Performances of “Ajax” to initiate statewide conversation about veterans
The Pell Center will host a reader’s theater production of the Greek tragedy “Ajax” in five Rhode Island cities and towns throughout November. As part of the Pell Center’s Story in the Public Square initiative, the play will serve as a vehicle for opening community conversations about the challenges facing veterans returning from war.
The production will premiere at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 and run for three consecutive nights (Nov. 11-13) at Salve Regina’s Megley Theatre. Additional productions will be staged at the following locations:
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 – Contemporary Theater, South Kingstown
- 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17 – Bowab Studio Theater at Providence College
- 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18 – Sandywoods Center for the Arts, Tiverton
- 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 – Blackstone River Theatre, Cumberland
All performances are free and open to the public.
Dr. Robert Hackey, a visiting fellow at the Pell Center and a professor of health policy and management at Providence College, noted that ancient Greek drama is an important tool for raising awareness of contemporary policy issues.
“The stories we tell on stage, and the characters who tell them, can open our minds to new ways of looking at important social issues,” Hackey said. “Our production of ‘Ajax’ will bring together veterans, ROTC cadets, mental health providers and members of the larger community for a lively conversation about the emotional toll of war. By discussing the scars of battle returning soldiers endured – often through multiple deployments overseas – we seek to honor their sacrifices and open up an important dialogue about how to meet their needs.”
“Ajax” is made possible, in part, by a special grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant is part of the “Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War” initiative, which supports veterans-related programming within each state.