This November, the Dawson Humanities department will be hosting a theatrical version of Plato’s Symposium. The yearly philosophy play hosted by the department will be organized by this year’s department coordinator, Brian Redekopp.
The project began in 2012, when it was hosted as part of the “Humanities and Public Life” conference. It was initially acted and written by paid professionals, but after the initial success of the 2012 play, the department opened its doors to students who were interested in writing and acting. The point of the project is, according to Redekopp, to teach “participants and the audience about philosophy and its relevance to everyday concerns.” This year’s play, Symposium, embodies that relevance in its topic: love, which is “at the heart of Plato’s whole philosophy” (Redekopp).
To Dawson students, the project may seem new, since it was created in 2012 and has not been hosted since. The reason for this sabbatical was in part due to the decision to write a completely new play, which had only been done successfully once before, and lead to last year’s project “fizzling out.” This year they will be adapting an existing dialogue which should lead to more participation in the project and more momentum towards its completion. This year’s play of choice, Symposium, was described by Redekopp as “Plato’s dramatic masterpiece,” and “almost too good to be true,” due to its humor, short length, and universally universal topic.
For any students interested in joining the project, a private Facebook group has been made for the members, and to join, you can contact Brian Redekopp directly through Mio. There are still some places for anyone interested in working on the play, the group is looking mainly for actors now. The play will be hosted in the Dawson theater for free on November 20th, with an extra, low-cost night performance on the 21st.