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“Roman, Comic Mask, Held by a Right Hand” (perhaps 2nd century), marble, 7 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 3 3/4 in (Brooklyn Museum, gift of Julius J. Ivanitsky in memory of his parents, Jacob and Ida Ivanitsky, 79.119.2; Creative Commons-BY)

Since January 2016, many of us have had to discover ways to cope with the political climate. More often than not, we’ve resorted to comedy and satire, from our favorite talk show hosts to television like Saturday Night Live that has had somewhat of a revival. We’ve also turned to art and literature, with many local bookstores coming up with entire reading lists solely devoted to the political apocalypse.

These modes of coping with and digesting reality are not exactly new. This evening at the Brooklyn Museum a group of artists, writers, and curators will trace the influence of political satire to the great ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes, known as the “Father of Comedy.” We (unfortunately) don’t gather as often in the giant outdoor theaters of Aristophanes’s day, and rarely do playwrights now rely on a Chorus to deliver biting remarks and wit, but we still share an impulse to question power with sarcasm.

Panelists this evening include Jennifer Y. Chi, the deputy director and chief curator of the Brooklyn Museum; Bruce Norris, a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright who most recently premiered a work about sex offenders; the actor Denis O’Hare (known for his various parts in American Horror Story); and Françoise Mouly, the art editor at The New Yorker. The conversation will be moderated by Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post.

When: Wednesday, April 25, 7pm
Where: Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn)

More info at the Brooklyn Museum

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Elisa Wouk Almino

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.