"Re: Staging the Greeks" will be taught in Athens, Greece, sponsored by the University of Athens, Department of Theatre Studies, from June 11 to July 20. It is led by Michael W. Cadden, senior lecturer in theater and acting chair, Lewis Center for the Arts, and director of the Program in Theater and Timothy K. Vasen, lecturer in theater, Lewis Center for the Arts, and acting director, Program in Theater.
The seminar asks students to use their bodies and minds to explore the drama of ancient Athens through reading, performance, and observation. Though the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes occupy an almost mythical place in Western culture as the foundations of theater, they are first and foremost plays meant to be performed and observed. They came out of a particular context and were performed at particular times of the year in particular places—some still available for performances.
The act of restaging plays written in another time and place requires an understanding of what the people who created and first witnessed them thought and felt, heard and saw, tasted and smelled. Contemporary Athenians see an unbroken connection between the ancient world and their complex multicultural present; the seminar explores those connections through visits to ancient sites such as Delphi and Mycenae, as well as to the streets, churches, and theaters of the modern city of Athens. In a workshop setting, students will confront the interpretative and performative challenges and opportunities the plays offer, culminating in a performance of student-generated scenes from the ancient Greek canon.
The seminar also examines contemporary Greek and international theater practices and coincides with the annual Athens and Epidaurus Festivals. Each summer the festivals invite companies from around the world, as well as the leading theater artists of Greece, to present classic and contemporary material. The seminar includes frequent visits to the theater as well as workshops and conversations with actors, directors and designers—a total immersion in the vibrant, chaotic, contradictory, very old and very new world of Greek theater.
While no prior theater experience is necessary to take this course, students must be willing to explore the plays through performance.
This course fulfills the Literature and the Arts (LA) requirement and is open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Admission is by application and interview.
The Global Seminar in Greece is cosponsored with the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Program in Hellenic Studies.
The course syllabus will be posted as soon as it is available.
The Global Seminar in Greece is cosponsored by Sovereign Bank.