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Linfield Theatre Presents

Ajax in Iraq

by Ellen McLaughlin

Past and present collide in Ellen McLaughlin’s mash-up of Sophocles’ classic tragedy “Ajax” with the modern day war in Iraq.

Ajax in Iraq poster

Directed by Janet Gupton

November 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.
November 10 at 2:00 p.m.

Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall

Presented by the Department of Theatre and Communication Arts

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc., www.playscripts.com

A Linfield PLACE event


This play contains mature subject matter, graphic violence, and adult language.

Special Events

  • Thursday, Nov. 7 Post-Show Discussion: "Women and the Military: Serving in Uniform or Supporting at Home". Looking at the challenges that women soldiers as well as wives of soldiers face.
  • Friday, Nov. 15 Post-Show Discussion: "Veterans: Serving Those Who've Served Us". Examining the challenges faced by soldiers returning to civilian life and how those at home can prepare and help that transition.
Both post-show discussions are free and open to the public. Attendance at the performance, while recommended, is not required.


About the Play

The play follows the parallel narratives of Ajax, an ancient Greek military hero, and A.J., a modern female soldier, both undone by the betrayal of a commanding officer. Athena, goddess of war coolly presides over the play, which explores the struggles soldiers face in trying to make sense of war.

About the Production

The 17-member cast of Ajax in Iraq consists of Linfield students and faculty, in addition to several students working on design elements of the show. Daniel Bradley will play Ajax and Alli Halley will play A.J. The role of Athena will be played by three women - visiting French Fulbright teaching assistant Amandine Gravier, Amanda Kern, and Kristie Castanera.

During rehearsals, students spent time listening to veterans' stories to better understand the issues they are portraying. Additionally, they took part in a "boot camp" to prepare for their roles. Four rehearsals included an hour-long WOD (Workout of the Day), led by McMinnville Crossfit owner JP Kloninger and fight choreographer Ted deChatelet. The workouts simulated physical training for soldiers and provided camaraderie and morale-building, which soldiers experience in boot camp.

"Being 'there' for the other person is a big theme in the play," said Janet Gupton, director and associate professor of theatre arts.

About the Playwright

McLaughlin's plays have earned national and international accolades. McLaughlin is also an actor. She has worked on and off Broadway as well as extensively in regional theater. She is most well known for having originated the part of Angel in Tony Kushner's "Angels in America," appearing in every U.S. production from its earliest workshops through its Broadway run. Her on-screen credits include several films and guest appearances on "Law & Order." She has taught playwriting in numerous venues, from Yale School of Drama to Princeton University and has taught at Barnard College since 1995.

Ticket Information

Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 25, online and Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the box office. Tickets are $9 for full price; $7 for seniors and Linfield faculty and staff; and $5 for students (any age, any school); with a $2 discount on all tickets on opening night, Thursday, November 7. Seating is reserved. Tickets are available at www.linfield.edu/arts, by phone, or at the Marshall Theatre Box Office. Located just inside the lobby of Ford Hall, the box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., and until 7:30 p.m. on performance days. The box office will also be open Nov. 9 and 16 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10. The box office is closed Mondays.For more information, call 503.883.2292. The Marshall Theatre is fully accessible.