OSF to Present Reading of AJAX, 4/3

OSF to Present Reading of AJAX, 4/3

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) will present a play reading of Ajax by Sophocles on Thursday, April 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Thomas Theatre. The reading is directed by 2014 Phil Killian Directing Fellow Tom Ridgely.

More than 2,400 years old, Ajax is the earliest surviving play by one of the greatest dramatists of ancient Greece. It remains a classic and powerful account of war's costs, not in blood and treasure, but in the psychic toll on its survivors.

"Ajax is one of the first and most powerful documents we have of the effects of war on the soldier's psyche," Ridgely said. "With startling candor and insight, Sophocles strips combat of its heroism and glamour and reveals it as an omnivorous beast that consumes both victor and vanquished. And because we receive it in translation, the actual text is surprisingly elastic. Even faithful translations differ widely and each century in a way produces its own Ajax. So rather than confine the play to one voice or one point of view, this reading combines major translations from three different centuries-the 19th, 20th and 21st. The juxtapositions are sometimes jarring, sometimes imperceptible, but always illuminating. I'm eager and curious to hear how this ancient text echoes in our contemporary ears."

The Ajax cast includes: Omoze Idehenre (Athena), Ron Menzel (Odysseus), Danforth Comins (Ajax), Brent Hinkley (Chorus), Jennie Greenberry (Techmessa), Benjamin Pelteson (Messenger), Mark Bedard (Teucer), Robert Vincent Frank (Menelaus) and David Kelly (Agamemnon).

Tickets for the readings are $12 for the general public, $10 for members and $8 for youth (6-17). Find tickets and information at http://www.osfashland.org/productions/2014-activities-and-events/reading.aspx.

Inspired by the legacy of American theatre director Phil Killian, whose work has left an enduring impact on OSF, the four-month Phil Killian Directing Fellowship was developed for early career directors interested in large scale classical theatre and Shakespeare in particular. Each year the Killian Directing Fellow has the opportunity to assistant direct on two productions. Only one such Directing Fellowship is offered each year; selection is determined by a national advisory committee. More information and an application for the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship are available at http://www.osfashland.org/work-with-us/FAIR-fellowships-internships-and-more/fellowships.aspx#Phil Killian.

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