Summer Shakespeare welcomes Milton to stage

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Was Samson a terrorist? When the biblical strongman destroyed the Philistine Temple of Dagon and massacred unarmed civilians, was that a suicidal act of terror? Is one person’s freedom fighter, another person’s terrorist?

Set in a 21st-Century Guantanamo Bay-style military prison, this year’s Summer Shakespeare production is a provocative, world premiere modern-dress version of John Milton’s Samson Agonistes, a dramatic retelling of the hero’s captivity and final catastrophe. Organizers hope the show will force audience members to reflect on the real complexities of the current conflict in the Middle East, the lone-wolf attacks terrorizing the world today and the interplay of violence and religion across the centuries.

Directed by George Ramos, the production, which will be held on the hill just outside the International and Graduate Affairs Building, runs from Aug. 1-4 and 8-11, with shows each night at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($10 for seniors/students) and are available on site.