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Emmy Winner Will Bring Socrates’ Trial to Life in Memphis University News
For release: April 13, 2010

For press information, contact Shannon Neely, 901-678-3358

Modern travelers can visit ancient Athens and witness the trial of one of the greatest philosophers in history, as Emmy Award-winner actor Yannis Simonides brings The Apology of Socrates, a dramatization of Plato’s Apology, to the University of Memphis for two performances Thursday and Friday, April 15th and 16th. Thursday’s play will begin at 10 a.m. and Friday’s at 8:30 p.m. A question-and-answer session will follow each presentation.

Both days’ performances will be presented in the Theatre of the U of M’s new University Center. They are open to the public. Admission is $15, and tickets are only available online, at www.memphis.edu/philosophy U of M students will be admitted free with a valid student I.D. and ticket reservation.

Convenient parking is available in the Zach Curlin garage or the Southern Avenue lot.

Written by Plato, the Apology is an account of Socrates’ defense against politically motivated charges that he was corrupting the youth of Athens and that he did not believe in the Greek gods. During his trial, Socrates vows to continue questioning those who think they know the truth. His pursuit of truth ultimately costs him his life.

Plato’s work is timeless in how it captures the character of Socrates. Simonides’ dramatic text, movement, and speech bring the play vividly to life, as the philosopher faces his accusers with his trademark wit, his cutting logic, and the courage of his ideals.

This performance premiered in New York in 2003 and has since been performed in Greek and in English, at the United Nations, on NBC’s Today Show and at venues around the world including Cyprus, Turkey, Canada, Uruguay, and the United Arab Emirates.

Odysseymagazine called the performance “...restless, humorous, brilliant and fascinating...” and the National Herald called it “...spellbinding from the opening scene...”

Memphis public school students will be among those in attendance at the special Thursday morning performance given especially for young people in the University of Memphis-sponsored Philosophical Horizons program. Philosophical Horizons is an outreach program that brings philosophy to children in the Memphis area. The Apology of Socrates will be the culminating experience for the middle- and high-school students currently enrolled in that program.

The Thursday performance is sponsored by a Tennessee Board of Regents Access and Diversity Grant, while the Friday performance is sponsored by a grant from the American Philosophical Association.

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