NEW YORK – The New York Times wrote of The Oedipus Project, “…scenes from Sophocles’ ancient tragedy ‘Oedipus Rex,’ about arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy and a plague that ravages the city of Thebes. (Ring any bells? You wouldn’t be alone.)”
Though written in Greece two and a half millennia ago, Oedipus the King still has fresh lessons to offer audiences at this year’s Summer Nostos Festival RetroFuture Edition when it is presented online on Wednesday, June 24, 1-3:30 PM EDT.
In the capable hands of world-renowned actors including Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, John Turturro, Jeffrey Wright, and David Strathairn, Oedipus the King becomes a catalyst for a powerful, healing conversation with the audience about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities around the world.
The premier of The Oedipus Project from Theater of War Productions drew over 15,000 people, across 30+ countries, but remained human and intimate, with revered actors appearing onscreen via Zoom like friends or colleagues. “As an experiment in live, dislocated theater, ‘The Oedipus Project’ succeeded,” read a review from CNN. “It connected a fragmented audience and brought them a little closer together.”
Written and performed in 429 BCE during a plague that killed as much as a third of the Athenian population, Oedipus the King is tragically relevant today. It serves as a point of departure for conversations on public health, power, the economy, and the social footprint of a pandemic, while simultaneously reaffirming the timeless political dimension of theater, rooted in ancient Greece.
Now, as then, a play invites us to view ourselves as members of a community, acting as a catalyst for communal discussion and processing that would otherwise not take place.
Featuring performances by Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Glenn Davis, Marjolaine Goldsmith, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Translated, directed, and facilitated by Bryan Doerries.
A participatory audience discussion, framed by community panelists remarks, guided by Bryan Doerries will follow the readings from Oedipus the King.
To be part of the discussion registration is required to this Zoom event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-oedipus-project-snfestival-registration-108463324724.
Co-presented by the Summer Nostos Festival by Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Theater of War Productions, The Brooklyn Public Library, New York City Office of The Public Advocate, and the Weissman Family Foundation.
For more information on the event please visit SNFestival.org
Theater of War Productions works with leading film, theater, and television actors, such as Adam Driver, Paul Giamatti, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Alfred Molina, to present dramatic readings of seminal plays, followed by town hall-style discussions designed to confront social issues by drawing out raw and personal reactions to themes highlighted in the plays.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has supported Theater of War Productions since its establishment in 2009. SNF and Theater of War Productions are proud to celebrate their longstanding partnership with this special performance of The Oedipus Project for a large, international audience through the Summer Nostos Festival.