Syllecta Classica

Volume X (1999) Crossing the Stages: The Production, Performance and Reception of Ancient Theater

1. Ancient Theatre and the Other: Ancient and Modern Perspectives

  • Niall W. Slater: "Humani nil a me alienum puto: The Ethics of Terentian Performance"
    Slater considers the challenge of producing comedies such as Terence’s Mother-in-Law and Eunuch for modern audiences unaccustomed to treating sexual assault as a mere plot device or, worse still, as the stuff of humorous monologues: he reviews different responses to this challenge and concludes by proposing his own, very Terentian solution.
  • Mary-Kay Gamel: "Staging Ancient Drama: The Difference Women Make"
    Gamel challenges feminist attacks on modern productions of the sorts of ancient plays that Slater handles—particularly the charge that they perpetuate the patriarchal structures inherent in the original texts—by examining the modern reinterpretation of ancient dramatic texts by various feminist directors (herself included).
  • Geoff Bakewell: "eunous kai polei soteirios / metiokos: Metics, Tragedy, and Civic Ideolog"y
    In a study of Attic tragedy’s representation of metics, Bakewell offers an alternative to the generally accepted theories of how tragedy works ideologically: in this instance it neither subverts nor legitimizes the position of the citizen class, but functions to integrate and reconcile the divided interests of the community as a whole.

2. Ancient Stage and Stagecraft

  • Stephen Scully: "Orchestra and Stage in Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus and the Theater of Dionysus"
    Scully examines interaction between orchestra and stage in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, arguing that the use of a low stage emphasizes the gulf which separates the perspective of the principal characters from the more traditional communal insights of the chorus.
  • Donald J. Mastronarde: "Knowledge and Authority in the Choral Voice of Euripidean Tragedy"
    Mastronarde analyzes the complex dynamic between chorus and audience in Euripidean tragedy, emphasizing the countervailing factors which either promote or discourage audience sympathy with and reliance upon the chorus’ various utterances.
  • C. W. Marshall: "Quis Hic Loquitur?: Plautine Delivery and the “Double Aside”
    Marshall employs a study of a particular comic routine in Plautus (the aside whereby one character suddenly notices the presence of another on stage) to illustrate a theory of masked performance and shed light on theatrical elements integral to Plautine farce.
  • Timothy Moore: "Facing the Music: Character and Musical Accompaniment in Roman Comedy"
    Moore considers the use of musical accompaniment in Plautus, both as a thematic device and as a means of guiding the audience’s response to particular scenes and characters.
  • Eric Csapo: "Performance and Iconographic Tradition in the Illustrations of Menander"
    Csapo analyzes a series of late antique mosaics from Mytilene illustrating scenes from Menander: these and similar depictions are not evidence of contemporary performance, he argues, but derive from a single set of illustrations dating from soon after the poet’s death; peculiar features of the Mytilene mosaics demonstrate the existence of a complex copybook tradition behind the images deployed by the mosaicist.
  • Richard Beacham: Reconstructing Ancient Theater with the Aid of Computer Simulation
    Beacham reviews various on-going projects in the reconstruction and study of ancient theaters through computer technology, with particular attention to an ambitious multimedia database for the study of the Theater of Pompey.

3. Modern Production and Adaptation

  • Robert C. Ketterer: "Senecanism and the “Sulla” Operas of Handel and Mozart"
    Ketterer examines the development of opera in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through a study of the quite different use of Senecan themes in the “Sulla” operas of Handel and Mozart, each of which harkens back, in its own way, to dramatic forms worked out from classical models over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
  • Moira Day: "'A New Athens Rising Near the Pole': Canada and the Greek Exemplum 1606–1954"
    Day offers an examination of Canada’s complex engagement with the ideal of Periclean Athens—and, in particular, Athenian drama—from the mid-seventeenth century to the 1950s.
  • Ruth Hazel: "Unsuitable for Women and Children?: Greek Tragedies in Modern British Theaters"
    Hazel discusses the contemporary reappropriation of Medea and Antigone both on stage and in the classroom in Great Britain.
  • David Gowen: "Cross-Referencing the Stages: The Collection, Research, and Database of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford"
    Gowen presents a brief overview of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama currently under development at the University of Oxford.