Open to Public
Theater of War: Four Freedoms Park
Theater of War is a groundbreaking public health project that presents acclaimed actors performing scenes from Sophocles’ Ajax—an ancient play about the suicide of a great, respected warrior—as a catalyst for guided audience discussions about the visible and invisible wounds of war, and the impact of deployment on individuals, families, and communities. Using Sophocles’ play to forge a common vocabulary for open dialogue, these events are aimed at generating compassion and understanding between diverse audiences. Each performance is followed by community panelist remarks and a facilitated audience discussion.
Featuring performances by Ato Blankson-Wood (When They See Us), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Fleishman is in Trouble), Amy Ryan (Only Murders in the Building, The Office), Bill Camp (Lincoln, Dark Waters), Marjolaine Goldsmith (Company Manager Theater of War Productions) Eduardo Jany (US Army Veteran, Col USMC (Ret.)), Latoya Lucas (Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient), and Craig Manbauman (Nurse, Poet, US Air Force Veteran).
Translated, directed, and facilitated by Bryan Doerries.
Co-presented by Theater of War Productions and FDR Four Freedoms State Park Conservancy. Supported by News Corp and Fox.
Support for our digital programming is provided in part by The Mellon Foundation.
This event will be captioned in English.
This hybrid presentation of Theater of War will take place in person and on Zoom Webinar. Please select your preferred mode of attendance by clicking the "get tickets" button. To register to attend in-person, please select "in-person" tickets. If you choose to join us online, this event 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.
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. To participate in the discussion online, 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.
Ato Blankson Wood
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.
Pandemic & Climate CrisisPoetry for the Pandemic
Using poetry as a catalyst for an Intergenerational performance and discussion during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Racialized Police ViolenceAntigone in Ferguson
Antigone in Ferguson is a groundbreaking project that fuses dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of Sophocles’ Antigone with live choral music performed by a diverse choir, including activists, youth, teachers, police officers, and concerned citizens from St. Louis, Missouri and New York City, culminating in powerful, healing discussions about racialized violence, police brutality, systemic oppression, gender-based violence, health inequality, and social justice. Antigone in Ferguson was conceived in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014, through a collaboration between Theater of War Productions and community members from Ferguson, MO, and premiered at Normandy High School, Michael Brown’s alma mater, in September of 2016.