CLASSICS 222
GREEK TRAGEDY
SEMESTER PROJECT (20%)

Introduction    |    Feasibility    |    Checks and Balances    |    Timetable
Phases:  [I]  [II]  [III]  [IV]  [V]  [VI]
Written Requirements:  [I]  [II]  [III]  [IV]  [V]  [VI]

 
Introduction.  The major project for this term is to conceive, compose, and perform an original Greek tragedy—in English, of course.  Early in the semester you will be placed in a small group of 3-5 other students, with whom you will collaborate on a single play.  The work shall be divided among your group as evenly as possible, and several checks are in place to ensure that this will be the case.  The date of the performance has to be finalized, but it is tentatively scheduled for an evening within the last week of classes (8-11 December). 
Feasibility.  This is an ambitious project, to be sure, so ambitious that three concessions must be made in order to guarantee its feasibility:
Phases.  The project has six phases, each described below (relative worth of each phase in parentheses):
Checks and balances.  Remember that working in a group bears great responsibility on your part.  Not pulling your weight means someone else must assimilate your work;  pulling too much weight, while it subtracts from the burdens of others, interferes with the group dynamic.  I advise that the responsibilities of individual group members be clearly defined and strictly upheld during each phase. 
Written Requirements.  Phases I through V all have written requirements, which are due on the last day of each phase.  All written requirements have two components:  one that the group must submit as a whole, and one that each student must submit individually.  All components must be formatted like the essays, above.
  • 1 October.  (Phase I)
  • Group component:  a list of three possible subjects.  Discuss each subject in one paragraph,  stating your reasons for considering it.  Conclude with a fourth paragraph on which subject the group believes would make the best tragedy.

    Individual component:  a brief report of your activities during this phase.  For example, what were your duties?  How did you execute them?  Did you consult any reference works?  If so, which ones?  Be as clear as you can.

  • 13 October.  (Phase II)
  • Group component:  a brief outline of the tragedy.  Include a tentative cast of characters (remember the "three actor rule"), location and time, and a summary of the action.  In the summary be sure to indicate why the group selected these actions, as well as alternative actions that were rejected.

    Individual component:  a brief report of your activities.

  • 3 November.  (Phase III)
  • Group component:  a full, section-by-section outline of the tragedy, from prologue to epilogue.  As with the brief outline, track the movements of characters, and now give an approximation of what is said and sung.  For example, if someone makes a speech, give the gist of it;  when there is a choral song, note its theme and content.  Be as specific as you can without providing the text of the play.  A reader of your outline should feel as if she has witnessed the play—even though she has not.

    Individual component:  a brief report of your activities.

  • 24 November.  (Phase IV)
  • Group component:  a rough draft of the entire play, scripted in full.  At no point may there be gaps in the text.

    Individual component:  a brief report of your activities.

  • 8 December.  (Phase V)
  • Group component:  a complete draft of the entire play.

    Individual component:  a brief report of your activities.

  • ?8-11 December.  (Phase VI)
  • Group component:  performance (dramatic recitation) of the play.
    To facilitate your individual reports, you might consider a keeping a diary of your day-to-day work.  I require these reports in order to check who has done what.  If I do not receive a report from you, you will receive an F for that particular phase. 
    If you have any questions or comments about this project, please contact me.