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Ancient Greek Theater Production

This course is no longer being offered.

Course Description

What did the ancient Greeks do for entertainment? Today we have movies, concerts, Youtube, and countless other sources of amusement. For the ancient Greeks, theater was the main game in town. Every year, companies of citizen actors would produce original, large budget plays. The competition was fierce, the prizes: glory, gold, and undying fame.

This is a performance-focused course. Throughout the two weeks we will read and act out scenes from Greek tragedies and comedies, create theatrical masks, and produce short videos using smart phones and tablets. We will grab Greek theater, the ancient writings of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes, off the page and bring them alive in real time, using common media devices to share and edit our work. Inspiration for our performance choices will come from viewing modern video adaptations of Greek plays and a trip to the RISD museum to examine actual archeological evidence for ancient performance. We will ground our work in an exploration of the aspects of ancient Greek theater, including tragedy vs. comedy, the amphitheater, and the ancient festival context. However, there will be ample room for creativity and personal expression as well. Depending on weather, class will often be held outdoors.

This course is all about learning through doing. By the end of the two weeks students should be familiar with the themes, conventions and preoccupations of ancient Greek theater and understand the various aspects of ancient Greek theater production. They will create their own interpretations of ancient Greek theater every day in class and in a more permanent format through short videos. They will reflect on their engagement verbally and in concise, persuasive written responses via the course’s online discussion board.

There are no prerequisites. All readings will be in English. Smart phones or tablets would be helpful, but are not necessary for participation. Students with a particular interest in theater performance and production are encouraged to apply.

* Please note: This course has a Supplemental fee of $50.00.