Open to Public
Theater of War: Ajax, Global Loneliness Awareness Week
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.
Mon, Jun 12.2023
Theater of War is an innovative public health project that presents acclaimed actors and Veterans reading scenes from Sophocles’ Ajax—an ancient play about the suicide of a great, respected warrior—as a catalyst for guided audience discussions about loneliness, mental health, suicide, combat stress, moral injury, and the impact of military service on individuals, families, and communities. These dynamic events aim to generate compassion and understanding between diverse audiences by forging a common vocabulary for openly discussing the visible and invisible wounds of war. This special presentation is co-presented by Theater of War Productions, Humana, Reveille Grounds, VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and DAV (Disabled American Veterans), as part of Global Loneliness Awareness Week.
Featuring performances by Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black, Dear Edward), Keith David (Platoon, Armageddon, Nope), Naomi Mathis (Air Force Veteran, DAV Associate National Legislative Director), Dan West (Adjutant General, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States; Marine Veteran), and David Hanauer (Ensemble Manager of Olive Branch & Laurel Crown, Marine Veteran).
Support for our digital programming is provided, in part, by the Mellon Foundation.
Translated, directed, and facilitated by Bryan Doerries.
Theater of War 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 two days prior to the event.
This event will be captioned in English.
All of Theater of War Productions' events follow the same format:
- The performers 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, facilitated by Bryan Doerries. 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.
About the play
Ajax by Sophocles
Sophocles’ Ajax tells the story of a fierce warrior who is passed over for recognition by his command after losing his cousin Achilles in battle during the Trojan War. Feeling betrayed, Ajax attempts to murder his superior officers, fails, and—ultimately—takes his own life. The play tells the story of the events leading up to Ajax’ suicide, as well as the story of his wife and troops’ attempt to intervene before it's too late. The play also depicts the devastating impact of Ajax’ suicide upon his wife, son, brother, troops, and chain of command.
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.
Refugees & ImmigrationThe Suppliants Project
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 and impact of war, migration, and seeking asylum.
Racism & Social JusticeMothers 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.