Call for Participants: CAMP's "The Gladiator" at the 2020 Annual Meeting

Calling all Actors, Designers, and Creatives—to participate in a staged reading of

The Gladiator
by Robert Montgomery Bird

Directed by Rob Groves

Friday, January 3, 2020

SCS/AIA Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance's annual tradition of staged readings at the annual general meeting will continue this year with a production of an engaging example of Classical reception, Robert Montgomery Bird's 1831 retelling of the Spartacus story, The Gladiator!

“The Gladiator” is an important moment in American reception of the Classics. From the beginning, the founders saw and portrayed themselves as virtuous heroes from the Roman republic, like those whom they had read of in Plutarch and Livy, and created a nation devised largely after the lessons they learned from their studies of the Classics.  By 1831, however, the founders’ compromises on the question of slavery had left the fate and the moral status of the nation in question and this play boldly asserts itself into the emergent controversy over abolitionism. If America is the new Rome, how are we, as Americans to understand the Spartacus story?  Whom do we identify with: the traumatized elite Romans or the rag-tag band of self-sacrificing Freedom fighters? Are we like Spartacus in throwing off the chains of British imperial oppression? Or rather are we like Crassus in profiting off the pain, anguish and indignity of fellow human beings?  As we continue to confront the uses of Classics to justify white supremacist ideologies, this production will consider how the American theater confronted related issues almost 200 years ago and how this might inform our continuing discussions about the state of our discipline.  This production intends to highlight both the stirring melodrama of Bird's original play, and the parallels between Rome and the United States that the play evokes.

Interested actors from every background should join—no previous experience is required! There will be opportunities for silent roles as well. In addition, because this play confronts the issue of slavery (and therefore race) in America through the parallels of Rome, race will be considered in casting; we hope to cast actors of color, and especially black actors, in the roles of non-Romans.  If you are a classicist of color, I ask you to please consider participating, even if acting is not normally a passion or a hobby. If you know a classicist of color please encourage them to consider participating as well.

Roles include:

  • ROMANS
  • Marcus Licinius Crassus, a Roman Praetor. 
  • Lucius Gellius, a Consul
  • Scropha, a Quaestor
  • Jovius, a Centurion
  • Mummius, lieutenant to Crassus  
  • Batiatus Lentulus, a Capuan Lanista  
  • Bracchius, a Roman Lanista  
  • Florus, son of B. Lentulus
  • Julia, niece of Crassus. 

GLADIATORS AND NON-ROMANS

  • Spartacus, a Thracian,
  • Phasarius, his brother 
  • Aenomaiis, a Gaul 
  • Crixus, a German,  
  • Other gladiators
  • A boy, son of Spartacus. 
  • Senona, wife of Spartacus.   

Rehearsals will take place all day on Thursday, January 2, with a read-through on the evening of Wednesday the 1st for all those who can make it.

In addition to actors, we are looking for volunteers interested in contributing their time and talents behind the scenes! If you're interested in graphic design, costume assistance, props, sound design, stage management, etc., let us know.

If you are interested, please express that interest by completing the google form here by September 15thQuestions? Feel free to contact Rob Groves at groves@email.arizona.edu.

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(Photo: "Empty Theatre (almost)" by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

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The automated system for the 2013-2014 APA Placement Service is now open and accepting registrations by candidates, subscribers, and institutions.  As was the case last year, registrants will need to create an account and then purchase the service(s) they wish.  Registrants who used the Service last year may (but are not required to) adopt the same username and password as before; however, they will still need to create a new account

Please read these detailed instructions for registering for the service and taking advantage of its features. 

Please note the following important changes in the service this year.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 1:53pm by Adam Blistein.

The members of the Department of Classical Studies at Duke University regret to announce the passing of their colleague, Lawrence Richardson, Jr. at the age of 92. An obituary appeared on July 25, 2013, in the Raleigh News and Observer.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 07/25/2013 - 7:46pm by Adam Blistein.

8th Trends in Classics
Thessaloniki International Conference on Roman Drama

May 29-June 1, 2014  

(To be held in Auditorium I,
Aristotle University, Research Dissemination Center
September 3rd Avenue, University Campus  
http://kedea.rc.auth.gr)

Roman Drama and its Contexts

Scholarship, especially in the past, has been reading Roman drama from the perspective of its relation to Greek and Roman prototypes, and its historical context and evolution. Contemporary readings, following recent groundbreaking work based on intertextual, dramatological, performative, psychoanalytical, feminist, gender oriented approaches, philosophical analysis and aesthetics, etc., offer new valuable insights into Roman drama’s poetics and cultural impact.

The conference aims at focusing on the interpretation of Roman comedy, tragedy and the fragments on the basis of such diverse approaches, as mentioned above. By highlighting the various aesthetic, social and historical parameters, the papers are expected to explore ways in which Roman comic and tragic texts fit into their narrower and/or broader textual and cultural contexts.

Organizing Committee

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Wed, 07/24/2013 - 8:23pm by .

The APA is a member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), a consortium of over a hundred scholarly and professional associations; higher education associations; organizations of museums, libraries, historical societies and state humanities councils; university-based and independent humanities research centers; and colleges and universities.  NHA monitors national legislation and policy affecting the humanities and informed us this week that the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has recommended that the 2014 fiscal year appropriation for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) be $79 million, a 49% reduction from its 2013 appropriation of $154.3 million. 

The NHA’s web site contains more information about this recommendation as well as a mechanism that APA members can use to write to their Representatives about a level of funding that would seriously reduce the NEH’s ability to support research in the humanities and share the work of humanities scholars with a wider public.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/23/2013 - 5:13pm by Adam Blistein.

We are posting a call for signatures to a petition launched by our colleagues in Bern, Switzerland, and circulated by Prof. Thomas Späth, the President of the Swiss Association of Classical Philologists.  As you will see from the message, the canton of Bern is proposing to abolish the study of Greek (and Russian) in high schools.  This is a bad enough step in itself, but if successful it may start a domino effect and make the other cantons consider the abolition of Greek as well.  We thought this was an important petition to draw to your attention, and we urge members to read the message and to consider signing the petition.

Denis Feeney

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 3:10pm by Adam Blistein.

Jennifer Ebbler, Associate Professor at UT Austin, in The Chronicle (http://chronicle.com/article/Introduction-to-Ancient/140475/)

"I spent last year "flipping" my 400-student "Introduction to Ancient Rome" course. For those unfamiliar with the term, "flipping a class" means that students watch lectures online outside of class and then spend class time participating in discussions and working on problems.

"It's a concept that has gotten an undeservedly bad name because supporters of so-called disruptive education have tied it to the controversial massive-open-online-course movement, which says students are served just as well, if not better, by an absent "star" professor than by faculty members employed by their university."

Read more …

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/22/2013 - 2:38pm by Information Architect.

A CAMNE Conference at Durham University
20-22 September 2013
Department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham University, 38 North Bailey, Durham, DH1 3EU, England

'The cosmos of a polis is manpower, of a body beauty, of a soul wisdom, of an action virtue, of a speech truth, and the opposites of these make for acosmia.'

- Gorgias, Encomium of Helen 1

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 1:24pm by .

The Chronicle of Higher Education has recently published three articles arguing against the "conventional wisdom" about enrollments in the humanities and financial outcomes of humanities students.  They are by

Alexander Beecroft, Executive Director of the American Comparative Literature Association

Michael Berube, Past President of the Modern Language Association

Anthony Grafton and James Grossman, Past President and Executive Director, respectively, of the American Historical Association. 

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 07/04/2013 - 8:00pm by Adam Blistein.

The APA Office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, July 4 and 5, 2013.  We will reopen on Monday, July 8.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 1:40pm by Adam Blistein.

Tutto Theatre Company of Austin, Texas, proudly announces the world premiere of Zeus in Therapy, an original theatrical experience adapted from the unpublished poetry of Douglass Stott Parker by the company, and directed by Gary Jaffe.  In 1979, Prof. Parker began writing Zeus in Therapy, a cycle of 52 poems which imagines Zeus on the therapist’s couch. Parker did not ‘finish’ it, though he stopped writing in about 1993, and left it unpublished during his lifetime. Every new poem in the cycle was shared both on his office door and with his classes on a weekly basis for some 25 years. Parker’s poetry is whimsical and profound, cosmic and quotidian, thoughtful and irreverent, but always heartfelt and true. The Company’s translation of Zeus in Therapy into a theatrical experience will bring the power of his words to an even larger audience.

In this adaptation, a diverse ensemble of eleven performers will play Zeus, giving Parker’s words a dynamic range of expression.  Zeus in Therapy runs August 16th through 25th at the Rollins Studio Theater in The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 07/01/2013 - 1:01pm by Adam Blistein.

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