Ben Gorman as The Poet

LANESBORO — "An Iliad," a powerful and demanding one-man show, will be presented Aug. 11 through Aug. 28 as the next offering in the Commonweal Theatre's Wealhouse series.

The play, featuring Commonweal artist Ben Gorman, will be staged in the second-floor space at Pedal Pushers Cafe in Lanesboro, with a closing performance at the Commonweal. The Wealhouse series is designed to present plays, off-site, that might not be deemed ideal for mainstage runs at the Commonweal.

"An Iliad" takes Homer's classic story of the Trojan War and turns it into a monologue by The Poet about man's endless capacity for violence and making war. It is a major undertaking for an actor, but Gorman said he has been moved by the language and theme of the play.

"The material resonates with me as a staunch opponent of war," he said. His father fought in World War II, Gorman said, but never glorified the experience of war. "I grew to appreciate his mindset about war and war-making, and consider myself opposed to war as a means of conflict resolution," Gorman said.

"An Iliad" is directed for the Commonweal by former resident artist Megan K. Pence. "While this piece tackles huge themes — war, fate, pride, honor, love — what excited me about it is the exploration of storytelling," she said. "The Poet is doomed to tell this tale, each time hoping it may be his last."

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11, Aug. 14, Aug. 16, Aug. 18 , Aug. 21 and Aug. 23 and Aug. 25 at the Pedal Pusher, and Aug. 28 at the Commonweal events hall.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for Million Dollar Club and season ticket holders, available at and 800-657-7025.

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Life Reporter

Tom covers primarily arts and entertainment for the Post Bulletin and 507 Magazine. He also often writes feature stories about local history. He is a native of Milwaukee, WI, and enjoys reading and traveling.