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 American Philological Association (APA) will present the following awards for 2012 at the Plenary Session of its 144th Annual Meeting in Seattle

Distinguished Service Awards (awarded occasionally for extraordinary service to the profession of classics and the American Philological Association)
Ward W. Briggs, Jr., University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
David H. Porter, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Michael C. J. Putnam, Brown University, Providence, RI

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 12/04/2012 - 9:21pm by Adam Blistein.

As promised earlier, I have prepared the following summary of over 200 responses to my request for comments about the Board's proposal that we consider changing the name of the Association.  The Board now wishes to move to a public discussion phase that will inform its deliberations going forward.  Our Information Architect Sam Huskey has created a discussion forum so that all with an interest can exchange views and suggest or express preferences for specific names.  The forum can be accessed here after 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) today (November 30).

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 11/30/2012 - 5:08pm by Adam Blistein.

The Departments of Classical Studies and Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada, are pleased to announce a new two-year M.A. in Ancient Philosophy, now accepting applications for September 2013. This program is aimed primarily at undergraduate students interested in pursuing ancient philosophy at the doctoral level. Western has one of the largest concentrations of faculty in the field, including five specialists in ancient philosophy and an additional four core members with areas of research related to Greek and Roman language and history. This interdisciplinary program is the only M.A. program of its kind in North America and only one of a handful of similar programs in the world.

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 9:07pm by .

James J. O'Donnell of Georgetown University has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) effective January 1, 2013.  Prof. O'Donnell has served the APA in many capacities including terms as President and as Vice President for Publications.  APA was a founding member of the ACLS in 1919.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 11/28/2012 - 8:40pm by Adam Blistein.

Over the last few days we have posted a great deal of new information about the upcoming annual meeting in Seattle.  In addition to information about registering for seminars (posted last week), you can now find abstracts of almost all papers to be presented at the meeting as well as information on special events at the meeting.  In the latter document please note especially that the President’s Reception on Saturday afternoon, January 5, will celebrate the successful conclusion of the Gateway Campaign.  The Board of Directors has therefore approved a larger budget for hors d’oeuvres and snacks at this event than has been the custom in recent years.  The Board urges all APA members to attend this celebration.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/27/2012 - 8:25pm by Adam Blistein.

APA Office Hours:  November 2012-January 2013

Following is the schedule for the APA Office through the annual meeting in Seattle.  Our regular hours are 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

November 22-25, 2012                                   Office Closed (Thanksgiving Holiday)
December 22-26, 2012                                   Office Closed
December 27-28, 2012                                   Office Open (see Note A)
December 29-30, 2012                                   Office Closed
December 31, 2012                                        Office Open
January 1-8, 2013                                           Office Closed (see Note B)
January 9-11, 2013                                         Office Open (see Note C)
January 12-13, 2013                                       Office Closed
January 14, 2013                                            Normal Office Operations Resume

Note A:  The building where our offices are located at the University of Pennsylvania (220 S. 40th Street) will be locked, and the University will not be delivering mail during this period.  Courier services may be able to make deliveries, but the best ways of communicating with us will be via telephone and e-mail.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/20/2012 - 4:14pm by Adam Blistein.

Four seminars will take place at the annual meeting in Seattle.  Find details of these sessions here along with instructions for requesting seminar papers in advance of the meeting and Program Committee expectations for participants in these sessions.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 11/20/2012 - 3:41pm by Adam Blistein.

Classics programs in two institutions in the Russian Federation are being threatened with closure.  Click here to sign a petition in support of the Russian State University of the Humanities in Moscow.  Click here to sign a petition in support of the program at St. Petersburg State University.  The latter link opens a page that appears to be completely in Russian, but the English version will appear if you click on an expansion link with a caret pointing down (V)after the first several lines of Russian text.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 11/19/2012 - 1:27pm by Adam Blistein.

The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance invites expressions of interest in directing a staged reading at the 2014 APA meeting in Chicago. CAMP is very proud to sponsor this reading, which has become a tradition. The eleventh annual reading, which will take place at the 2013 APA meeting in Seattle, will be Alcestis, adapted and co-directed by Mark Damen and Mary-Kay Gamel.

Proposals for plays must be accompanied by a firm commitment by a director or a larger creative team who will assume full responsibility for production. Scripts must be complete by the time the statement of interest is submitted, and the proposer must have the legal right to perform the script.

The director is given free rein with regard to the artistic realm of the play, including the scale of the production, though we strongly caution potential directors to be mindful of the extreme limitations imposed by a very short rehearsal period (approximately two days), a short time slot for performance (under two hours), few theatrical resources, and a limited budget. The director is responsible for writing and distributing a call for actors, for planning in advance the type of production to be done, for maintaining contact with a CAMP liaison and the APA regarding performance progress and needs, and of course for directing the show in Chicago.

Statements of interest must address the following issues:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 11/16/2012 - 7:13pm by Adam Blistein.

"Because it's been a language of scholars and old things, it's got a mystique and romance to it," says Rachel Currie, one of many Australian students breathing new life into the dead language of Latin.

At the University of Western Australia, where Currie is taking a double major in biomedical science, introductory Latin this year has 129 students, an increase of 150 percent. Currie prizes Latin as a kind of master key of language that unlocks scientific terminology and opens up insights into English grammar as well as Romance tongues for travel in Europe.

But sheer fun can't be overlooked, and the textbook Lingua Latina, with its Roman family saga, helps teachers deliver. "Marcus beats up his sister, one of the uncles joins the army -- it's exactly like a Roman soap opera," Currie says.

A new liberal arts-style curriculum at UWA has helped languages generally, says Yasmin Haskell, who holds the Cassamarca Foundation chair in Latin humanism. Students must take "breadth" courses outside their home faculty. As a result, Latin reaches beyond the language nerds. Students from the sciences narrowly outnumber those from the arts.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 11/13/2012 - 2:30pm by Information Architect.

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