Prometheus Bound: Connecting the Arts and Human Rights

March 1, 2011

The arts can be a powerful venue for championing human rights, by educating and inspiring the audience to take action.

Amnesty International is proud to announce our partnership with the American Repertory Theater’s production of Prometheus Bound, written by Tony and Grammy Award-winning playwright Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) and Grammy Award-winning composer Serj Tankian (of the band System of a Down).

This new musical is inspired by Aeschylus’s Ancient Greek tragedy about the heroic struggle of Western civilization’s first prisoner of conscience. Prometheus Bound tells the story of Prometheus, the Titan who defied Zeus by giving the human race both fire and art. The ancient story is made relevant to modern-day struggles against tyranny, giving a voice to those being silenced or endangered by oppressors today.

The A.R.T. will dedicate the run of Prometheus Bound to eight modern day prisoners of conscience and the fight against human rights abuses all over the world. After each performance, the audience will be given the tools to take immediate action and the opportunity to engage with Amnesty International and other human rights advocates.

Prometheus Bound will be staged at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, on dates through March, 2011. Learn more about the musical, purchase tickets, and learn how to become involved at the A.R.T.’s website.

In keeping with this spirit of collaboration, Shirley Manson, known primarily as the lead singer for the band Garbage, has joined the community of artists and activists surrounding Prometheus Bound, to record a single from the show.  In the show, “The Hunger” is sung by Io, a mortal who was raped by Zeus and exiled from her home.  Her pain becomes a rallying point for Prometheus, a clear example of the kind of injustice perpetrated against the humans by their immortal tormentors.

Shirley’s powerful voice and incredible emotion, as she tells the story of this victimized woman, is the perfect introduction to the world of Prometheus Bound, and the work of Amnesty International.  All proceeds from the sale of “The Hunger” will go towards Amnesty’s unfailing efforts to protect the rights of victims all over the world, from rape survivors like Io to unlawfully detained protestors like Prometheus.