The Ancient Greek Play in Universities: Classics and the Contemporary Moment

Greek Plays have been a feature of school and university performance in the United Kingdom since the late 1500s and have repeatedly been a site, within which, the categories of performance and the study of Classics are publicly contested. Notions of professional and amateur performance, participatory and community theatre are blurred, while the values ascribed to 'Classics' or the 'Classical' are challenged or affirmed--often from within the very institutions which teach and create knowledge about them.

During the pandemic, the University Greek play has moved online, and in these virtual interations has continued to interrogate 'Classics' while responding to shifts and crises in politics, ecology, live art, and University education. In this panel event Professor Fiona Macintosh, Dr. David Bullen, Dr. Giovanna Di Martino, Alison Middleton, and Marcus Bell will reflect on their experiences of directing, producing, and archiving both virtual and in-person performances that have re-thought the University Greek play, as a site of contested public performance, in the contemporary moment.


Professor Fiona Macintosh

Dr Giovanna Di Martino

Dr David Bullen

Chaired by Marcus Bell

Links mentioned during the event:

UCL Classical Play

Book - Greek Tragedy and the Comtemporary Actor

Greek Play - From the Machine

2021 Odyssey Festival

YouTube - Orestes [Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford]

Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD)