Philosophy Undergrad Paul St. Cyr wins Karbank Fellowship, Pens Promethean Play

The Department is proud to share that one of our Karbank Fellows this year, undergraduate student Paul St. Cyr, used the support from the Karbank Fellowship to write a play, and recently put it on for the public for the first time.

The play, called “False Idols and Glass Titans,” is a reimagining of the Prometheus and Pandora Myths from Ancient Greece, writes St. Cyr. “When humanity’s progress aggravates Zeus’s paranoia, he takes away their ability to conjure fire. It is now up to Prometheus and his ragtag team of titans, gods, and humans to rescue fire and preserve the future of survival as we know it.”

The character of Prometheus is portrayed in the play as The Knight of Faith, an archetype “who has unwavering, unshaking, incorruptible faith in God, no matter how absurd that display of faith may be,” writes St. Cyr. The concept is expanded upon by Kierkegaard, and is paired with St. Cyr’s portrayal of God as “not Zeus, but what Ralph Waldo Emerson called “The Over-Soul,” the collage of all souls that connected to one another, to themselves, to nature, and to a higher being that makes us all part of a grander whole.”

St. Cyr explains, “this play is about how difficult having faith in people can be while still advocating that it is the best of all possible options. That faith should not be got out of superstition or performed in the name of ceremony, but should be both done for its own sake and for the sake of necessity. Goodness is its own reward and yet it yields more still. It is key to our survival that we show kindness, love, and respect to every facet of our lives. This show is not full of remarkably original ideas, but it is meant to combat the fashion of cynicism, reactionary rhetoric, and hollow ambition with love, optimism, and hope.”

St. Cyr began conducting research for the play and putting together the outline for the script a year ago, but the Karbank Fellowship allowed him to dedicate the summer months to writing, perfecting, and producing the script into a play with the help of a talented group of actors that helped share his story on the stage. The staged reading of the play took place last Friday, August 26th, at the Student Activities Office.

Special thanks to the Karbank Fellowship for making this opportunity for Paul possible, along with the funding of undergraduate projects like his annually. You can learn more about the Karbank Fellowship and past winners here.

Paul St. Cyr is a senior Philosophy and Political Science major graduating from BU this September. “I know my interest in philosophy stems from my childhood,” he writes. “I was raised Catholic, had an intense love of superheroes, and was exposed to the political atmosphere of punk rock at around age 11 or 12. I didn’t have the words for what I wanted, and it took me a long time to understand that what connected god, politics, art, ethics, and language was philosophy.” He counts The Ethics of Ambiguity, The Tao Te Ching, and the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson among his favorite philosophical texts, and hopes to return to BU to pursue a master’s degree and a JD.

Congratulations to you, Paul, on your amazing work and the achievement of taking your story from the mind to the page to the stage!