Friday, October 10, 2008

Boston Area Alert: Ajax in Iraq at the A.R.T. in Harvard Square - Friday Night, Saturday Afternoon and Saturday Evening only

Something extraordinary is happening this weekend in Harvard Square. The American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training is presenting the original play "Ajax in Iraq." Written by Ellen McLaughlin, this play masterfully weaves together Sophocles' tale of Ajax unhinged by his exposure to battle with the experiences of American soldiers in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The two streams of action flow in parallel - like the Tigris and Euphrates - ultimately joining together in a confluence of emotion and reflection.

I saw the play last night, and was deeply moved. I encourage anyone living in the Boston area to make the trip to Harvard Square this evening or to one of the two performances on Saturday.

The Advanced Theater Training group is offering free tickets to veterans. The details of the offer are outlined below:

The American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training invites you to:

Ajax in Iraq inspired by Sophocles's Ajax and the current war in Iraq.

Written by Ellen McLaughlin and directed by Scott Zigler, and performed by the Institute Class of 2009

Zero Arrow Theatre - Corner of Arrow Street and Mass Ave. in Harvard Square.

Performance Dates & Times:

October 9, 10, 11 at 7:30 p.m. October 11 at 2:00 p.m.

To RSVP follow the links below:

October 10 at 7:30 p.m.

October 11 at 2:00 p.m.

October 11 at 7:30 p.m.

The RSVP deadlines are:

October 10, deadline 10/9 at 5PM
October 11 peformances, deadline 10/10 at 5PM

Discussions with Ellen McLaughlin will follow the performances on October 10 at 7:30 and October 11 at 2:00.

Please note: This is a student production and it is not to be reviewed.

How does the experience of war affect the common soldier? What do veterans bring home from war? How have female soliders been affected by the war in Iraq? These are just a few of the questions explored in the world premiere production of this new play by award-winning writer Ellen McLaughlin. Using Sophocles' Ajax as a lens through which to view and interpret the current war, McLaughlin's play combines ancient Greece and modern-day Iraq to grapple with these difficult and perplexing times.

Ellen McLauglin is an American playwright and actor for stage and film. Her plays include Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Tongue of a Bird, The Trojan Women, Helen, The Persians, and Oedipus, all produced in major theatres throughout the U.S. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Great American Play Contest, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, NEA Award, Writer's Award from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, the Berilla Kerr Award for Playwriting, and the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Grant. As an actor, McLaughlin has worked on and off Broadway as well as
extensively in regional theater. She is best known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, appearing in every U.S. production from its earliest workshops through its Broadway run.

This play is so good that it is worth changing whatever plans you may have made for this weekend. You will not be sorry.


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