John Milton's Samson Agonistes: Tragedy, Terror, Terrorism
Set in a twenty-first century Guantanamo Bay-style military prison, this year’s Summer Shakespeare is a provocative, world premiere modern-dress version of John Milton’s dramatic retelling of the biblical strongman’s captivity and final catastrophe. Milton’s play evokes terror and tragedy when Samson destroys the Philistine temple, killing unarmed civilians. This production reflects upon the interplay of violence and religion across the centuries.
Pre-performance Roundtable Discussion | Saturday, August 11 @ 6pm
Featuring leading Milton scholars Dr. Feisal G. Mohamed (The Graduate Center, City University of New York) and Dr. John Leonard (Western University)
With Dr. George Ramos, director of the play, and members of the cast and production team
Join us at 6pm for this fascinating pre-performance discussion about terror and tragedy in Milton’s Samson Agonistes and the interplay of violence and religion across the centuries. Set in a twenty-first century Guantanamo Bay-style military prison, this year’s Summer Shakespeare is a provocative, world premiere modern-dress version of John Milton’s dramatic retelling of the biblical strongman’s last day of life, when he destroys the Philistine temple and kills unarmed civilians.
Special guest Dr. Feisal G. Mohamed is an award-winning scholar of early modern literature whose research focuses on Milton, post-secularism, political theory, and legal history. Also an essayist, he has published in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and the New Republic, among others. His book Milton and the Post-Secular Present: Ethics, Politics, Terrorism (Stanford UP, 2011) won the Milton Society of America's prestigious James Holly Hanford Award. He is a professor of English at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Venue: Outdoors behind the International and Graduate Affairs (IGAB) Building • Free admittance to the roundtable
Wednesday, August 1 - Saturday, August 4 @ 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 8 - Saturday, August 11 @ 7:00 pm
Outdoors on the shady hillock behind the International & Graduate Affairs Building (IGAB)
> Map & Directions
$15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors | Available at the door
George Ramos, Director | firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Summer Shakespeare is a longstanding tradition in the London community. It is outdoor theatre, staged on campus at Western University. The first Western Summer Shakespeare performance took place on 4 August 1981, making it the longest running campus, or indeed outdoor, Summer Shakespeare in Canada (longer than the Dream in High Park by two years!). Our productions run typically for five to ten nights, usually during July. Auditions are scheduled in March-April (before classes end), and the show is rehearsed at Western in May-July.
Western Summer Shakespeare is committed to providing students, staff, and friends of Western University, Fanshawe College, and from within the wider London community, with the opportunity to play major roles on and off the stage. In casting the show, priority should be given to students, though all members of the community are welcome to audition and a diverse cast is welcome!
2017: The Tempest
2016: Much Ado About Nothing
2015: As You Like It
2014: Twelfth Night
2013: King Lear
2012: The Winter’s Tale
2011: Antony and Cleopatra
2010: The Merchant of Venice
2009: The Taming of the Shrew
2008: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
2007: Measure for Measure
2006: The Winter's Tale
2005: Twelfth Night
2003: Henry V
2002: As You Like It
2001: Romeo and Juliet
2000: Richard III
1999: Measure for Measure
1996: Twelfth Night
1995: As You Like It
1990: As You Like It
1983: As You Like It
1982: Twelfth Night
1981: A Midsummer Night's Dream