As part of the “Ohrid Summer” festival, last night in the courtyard of the Church of St. Sophia, the monodrama “The Bull of Phalaris: Solving the Riddle of the Wonderful Great World” was performed, written and performed by Stephen Friedman.
This event took place as part of the American Evening, which was supported by the Embassy of the United States in the Republic of North Macedonia.
We live in a beautiful and complex world where pain can turn into beauty. I hope that each of us will find something in this monodrama. A big thank you to Eric Meyer, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, for supporting this project, and to the U.S. State Department in Washington, said Natasha Popović, the director of the Ohrid Summer Festival, in her address.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in the country, Eric Meyer, announcing the renowned American artist, said that it is a great honor to be part of the festival.
Congratulations on this wonderful festival taking place in an extraordinary location in the beautiful city. I was honored to attend the festival opening a few days ago, and I am happy about our collaboration. It is a great privilege to announce Stephen Friedman, a great philosopher and artist who has been recognized by The New York Times as a brilliant philosopher, emphasized Meyer.
The American artist and philosopher, Stephen Friedman, shared the monodrama for almost two hours, intertwining autobiography and issues in the first part, and then focusing on problem-solving in the second part.
– Don’t worry if you don’t understand some words, sentences, or even concepts in the drama. When we encounter something for the first time, we can never understand it perfectly. The drama is divided into two acts, the first being autobiography and issues, and the second focusing on problem-solving. And the most important thing I want to emphasize is that the goal of the drama is not to focus on me, but to capture the circumstances that enabled the results, said Stephen Friedman, the author and performer of the monodrama “The Bull of Phalaris”.
The Bull of Phalaris, or the so-called Bronze Bull, was an instrument of torture and execution devised in Ancient Greece. According to the records of Diodorus Siculus, Perillus of Athens conceptualized and proposed the bronze bull as a device to be used by the tyrant Phalaris of Sicily for the execution of criminals. The bull was entirely made of bronze, hollowed inside with a removable door. It was shaped and sized like a living bull and had a built-in sound apparatus that transformed the screams into bull-like roars. The condemned individuals were locked inside the bull, and a fire was lit beneath the device, heating the metal while the person trapped inside was slowly roasted to death. Phalaris commanded that the bull 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 constructed with a complex system of pipes and partitions that ensured the screams would be transformed into sounds resembling an enraged bull. According to legend, when the bull was opened, the burned bones of the victim “shone like jewels” and were used to make jewelry.