Theater of War is an innovative public health project that presents readings of scenes from ancient Greek plays--Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes--as a catalyst for guided discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their families. Using Sophocles’ plays to forge a common vocabulary for openly discussing the visible and invisible wounds of war, these events are aimed at generating compassion and understanding between diverse audiences.
This special event is a collaboration with Bravehound, a Scottish charity that supports veterans and their families in the United Kingdom. We are proud to open this event up to the public, fostering healing dialogue with the Bravehound community. Visit: www.bravehound.co.uk. The event time is listed in Eastern Standard Time on this page.
Featuring performances by Damian Lewis, Lesley Sharp, Nyasha Hatendi, and Jason Isaacs.
Translated and directed, and facilitated by Bryan Doerries
The event Zoom link will be distributed and available to registered attendees starting 2 days prior to the event. All of Theater of War Productions' events follow the same format:
- The actors will read the play.
- Four 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, you will 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 when entering the event.
To experience this event:
Please download Zoom to your laptop or mobile device https://zoom.us/download
About the plays
Ajax by Sophocles
Sophocles’ Ajax tells the story of a fierce warrior who slips into a depression near the end of The Trojan War, after losing his best friend, Achilles. Feeling betrayed, Ajax attempts to murder his commanding 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.
Philoctetes by Sophocles
Sophocles’ Philoctetes tells the story of decorated warrior who is abandoned on a deserted island because of mysterious chronic illness that he contracts on the way to the Trojan War. Nine years later, the Greeks learn from an oracle that in order to win the war they must rescue him from island. When they finally come for him, the wounded warrior must overcome nine long years of festering resentment and shame in order to accept help from the very men who betrayed him.
Racism & Social JusticeFrederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass is a project that presents dramatic readings of Douglass' speeches by professional actors as a catalyst for powerful dialogue about racism, inequality, civil rights, education, and the legal system with the objective of fostering compassion, understanding, and positive action.
PandemicThe Oedipus Project
The Oedipus Project is an innovative new digital initiative by Theater of War Productions that will present acclaimed actors performing scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, healing online conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon diverse communities throughout the world. Sophocles’ ancient play, written and performed in 429 BC during the time of a plague that killed one-third of the Athenian population, is a timeless story of arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy, and a pestilence that ravages the city of Thebes. At the time the play was first performed, the audience would have been reeling in the wake of a pestilence and its economic, political, and social aftermath. Seen through this lens Oedipus the King appears to have been a powerful public health tool for helping Athenians communalize the trauma of the plague, through a story that is as relevant now as it was in its own time.
Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence Project
Addressing the impact of domestic violence on individuals, families, and communities, the Domestic Violence Project premiered in Maine in April 2013 and will be touring all five boroughs of New York City under the current PAIR residency.