Who: Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Glenn Davis, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Jumaane Williams
What: Live Zoom theatrical production by Theater of War
Where: Eventbrite link sent with RSVP
When: Thursday, May 7, free with RSVP, 7:00
Why: Theater of War Productions (TOWP) presents dramatic readings of plays and speeches by Sophocles, Tennessee Williams, Euripides, Conor McPherson, Aeschylus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Eugene O’Neill, Frederick Douglass, and others, examining them through a contemporary sociocultural lens, focusing on such themes as addiction and substance abuse, gun violence, the prison system, natural disasters, consent, genocide, and caregiving. On May 7 at 7:00, the company, which was cofounded in 2009 by Bryan Doerries and Phyllis Kaufman, will turn its attention to the current pandemic with the Oedipus Project, a free online initiative that will feature an all-star roster of actors giving a live, dramatic reading of scenes from Sophocles’s fifth-century BCE classic, Oedipus the King. The play deals with such elements as arrogance, pride, power, guilt, and truth and was first performed during the Plague of Athens, an epidemic that killed about a third of the population. The impressive cast, who will be performing from wherever they are sheltering in place, consists of Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Glenn Davis, and Marjolaine Goldsmith. “There are people suffering out there, dying from the hateful plague, and this is what you choose to do with your time?” Jocasta asks in Doerries’s translation; Doerries also directs the show and will facilitate a live, interactive discussion about the impact of Covid-19 on families and communities, joined by New York City public advocate Jumaane Williams. TOWP is planning other productions to help those facing loneliness, trauma, loss, and mental and physical illness during this time of isolation.