American Players Theatre's "The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes" Theater and Dance As recast by Irish poet Seamus Heaney, 7:30 pm on 8/11 & 17, 3 pm on 8/13 and 6 pm, 8/14, American Players Theatre-Touchstone, Spring Green. $70-$40. www.playinthewoods.org or 588-2361
The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes
Written by Seamus Heaney
Directed by David Frank
Opening Night: Sunday, August 14; continues through September 25
"History says, ‘Don't hope/On this side of the grave.'" Every now and again a sentiment is so beautifully articulated, it enters the zeitgeist. Indeed, when Seamus Heaney added his poetry to Sophocles' 5th Century B.C. drama Philoctetes, the resulting play gave us some of our era's most unforgettable language.
Philoctetes was a Greek soldier famed for having inherited the bow and arrows of Hercules. But after he was bitten by a snake en route to war with the Trojans, his fellow warriors abandoned him on a deserted island. Ten years later, an oracle predicts that the ongoing war can only be won if the Greeks could regain the Herculean bow and arrow, still in Philoctetes' possession. Odysseus and Neoptolemus return to the island to persuade the rejected Philoctetes to help their cause by supplying his magic bow.
Familiarity with Greek drama is not necessary to be swept away by this play - the power of Heaney's poetry ups the poignancy on a story as stingingly spot-on today as it must have been some 2,400 years ago.
Featuring David Daniel as Philoctetes, Jonathan Smoots as Odysseus, Paul Hurley as Neoptolemus and Sarah Day, Ashleigh LaThrop and Tiffany Scott as the Chorus.
APT's spectacular outdoor amphitheater will play host to five classic works: William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" and "The Tempest", Noël Coward's comic masterpiece "Blithe Spirit", Richard Brinsley Sheridan's hilarious Restoration comedy "The Critic" and the American classic "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. The plays in the intimate, indoor Touchstone Theatre are: Tennessee Williams' masterpiece "The Glass Menagerie", "Crime and Punishment," an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel written by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus and "The Cure at Troy: a Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes" by Seamus Heaney.
Tickets are now on sale at 608-588-2361 or online at www.americanplayers.org.