James Svendsen believes works of art about warriors from thousands of years ago might be used to serve warriors of today. The University of Utah dramaturge is helping produce a series of staged readings of "The Toll of War," two short one-act performances cut from Sophocles' 2,400-year-old plays "Ajax" and "Philoctetes."Free performances of "The Toll of War" will be staged in these Utah locations:
"Ajax" tells the story of a suicidal warrior who takes his own life after struggling to come to terms with the unjust spoils of war. "Philoctetes" is a play about a disabled soldier who is abandoned by his commander.
Svendsen said it's not hard to find modern resonance in either play. And he hopes military members and veterans of recent wars -- the performances will be staged at Fort Douglas, the Salt Lake City VA hospital and other locations where they are likely to draw a military-oriented crowd -- will walk away understanding they are connected to generations upon generations of past warriors, who also struggled to "come home" from war.
Wednesday, 7 p.m. » Main Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City
March 6, 2 p.m. » Universe City, 2556 Washington Blvd., Ogden
March 8, 11:50 a.m. » Fort Douglas Post Theater, east of the University of Utah Campus
March 13, 7 p.m. » VA Hospital, Bldg.8, 500 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City