Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

theaterofwar

On Thursday September 7th at 7pm in the Patricia Corbett Theater, the UC Department of Classics will co-host a performance of Bryan Doerries’ award-winning Theater of War. David Strathairn (Good Night, And Good Luck, the Bourne Ultimatum, Lincoln) will play Ajax, Marholaine Goldsmith (Compromise, AfterWords, Dress) will play Tecmessa, and Bryan Doerries himself will play the role of the chorus.On Thursday September 7th at 7pm in the Patricia Corbett Theater, the UC Department of Classics will co-host a performance of Bryan Doerries’ award-winning Theater of War. David Strathairn (Good Night, And Good Luck, the Bourne Ultimatum, Lincoln) will play Ajax, Marholaine Goldsmith (Compromise, AfterWords, Dress) will play Tecmessa, and Bryan Doerries himself will play the role of the chorus.
THEATER OF WAR

Theater of War is an innovative public health project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays, Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities. Using Sophocles' plays to forge a common vocabulary for openly discussing the visible and invisible wounds of war on individuals, families and communities, these events are aimed at generating compassion and understanding between diverse audiences, while mobilizing citizens and resources to help improve the lives of service members, veterans, their families, and people in their communities. Each performance is followed by community panelist remarks and a facilitated town hall discussion.
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. Struggling with survivor’s guilt and feeling betrayed by his command after being passed over for the honor of Achilles’ armor, 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 his suicide, as well as how his wife and troops attempt to intervene before it's too late. 
It has been suggested that ancient Greek drama was a form of storytelling and ritual reintegration for combat veterans by combat veterans. Sophocles was a general. During the 5th Century BC, Athens was at war for more than 80 years, often on multiple fronts. The audience for whom Ajax was performed consisted of nearly 17,000 citizen-soldiers, and the actors themselves were most likely combat veterans and cadets. Seen through this lens, ancient Greek tragedy appears to have been a powerful public health tool aimed at helping service members and veterans confront and address the moral, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of war, as well as return to civilian life between deployments. 
This event is made possible through the generous support and partnership of: the Office of the Provost, the Department of Classics, the CCM Harmony Fund, the TAFT Research Center, the Helen Weinberger Center for the study of Drama and Playwriting, and the A&S Deans Office.
This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For questions contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download the poster for distribution here