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The Theatre Department will present a fresh take on ancient Greek tragedy “Ajax” in October, using a new translation that draws connections to military themes such as camaraderie, post-traumatic stress disorder, and veteran suicide. 

Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5-6 and Oct. 11-13, as well as 3 p.m. Oct. 7. All shows are held in the Wartburg Theatre, located inside the David A. Straz, Jr. Center. 

“Ajax,” written by Sophocles in the 5th century BCE, has received a new translation by Carthage senior Lawrence Gums ’19, a combat veteran, and 2018 graduate Melody Abbott. They adapted the script through the college’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.

Directed by Professor Martin McClendon, the play follows the tragic fall of the titular character, Ajax, and the aftermath of his actions. Dishonored in a competition for Achilles’ armor and cursed by Athena, he takes vengeance against herds of sheep and their shepherds, believing them to be the offending Greeks and their commanders.

Coming to his senses, Ajax is humiliated by his actions and teeters on the verge of suicide. Will he take his own life, or can his wife, Tekmessa, and his own soldiers convince him to live?

Combining their education and experience, the translators took a centuries-old tale and thrust it into the 21st century. This modern “Ajax” tells the story of combat veterans and mental illness, gripping audiences with voices that resonate from the past.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.carthage.edu/tickets or at the box office. Prices are $14 for adults, $10 for seniors (55 and over), and $8 for students with a valid ID.

For questions, contact the Carthage Fine Arts box office at oee@carthage.edu or 262-551-6661.

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