Written and Directed by John Jahnke
Original Music by Joshua Fried
The Public Theater, New York City
Presented in Performance Workshop Form
Inspired by Book XVI of Homer’s The Iliad, the public workshop of Funeral Games explores the highly debated relationship between the warrior Achilles and his beloved Patroclus, during the epic Trojan War. Although the nature of this relationship, so central to the narrative of The Iliad, has long been a topic of dispute amongst mythology purists, it has rarely been explored theatrically in an isolated and contemporary context. The work investigates such present-day issues as the repression of gays in the military, gay marriage, aggressive quests for celebrity and fame – all informed by the backdrop of an imprudent war. The couple figures prominently in lost plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, so a handful of surviving fragments from these works, Aeschylus’ tragic trilogy The Achillea, and Sophocles’ comedy The Loves of Achilles, are woven into the text.