Celebrating its 12th season, Stanford Summer Theater (SST ) proudly presents Around the Fire: Homer in Performance, an exploration through theater and film of the magnificent Homeric epics, Iliad and Odyssey. Returning the epics to the world of live performance from which they grew, Around the Fire builds on the ancient oral tradition of bards and rhapsodes. As they once did thirty centuries ago, audiences will gather in an intimate setting and experience these incomparable stories of heroism and homecoming, of loss and restoration, of death and immortality. Around the Fire allows us to appreciate the beauty of ancient epics with new immediacy and power.
Sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies, Stanford Classics and Drama Departments, School of Humanities & Sciences, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, and the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts.
Cinematic versions of the epic stories are presented this Summer in a free Monday night film series. We begin with Wolfgang Petersen's recent cult favorite, Troy, featuring Brad Pitt as Achilles, Eric Bana as Hector, and the great veterans Brian Cox, Julie Christie, and Peter O'Toole. Next we show John Harrison's Helen of Troy (with Sienna Guillory and Mathew Marsden), which follows Homer's story but from the perspective of Helen. We then turn to modern adaptations of the Odyssean legend, beginning with Joseph Strick's intelligent and moving version of Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses (featuring performances by Milo O'Shea, Barbara Jefford, and T.P. McKenna). We follow this adaptation of James Joyce with the Coen brothers' delightful treatment of the Odysseus myth, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (with George Clooney and Holly Hunter), and we close the season with the acclaimed version of the Odyssey set in the American Civil War, Cold Mountain (with Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renee Zellweger). A discussion will follow each film, led by Stanford faculty and film critics.
Troy (2004), July 12, 7:00 pm
Helen of Troy (2003), July 19, 7:00 pm
Ulysses (1967), July 26, 7:00 pm
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), August 2, 7:00 pm
Cold Mountain (2003), August 9, 7:00 pm
FREE ; no registration required
Admission InfoFree, open to public