The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today
Date: September 2015
Duration: 6 hours 0 minutes
This compassionate, personal, and illuminating work of nonfiction draws on the author’s celebrated work as a director of socially conscious theater to connect listeners with the power of an ancient artistic tradition.
For years, Bryan Doerries has been producing ancient tragedies for current and returned servicemen and women, addicts, tornado and hurricane victims, and a wide range of other at-risk people in society. Here, drawing on these extraordinary firsthand experiences, Doerries clearly and powerfully illustrates the redemptive and therapeutic potential of this classical, timeless art: how, for example, Ajax can help soldiers and their loved ones grapple with PTSD, or how Prometheus Bound provides insights into the modern penal system. Doerries is an original and magnanimous thinker, and The Theater of War—wholly unsentimental but intensely felt and emotionally engaging—is a humane, knowledgeable, and accessible book that will inspire and inform listeners, showing them that suffering and healing are both part of a timeless process.
“Bryan Doerries’ ongoing staging of Greek tragedies before US military personnel and others processing trauma is an act of courageous humanism: a tribute to vanished lives and a succor to current soldiers and citizens. In connecting the valiance and pathos of modern military life to a 2500-year tradition, Doerries has returned dignity to countless troops nearly destroyed by war. His capacious yet intimate book offers a privileged look into not only the psychological costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and other proximate disasters but also the larger meaning of inhabiting an unpredictable and militarized world.”—Andrew Solomon, National Book Award–winning author of Far from the Tree