Staging a Theater of War

David Strathairn, Gloria Reuben and Jeffrey Wright read at a Theater of War event. Photo courtesy of the New York Times

This article from the Washington Examiner states that some starpower is being added to the Theater of War Project. Theater of War is a program that stages theatrical productions–specifically those that focus on the plight of returning warriors, like Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes–to an audience of recent veterans, which then spurs dialogue on issues surrounding physical and psychological battle-induced wounds.

Plays like Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes read like textbook descriptions of wounded warriors, struggling under the weight of psychological and physical injuries to maintain their dignity, identity, and honor. Given this context, it seemed natural that military audiences today might have something to teach us about the impulses behind these ancient stories. It also seemed like these ancient stories would have something important and relevant to say to military audiences.

As the Examiner states, TV actors Isiah Whitlock (“The Wire”) and Tamara Tunie (“Law and Order: SVU”) and Broadway actors Francoise Battiste and Bill Camp will be joining the project to perform to military audiences, on the Theater of War tour. Performances include one today at Walter Reed and one yesterday at a Marine Corps facility in Arlington, VA.

You can read the Examiner article here. The New York Times also did a great piece on the project a few months ago; read it here.