asylum in the city of Argos from forced marriage and violence. The play not only depicts the struggle of these refugees to cross a border into safety, but also the internal struggle within the country that ultimately receives them, as its citizens wrestle with how best to address the crisis at their border and whether to go to war on behalf of the refugees seeking their protection.

Featuring performances by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), David Strathairn (Nomadland), Kira Meshcherska (The City Was There, Amo, Track), Dmytro Zaleskyi (Doctor, Psychiatrist, Analyst, Head of the Mobile Medical Center, Ukrainian Territorial Defense), Lyudmila Yankina (Human Rights Defender, Humanitarian Volunteer, ZMINA Human Rights Center, Ukraine), Olena Martynenko (Communication Manager, Good Bread bakery, Kyiv), Tatiana Tolpezhnikov, (PhD in Economics, Refugee from Mariupol, Ukraine) and Roman Tolpezhnikov (Associate Professor & Dean, Mariupol State University, Refugee from Mariupol, Ukraine).

The event will be captioned in English and Ukrainian, and audio interpreted in Ukrainian.

The event will be co-facilitated by Bryan Doerries and Oksana Yakushko.

Support for our digital programming is provided, in part, by the Mellon Foundation.

About the play

  • The Suppliants by Aeschylus

    In Aeschylus’ ancient play The Suppliants, fifty women who are fleeing forced marriages travel from Egypt to Argos in order to ask King Pelasgus for asylum. At first, Pelasgus refuses to help them, but the Argive people rally behind the women and convince their king to allow the refugees to remain under the city’s protection. When a large group of Egyptian men arrive in Argos, demanding their women back, King Pelasgus threatens them and summons his army to drive them away. The play ends with the women retreating to safety and finding asylum within the walls of Argos.

Cast Members

  • Oscar Isaac Headshot

    Oscar Isaac

  • Willem Dafoe Headshot

    Willem Dafoe

  • David Strathairn Headshot

    David Strathairn

  • Кіра Мещерська Headshot

    Кіра Мещерська

  • Lyudmila Yankina Headshot

    Lyudmila Yankina

  • Olena Martynenko Headshot

    Olena Martynenko

  • Tatiana Tolpezhnikov Headshot

    Tatiana Tolpezhnikov

  • Dmytro Zaleskyi Headshot

    Dmytro Zaleskyi

  • Roman Tolpezhnikov Headshot

    Roman Tolpezhnikov

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