Bryan Doerries, an alumnus of UCI with an MFA in directing from the School of the Arts, began this project in 2008-9 with a multi-million dollar grant from the Pentagon. Since then he has directed hundreds of performances in the US and abroad, at medical schools across the country, for professional organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, and on many college campuses.
Along with well-known actors from LA, Doerries will present readings of excerpts from Sophocles’ Ajax. The aim of both performances is to highlight the stress and health outcomes burdening returning war veterans and to use the humanistic field of drama to reflect on and mitigate such disabilities as PTSD and depression.
The 90-minute evening program begins with a 30-minute reading from Sophocles’ Ajax, an ancient Greek play about the suicide of a great and respected warrior. The reading serves as a catalyst for a facilitated town hall discussion about suicide, combat stress, alcohol and substance abuse, and the impact of war on families.
Panelists for the discussion will include UCI veterans, family members, counselors, and local military personnel. Audience members are encouraged to pose questions during the extensive panel discussion through comment cards.
Supported by the Department of Classics, the School of Humanities and Humanities Core Course, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, Illuminations, and the Medical Humanities Initiative.