Mental Floss

Sophocles and the Marine Corps

Ransom Riggs
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It's an unlikely pairing to say the least, but translator/director Bryan Doerries is convinced that the ideal audience for many ancient Greek plays is a military one; that despite the 2,500 year gap between when they were written and the present, they're more relevant than ever. Bryan is a friend and writing partner of mine, and yesterday he invited me down to San Diego to a staged reading he's translated and directed of several scenes from Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes. But the venue wasn't some blackbox theater and the audience wasn't comprised of typical theatergoers; it was the Marine Corps' annual Combat Operational Stress conference, in which about 800 top brass gather to talk about how to handle Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the military. Four-star generals sitting down to hear actors from New York read ancient Greek plays? Yep -- and they loved it.

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UPDATE: here's a link to the Associated Press' story on the reading.

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