Classical tragedy is timelessly powerful – not only does it still move us, but it heals, too.
Bryan Doerries produces performances of Greek tragedies for soldiers returned from conflict, addicts, prison communities, victims of natural disasters, and other vulnerable people. His dramatisations have explored how the story of Sophocles' Ajax can help today's soldiers and their loved ones grapple with trauma; why people in the penal system are liberated by Prometheus Bound; and how Heracles has changed the way that some doctors manage end-of-life care. In drawing on such extraordinarily intimate experiences, and in telling his own story of loss and learning, Doerries illustrates the redemptive potential of one of the oldest human art-forms, and the power of re-enacting.
The Theatre of War is a passionate, humane, and purposeful book that shows how suffering and healing are part of an eternally replicable process, and argues that the great tragedies of the Greeks can still light a clear path forward through contemporary society's most tangled issues.
About the Author
Bryan Doerries is a writer, director, and translator, and the founder of Theater of War, a project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays to service members, veterans, caregivers, and families to help them initiate conversations about the visible and invisible wounds of war. He is also the cofounder of Outside the Wire, a social impact company that uses theater and a variety of other media to address pressing public health and social issues, such as combat-related psychological injury, end-of-life care, prison reform, domestic violence, political violence, recovery from natural and man-made disasters, and the destigmatization of substance abuse and addiction. A self-described evangelist for classical literature and its relevance to our lives today, Doerries uses age-old approaches to help individuals and communities heal from suffering and loss.