We are a bunch of people, clustered around and about the Montclair State University Classics and General Humanities Department, who aim to offer students and campus community members (including non-Theater folks; we are all amateurs!) a chance to present ancient Greek plays to the community, performing outdoors in the MSU Amphitheater, relatively unadapted (but in English translation), including music and dance. Although we also love many of the adaptations performed by many artists, we think the plays themselves contain stories and poetry that are truly surprising and interesting, and don’t need to be heavily adapted or modernized to be compelling theater. The issues they address are relevant to today – social and class injustices, the status of women within a patriarchal society, the role of outsiders and immigrants within a democratic society, the problems of familial power, love, hate, and friendship.
In Spring 2014 we started with Sophocles’ Antigone, followed the next year by Euripides’ Bacchae, and this past April 2016 was Euripides’ Andromache. This year will be Euripides’ Helen, set in Egypt, which tells a different and very surprising story about Helen of Troy. The performances are free and open to the public. Each year, we’ve averaged 200-250 spectators per performance, among them many students (some asked to see the performances by instructors, but many just interested in seeing some of their Humanities texts brought to life). In April 2016, we were honored that the translator whose text we used for the play came up from Louisville, KY, to visit so she could see the world premiere of her text on stage. To get involved in our current production (Helen is scheduled for April 20, 21, 25, and 27, 2017), please feel free to visit our website in development for information about auditions and contact information.