Onassis Spring Festival Panel Discussion on Aristophanes and Political Satire

Moderator Alexandra Petri, Roberta Casagrande-Kim, Bruce Norris, Françoise Mouly, and Denis O'Hare during the panel discussion on satire at the Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Kolin Mendez Photography

BROOKLYN – Nearly 2,500 years after Aristophanes wrote The Birds, political satire remains just as topical and divisive, prominent figures in the art world agreed at a panel discussion on April 25, presented by the Onassis Cultural Center New York at the Brooklyn Museum.

The event is part of the Onassis Culture Center New York Spring Festival- Birds: A Festival Inspired by Aristophanes which features, among many other events, an acclaimed Greek production of the play, directed by Nikos Karathanos, to be performed from May 2-13 at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.

The panel was moderated by Alexandra Petri, the humor columnist for The Washington Post, along with True Blood actor Denis O’Hare, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris, Françoise Mouly- the art editor of The New Yorker, and Roberta Casagrande-Kim, an archeologist, Assistant Manager of Exhibitions and Publications at the Onassis Cultural Center New York. Casagrande-Kim explained the historical roots of Aristophanes and O’Hare shared part of a monologue inspired by The Iliad. Mouly explained some of The New Yorker’s more provocative cover cartoons that touched upon political satire. But Norris cautioned not to overestimate the power of satire which he said is ultimately about pleasure for the consumer and is quickly forgotten. “Nothing dies quicker than satire,” he said.

The Birds festival kicked off on April 22, and will continue through July 8 with events all over New York City. For more information,  visit www.onassisusa.org

Alexandra Petri, Denis O’Hare, Roberta Casagrande-Kim, Françoise Mouly, and Bruce Norris. Photo: Kolin Mendez Photography