Аmerican Evening at “Ohrid Summer” with the monodrama “The Bull of Phalaris.”

As part of the “Ohrid Summer” festival, tonight will feature an American Evening with the monodrama “The Bull of Phalaris: Solving the Riddle of the Great Wide World,” written and performed by Steven Friedman.

The monodrama will be performed in the courtyard of the Church of St. Sophia, starting at 9 p.m.

One of the beautifully presented philosophical lectures that is worth attending is written and delivered by Stephen Friedman, titled “Gift of the Mind.” He is a poet, painter, author, teacher, and molecular biologist, but at his core, he seeks answers to life’s greatest questions to extract beauty from pain. The text, conveyed warmly and wittily, is part autobiography, part meditation, part guide, and part inspiration, with a deep emphasis on aphorisms that are alternately dense, elemental, provocative, and revelatory.

As a Harvard-educated molecular biologist, visual artist, and provocative visionary philosopher, Stephen Friedman has answers to life’s profound questions. Using personal narrative, poetry, art, and science, he delivers a performance that reflects his prism-like, transformative, and deeply comforting vision of the world. Friedman offers a solution to the world’s pain based not only on belief and faith but also on logical rigor—a philosophy that begins with Kierkegaard’s tale of the ancient torture device, the Bull of Phalaris, which transforms the dreadful sounds of pain into music.

The Bull of Phalaris, also known as the Bronze Bull, was an instrument of torture and execution devised in Ancient Greece. According to the accounts of Diodorus Siculus, Perillos of Athens conceptualized and proposed the bronze bull as a device that the tyrant Phalaris of Sicily would use to execute criminals. The bull was entirely made of bronze, hollow on the inside with a small door for entry. It was designed to resemble a living bull in shape and size and had a built-in sound mechanism that converted screams into bull-like roars. The condemned individuals were locked inside the bull, and a fire was lit underneath the device, heating the metal and causing the person trapped inside to be slowly roasted to death.

Phalaris commanded that the bull must be designed in such a way that the smoke that emerged from it would carry the scent of perfume. The head of the bull was devised with a complex system of pipes and partitions that transformed the screams into sounds resembling a raging bull. According to legend, when the bull was opened, the charred bones of the victim would “shine like jewels,” and necklaces were made from them.