“Theater of War” Connects Ancient Warfare to Modern, Facilitating Healing Along the Way

Sophocles may not be the household name he once was, but the Greek playwright offers some surprising insights into today’s military experience. Through the plays Ajax and Philoctetes,Theater of War”  aims to bring a sense of connectivity between ancient warriors and modern, with a belief that some elements of war are timeless.

According to Theater of War, “By presenting these plays to military audiences, our hope is to de-stigmatize psychological injury and open a safe space for dialogue about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, and their caregivers and families.”

Theater of War

First Sgt. Lorenzo Zamora draws parallels from his personal experiences to the characters in ancient plays before an audience that includes the brass at Fort Drum, N.Y. (Photo by Gary Walts for USA TODAY)

Featured recently on PBS Newshour, “Theater of War” brings together experiences and well-known actors of screen and stage for readings of these classic texts in front of military audiences as well as their health care providers.  They have also recently partnered with the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), with the hopes of creating a meaningful experience for wounded warriors, veterans, and those who care for them.  View an interview with director-creator Brian Doerries below and click here to view the entire Newshour segment:


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As Sophocles wrote in Philoctetes, “War never takes a wicked man by chance, the good man always.”  The bravery of those who chose to serve their country – no matter what century – deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated.  Look for an upcoming performance near you:

March 5 and 6, 2010
Naval Special Warfare Command, San Diego, CA

March 9, 10 and 11, 2010
Camp Pendleton, San Diego, CA

March 12, 2010
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, CA

March 24, 2010
Fort Polk, New Orleans, LA

March 26, 2010
HQ BN MARFORRES, New Orleans, LA

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