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Home :: Archive :: 2010 :: September ::
Ancient Drama in Performance--Registration is Open
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0371  Thursday, 23 September 2010

From:         Amy R. Cohen <
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Date:         Monday, September 13, 2010 11:14 AM
Subject:      Ancient Drama in Performance--Registration is Open

Registration is now open for
 
ANCIENT DRAMA IN PERFORMANCE: THEORY AND PRACTICE
October 9-10, 2010
Randolph College
Lynchburg, Virginia
http://faculty2.randolphcollege.edu/ancientdrama
 
Ancient Drama in Performance will be an opportunity for conference-goers to 
witness and reflect on an original-practices Greek play that aims to be a living 
drama rather than a museum piece and also to share and discuss other productive 
ways of playing Greek drama. The meeting will coincide with the production of a 
new translation of Euripides' Hecuba directed by Amy R. Cohen, and we look 
forward both to demonstrating the dramatic power of original practices and to 
learning much from the responses of the conference-goers. We encourage all 
scholars of ancient drama to attend, whether or not performance issues have ever 
been part of their work, and all practitioners of ancient drama to attend, 
whether or not they use original practices. For those who do involve performance 
in their scholarship, the meeting will be an opportunity to use our remarkable 
theatre to test their own theories about how the ancients practiced drama. For 
those who have not made performance a factor, it will be an opportunity to 
discover the large and small ways that practical questions of theatre inform and 
enrich the philological and literary study of plays. We will also share research 
and scholarship in a context that insists on the play as an experience.
The conference will feature a keynote address by Kenneth Reckford, and a 
response to Hecuba by Mary-Kay Gamel.

We are also pleased to announce that the program will include Paul Woodruff, 
John Given, Nancy Nanney, Jaclyn Dudek, Eric Dodson-Robinson, Gwen Compton-
Engle, Diane Rayor, Jennifer S. Starkey, David Jacobson, and Laura Banducci. Our 
roundtable discussion of translation will feature the authors of our new 
translation, Jay Kardan and Laura-Gray Street.

The meeting will be held at Randolph College because it is blessed with an 
architectural treasure: the Mabel K. Whiteside Greek Theatre. Built in 1939 and 
1961 with an eye to recreating the space in which Greek drama was originally 
performed, it honors the work of Mabel Whiteside and her students, who performed 
forty Greek plays in the years from 1909 to 1954.
Now the theatre is host to the only regular series of original practices 
productions of Greek drama in the United States (or perhaps anywhere). By 
"original practices" we mean that we replicate as far as possible the 
conventions and conditions for which the ancient playwrights composed their 
works. We perform the plays in English and include women in our casts, but 
otherwise attempt to perform the dramas as the original casts might have. We 
believe that we have a better understanding of ancient drama because we are 
facing the same challenges, economies, and opportunities that the ancient 
playwrights faced.

Ancient Drama in Performance: Theory and Practice will inaugurate a new era in 
which we mean to share our methods of understanding with other students and 
scholars of the ancient stage, both Greek and Roman. We are responding to a 
growing interest in ancient drama as it is practiced, of which Didaskalia, the 
Oxford Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, and numerous recent 
international conferences on ancient performance are witness. Inspired by the 
success of the Blackfriars Conference, which brings together Shakespeare 
scholars and practitioners to learn from one another within the context of an 
early modern playing space, we invite students, scholars, and practitioners of 
ancient drama to come together in the Greek theatre on the Randolph College 
campus. 

This conference is sponsored in part by The Virginia Foundation for the 
Humanities: http://www.virginiafoundation.org 
<http://www.virginiafoundation.org/> . 


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