Open to Public
Theater of War: University of Mississippi
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.
Thu, Nov 11.2021
Theater of war is an innovative public health project that presents readings of scenes from Sophocles’ Philoctetes—an ancient Greek play about a decorated warrior who is abandoned on a deserted island because of mysterious chronic illness that he contracts on the way to the Trojan War—as a catalyst for guided discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their families. Using Sophocles’ play 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 event is presented by the University of Mississippi and is open to the public. Co-hosted by the University of Mississippi Department of Classics and the Office of Veteran and Military Service, with generous support from a Visit Oxford Partnership grant, and from the UM Office of the Provost, the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Research and Supported Programs, the Division of Community Engagement, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, the University Lecture Series, the Lott Leadership Institute, the College of Liberal Arts, and the following units of the College: the Departments of Theatre and Film, Public Policy Leadership, Philosophy and Religion, Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology, English, and History, and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
About the play
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.
David Patrick Kelly
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.
HomelessnessThe Oedipus at Colonus Project
The Oedipus at Colonus Project presents readings of scenes from Sophocles’ final play, Oedipus at Colonus, as catalyst for powerful, community-driven conversations about homelessness, the immigration and refugee crisis, and the challenges of eldercare during and after the pandemic.
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.