The Ajax Project
Ensemble Studio Theatre/ Los Angeles in collaboration with USC Warrior Bards Program
AJAX – An Interactive Exploration is a new kind of theatre, re-imagined for the age of coronavirus, and geared toward using the arts as part of a process of healing. A collaboration of EST/LA and the Warrior Bards, this project offers an internet audience the various tools and ideas needed to explore Sophocles’ classical play AJAX in a number of ways. There are videos of excerpts of the play performed by U.S. military veterans available to view as well as proposed designs that visitors to this site can use to flesh out what the play might look like if it were presented live. Accompanying the performance segments and the design elements are commentary from veterans on what the text means to them as well as comments from designers on why they made specific artistic choices—and how this might be put together in a stage performance. Finally, there are resources available for anyone who desires to know more about the themes of AJAX, including the trials of homecoming and re-entering the larger community, transitioning from war to peacetime, PTSD, and the shift in identity from hero to civilian.
At EST/LA, we actively welcome diverse perspectives and lived experiences. We pledge to defend our creative space, our members, guest artists and the communities we serve against racism, sexism, ageism, anti-semitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, misogyny, shame and harmful systems.
Warrior Bards is a project for veterans that is funded by the Arts in Action initiative at the University of Southern California. Using ancient Greek tragedies as a jumping off point, the program offers veterans an opportunity to study the classical texts and use them as a way to explore their own experiences of war and homecoming.