Semester project: Staging Aristophanes 1 2 3 4 5
Staging Aristophanes
  Strategies for success


Overview. The project for this term is to produce and perform a comedy by Aristophanes. You shall collaborate with your fellow students, dividing the work as evenly as possible.

You will perform the play at the end of the term—time and place to be determined.

© Leo C. Curran
The theater at Ostia, Italy

Requirements. As this will be a student-run operation, with each student accountable to his or her peers, there are few requirements to be imposed from the outside. The look, feel, content, and performance of the play (even the choice of the play itself) will be determined by the group.

The role of the instructor, Prof. Curley, is to facilitate the project. This role involves, among other things, laying out guidelines, establishing deadlines, and even settling disputes. The primary duty of the facilitator, however, is to maintain an atmosphere that allows the students of CL 223 to interact on as equal a footing as possible.

The requirements, then, are as follows:

  • Everyone should have a say. Not everyone is a born leader; on the other hand, not all leaders have the clearest vision. It is imperative that anyone who wants to speak be allowed to do so. Furthermore, that speaker should be accorded due attention and respect.

  • Everyone must have an opportunity to perform in the play. Whether the role is major or minor, speaking or mute, character or chorus member, every member of the class must be onstage at some point or another.

  • Everyone must have a hand in the production. Although participation in the project will be stratified between onstage and offstage activities, each member of the class must partake of some aspect of the preparation, such as set design, choreography, or writing.

  • The workloads must be as even as possible. There are many different tasks involved in a project like this, each with its own set of responsibilities and methods of operating. While it is impossible that all members of the class have exactly the same quantity of work, it is surely possible that the contribution of each student have roughly the same quality as the next.

  • The schedule must be observed. While it might prove necessary to adjust the schedule from time to time, the deadlines proposed by the instructor should be scrupulously and conscientiously upheld.
© 2000 Skidmore College Classics Department