WASHINGTON, PA (Sept. 14, 2015) — When Broadway actor Teagle F. Bougere visited Washington & Jefferson College (W&J), he stepped away from his theatrical roots to present a topic that infiltrates both life and art: war.
Bougere’s lecture and dramatic reading, “Why Is There Always War,” was held Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in room 100 of the Dieter-Porter Life Sciences Building on the W&J campus. The event was free and open to the public.
“I hope it will spark some good thinking about why is there always war, and why war is virtually a constant in human experience,” said Andrew Rembert, Ph.D., of the W&J Philosophy Department. “Why is that? You’d think we’d have periods of war and periods of no war, but there’s virtually always a war somewhere in the world. That seems a terribly important fact to me, and one worth thinking about.”
The event is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Fund, W&J’s Conflict and Resolution Studies concentration, and the College’s Philosophy Department.
Bougere will present dramatic readings from “An Iliad,” written by Lisa Peterson and Tony-winning actor Denis O’Hare as a modern adaptation of Homer’s “Iliad” and focused on the perennial reality of war and its effect on the war narrator, The Poet. Bougere played the role of The Poet in a one-man show in Pittsburgh in 2014. At W&J, in addition to the dramatic readings, he will present a lecture on the topic of war and conflict, and the constant existence of those things in the human experience.
While on campus, Bougere also will visit Conflict and Resolution classes and have dinner with students in the program.
Rembert said he reached out to Bougere about speaking at W&J after seeing his performance of “An Iliad” in Pittsburgh last year. The lecture is in line with courses offered at W&J but it also ties into daily life, he said, and he hopes the lecture will spark new conversation on the topic among students and community members alike.
“One of the best things about the [Conflict and Resolution Studies] Concentration is that it’s not just made up of courses,” he said. “In the past, a film series has been part of it, and so are events like this. This reading will fit in well as one of those events, and I’m glad the public has the opportunity to take part in it.”
On Broadway, Bougere has played Caliban in “The Tempest” (1995) and Joseph Asagai in “A Raisin in the Sun” (2004), among other roles. He also has had film roles in “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) and “Night at the Museum” (2006) among others, as well as television roles in “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
He starred in “Othello” in Pittsburgh last spring, and during the summer of 2015, he completed an acclaimed run of “Cymbeline” in the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, directed by Daniel Sullivan.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.