Over the past two millennia, Phaedra has inspired drama, poetry, painting, sculpture, film, opera, and dance.  Since the production of Euripides’s tragedy Hippolytus in 428 B.C., Phaedra’s story continues to appear in innumerable guises.

“Myth in Transformation:  The Phaedra Project” brings together artists, scholars, and students from Princeton and beyond to engage creatively with Phaedra’s many instantiations.  During the 2013/14 academic year, the myth will be featured in an interdisciplinary series of events that include theatrical productions, talks by invited speakers, musical performances, film screenings, recitations, courses, and a symposium of artists and scholars.  “Myth in Transformation” engages with the diversity of creative and scholarly responses to the myth.   

A screening of Jules Dassin’s film Phaedra (1962) on September 24 and of the Wooster Group’s performance of To You, the Birdie! will kick off the year-long exploration of Phaedra’s many forms. Join us!


Léon Bakst, drawing for the costume of a lady’s maid at the court of Phaedra in Hippolytus, 1902, 29 x 31 cm. Private collection.

Note: Chris Beard 14's production of Hippolytus has been delayed. Revised dates will be posted soon.

The Martha Graham Dance Company
Scenes from Martha Graham’s ballet Phaedra

Poetry reading by Paul Muldoon

March 27, 4:30 at the Berlind Theater. Museum doors open at 7:30. Seating is Limited.

Princeton University Orchestra: Britten's "Phaedra"
with Barbara Rearick, Mezzo-soprano

Saturday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.
Richardson Auditorium

Pre-concert talk on Phaedra given by Professor Wendy Heller at 6:30 p.m.

Racine’s Phèdre

directed by Florent Masse
at the University Art Museum Feb 7 & 8 at 8:00 PM

(Department of French and Italian)


C.K. William's Beasts of Love
directed by
Robert Sandberg
Monday, February 24th at 8:00 PM, in the Art Museum

In Williams’ brutal, lyrical retelling of the story of Phaedra, Hippolytus and Theseus, Aphrodite roams the stage, arousing human passions, leading Theseus to give in to his rage and condemning Phaedra and Hippolytus inexorably to their doom.

(Program in Theater)

Find Phaedra at Labyrinth!

Labyrinth Books (122 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ) has organized a collection of books related to the Phaedra myth, including Angela Livingstone's new translation of Marina Tsvetaeva's Phaedra, the first into English. Stop in to Labyrinth to find some of Phaedra's many instantiations.

Our thanks to the generous co-sponsors
who are making this project possible:

The Council of the Humanities
The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
The Lewis Center for the Arts
The Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies
University Center for Human Values
The Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
The Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies
The Department of Comparative Literature
The Department of Classics
The Department of French and Italian
The Program in European Cultural Studies
The Music Department
The Princeton University Orchestra
Princeton University Art Museum

Images: Background: Léon Bakst, drawing of the setting for Hippolytus, 1902, 28.7 x 40.8 cm, Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg.
Bottom: Léon Bakst, Costume design for a Herald in the tragedy Hippolytus by Euripides, 1902. State Gallery of Armenia.