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Theater of War: Hercules in Brooklyn

Brooklyn Public Library

Contact Name: Lisa Rosenblum,
Type of Initiative: Civic Enagement  
Community Partners: Outside the Wire; the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center


Brooklyn Public Library partnered with theater nonprofit Outside the Wire to host a discussion on the distinctly modern problem of gun violence through the staging of an ancient and timeless text. Actors Jeffrey Wright and Paul Giamatti were among the performers to bring Euripides’ The Madness of Hercules to life in the soaring lobby of Central Library. The play, an ancient tragedy that centers on an unthinkable act of violence, segued into a panel and community discussion at which attendees—including teens, anti-violence activists, and other community members—participated in a powerful, audience-driven dialogue on how we can respond to, and work together to prevent, violence in our city. The program was co-presented by the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, which offers resources, referrals, and programs for young people in a pair of Brooklyn neighborhoods, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant.