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One of the goals of CC 222 is to compare and contrast the sensibilities, as demonstrated in Greek tragedy, of ancient and modern audiences.

     To understand these sensibilities you must approach the plays from the inside out — that is, you must become not only skilled readers of tragedy but also interpreters and performers of it.


Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw as Medea

     The class will be broken up into troupes of three or four students.  Each troupe will offer two stagings over the course of the semester.  A staging will consist of an in-class performance of one scene from the tragedy we are currently reading.

     Prior to each staging, your troupe should meet to decide which scene to perform.  Choose a scene that best reflects the themes of the play at large.  Next, decide how those themes can be highlighted through staging.  Finally, the troupe should rehearse the scene a few times to ensure a smooth presentation in class.  Costumes, masks, and props may be used, but are not necessary.

     Note that no one is beholden to the text or the stage directions of the Chicago translations.  Your troupe might decide to change the text or adopt another translation.  Similarly, your staging may be as faithful or as modern as see fit.  The point is to find the mode of performance that best communicates the issues of the play.

     Hopefully your staging will open the door to lively classroon discussion.  At very least, your troupe should be prepared to describe the rationale behind the choice of scene and its staging.

     Two final notes.  First, if your troupe chooses a scene with not enough roles to go around, it is still important for all members of the group to offer their input on the staging.  Second, it is not necessary for those with speaking roles to memorize their lines.  A lively reading from the script will suffice, distracting as it might be.

SPECIAL NOTE:  On Thursday, December 4, all troupes will perform the same scene from an Aeschylean play.  This will allow us to compare and contrast each troupe's style, and to experience the agonistic side of Greek culture.

© MMI - MMIII Skidmore College Classics Department