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Crossing the Stages:
The Production, Performance and Reception of Ancient Theater

A conference on the ancient stage, held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada) on 22-25 October, 1997.

Presented by the Department of Classics and the Humanities Research Unit.



The conference addressed issues related to the performance and reception of Greek and Roman plays in both ancient and modern times. In addition to paper sessions, there was a roundtable discussion of issues relating to the production of ancient plays for modern audiences, a display area to allow panelists and others to illustrate their work and provide demonstrations of various projects, and workshops addressing different aspects of performance.

Keynote Speakers:

Niall W. Slater
Emory University

Peter Meineck
Aquila Theatre Company

Conference Organizers:

John Porter, University of Saskatchewan
Eric Csapo, [University of Toronto]
C.W. Marshall, [Memorial University of Newfoundland]


The proceedings for this conference are now available in Syllecta Classica vol. 10, edited by Robert C. Ketterer and the conference organizers.

[See the review by Peter Burian in Bryn Mawr Classical Review.]


  1. Ancient Theatre and the Other: Ancient and Modern Perspectives
    • Niall W. Slater: "Humani nil a me alienum puto: The Ethics of Terentian Performance"
    • Mary-Kay Gamel: "Staging Ancient Drama: The Difference Women Make"
    • Geoff Bakewell: "Eunous kai polei soterios / metoikos: Metics, Tragedy, and Civic Ideology"

  2. Ancient Stage and Stagecraft
    • Stephen Scully: "Orchestra and Stage in Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus and the Theater of Dionysus"
    • Donald J. Mastronarde: "Knowledge and Authority in the Choral Voice of Euripidean Tragedy"
    • C.W. Marshall: "Quis Hic Loquitur?: Plautine Delivery and the 'Double Aside'"
    • Timothy Moore: "Facing the Music: Character and Musical Accompaniment in Roman Comedy"
    • Eric Csapo: "Performance and Iconographic Tradition in the Illustrations of Menander"
    • Richard Beacham: "Reconstructing Ancient Theater with the Aid of Computer Simulation"

  3. Modern Production and Adaptation
    • Robert C. Ketterer: "Senecanism and the 'Sulla' Operas of Handel and Mozart"
    • Moira Day: "'A New Athens Rising Near the Pole': Canada and the Greek Exemplum 1606-1954"
    • Ruth Hazel: "Unsuitable for Women and Children?: Greek Tragedies in Modern British Theaters"
    • 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"

Conference Sponsors

This event was made possible through the generous support of the following organizations:




John Porter (University of Saskatchewan)
Len Findlay (Humanities Research Unit, University of Saskatchewan)


Moderator: John Porter (University of Saskatchewan)

C. Thomas Ault Jr., Theatre Department, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
"Performances of Plautus and Terence Done in Italian at the Court of Ercole I, Duke of Ferrara, Between 1486 and 1508"

Moira Day, Department of Drama, University of Saskatchewan
"The Development of Theatre in 'Periclean Canada'"

Ruth Hazel, Department of Classical Studies, The Open University
"Unsuitable for Women and Children? Greek Tragedies in Modern British Theatres"

Thomas A. Pallen, Theatre History, Austin Peay State University
"Dance and Ancient Drama: The Connection Between Siracusa and Hellerau"


Moderator: George Harrison ([Xavier University])

John G. Fitch, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, University of Victoria
"Playing Seneca?"

Thomas D. Kohn, [Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, University of Minnesota]
"The Tragedy of Ezekiel"

Read by title:
Hanna M. Roisman, Department of Classics, Classics, Colby College
"Seneca's Phaedra, Parody and Originality"


Moderator: Eric Csapo ([University of Toronto])

†Desmond Conacher, Professor Emeritus, Department of Classics, University of Toronto
"Euripides and the Philosophers: Some Dramatic Treatments of Sophistic Themes"

Geoff Bakewell, Department of Classics and Modern Languages, Creighton University
"'Eunous kai polei soterios metoikos': Metics, Tragedy, and Civic Ideology"

Martin J. Cropp, Department of Greek, Latin, and Ancient History, University of Calgary
"Cultic Conclusions and Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris"

Jennifer Clarke Kosak, [Department of Classics, Rutgers University]
"The Power of Touch: The Semantics of Therapy in Greek Tragedy"

Donald J. Mastronarde, Department of Classics, Berkeley
"Knowledge and Authority in the Choral Voice of Euripidean Tragedy"


Moderator: C.W. Marshall ([Memorial University of Newfoundland])

John Huston
"Jupiter By Jove: Victorian Classical Burlesque"

Robert C. Ketterer, Department of Classics, University of Iowa
"Seneca and the 'Sulla' Operas of Handel and Mozart"

Marianne McDonald, Professor of Classics and Theatre, University of California, San Diego
"Phaedra's Flame and Delphic Fire: From Euripides to Dassin"


Moderator: Niall Slater (Emory University)

Mary-Kay Gamel, University of California, Santa Cruz
"Ancient Drama: The Difference Women Make"

†Charles Segal, Department of Classics, Harvard University
"Chorus as Actor in Euripides' Medea"

Ronald Vince, The School of Art, Drama and Music, McMaster University
"Feminist Scholarship and Athenian Drama"

Michael Ridgway Jones, [Department of Classics, University of Georgia]
"'Natural' Women: The Mima and the Construction of Gender"

Niall Slater's keynote address:
"Humani nil a me alienum puto: The Ethics of Terentian Performance"



Moderator: John Porter (University of Saskatchewan)

Richard C. Beacham, School of Theatre Studies, University of Warwick
"Reconstructing Ancient Theatre with the Aid of Computer Simulation, or The Mute Stones Get Their Act Together"

David R. Gowen, [The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford]
"Cross-Referencing the Stages: The Collection, Research and Database of The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford"

Willem N. Rodenhuis, [Secretary-General of the Société Internationale des Bibliothèques et des Musées des Arts du Spectacle]
"New Technologies: A Challenge for Researchers"


Moderator: Ian Storey (Trent University)

Alan Hughes, Department of Theatre, University of Victoria
"Towards a Stylistic Analysis of Comic Acting in the Greek Cities of Southern Italy and Sicily in the Fourth Century B.C."

Eric G. Csapo, [Department of Classics, University of Toronto]
"Theatrical Performance and Theatre Iconography in Hellenistic and Imperial Times"

Dorota Dutsch and Marco Temelini, Department of Classics, McGill University
"Quintilian and the Illustrated Manuscripts of Terence: A Study of Hand Gestures in the Performance of Palliata"


Moderator: Niall Slater (Emory University)

Stephen Scully, Department of Classical Studies, Boston University
"Orchestra and Stage in the Theater of Dionysus"

Emma M. Griffiths, [University of Bristol]
"Child Actors on the Fifth Century Stage - A Director's View"

Jane Cody, School of Fine Arts, University of Southern California
"Cnemon in the Well: Stage Properties and the Performance of Menander's Dyskolos"

C.W. Marshall, [Department of Classics, Memorial University of Newfoundland]
"'Quis hic loquitur?': Plautine Delivery and the 'Double Aside'"

Timothy Moore, Department of Classics, The University of Texas at Austin
"Facing the Music: Musical Accompaniment and the Performance of Roman Comedy"



Moderator: Peter Meineck (Aquila Theatre Company)

†Margaret R. Mezzabotta, Department of Classics, University of Cape Town
"A South African Medea"

Martin Boyne, Champlain College, Trent University
"From Hippolytos to Hecuba: Surprised by Tragedy"

John A. (Alex) Hawkins, Department of Drama, University of Alberta
"Orestes One and Two: Modern Stratagems to Address Intertextuality in Euripides' Orestes"

Trudy N. Wheeler, [Theatre Arts, University of Louisville]
"Helen, As Beautiful, Witty and Feisty Today as She was Then"

Anne H. Groton, Department of Classics, St. Olaf College
"All That Glitters: Staging Plautus' Pot of Gold"

John C. Gruber-Miller, Department of Classics, Cornell College
"From the Roman Forum to the Steps of Armstrong Hall: Staging Plautus' Curculio"


Leader: Peter Meineck (Aquila Theatre Company)

John H. Starks, Jr., [Department of Classics, University of North Carolina]
"New Directions for Plautus: A Stage Movement Workshop and Proposal for an Ancient Drama Institute"

David A. Raeburn, Lit. Hum. Faculty, Oxford (retired)
"The Delivery and Choreography of the Choral Odes of Greek Tragedy in Greek"

Michael C. Ewans, Departments of Drama and Music, University of Newcastle, Australia
"Dynamics and Conventions of the Use of Space in the Orchestra"

Peter W. Meineck, [University of South Carolina] and Aquila Theatre Company
"The Chorus of Agamemnon: A Practical Workshop"

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