Performing Ancient Greek Theatre - DRAM3470

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module introduces students to historical theatre traditions that are remote from present stage conventions and modern performance approaches to the study of Greek theatre. It offers a study of some of the key ancient Greek plays (in translation) and a detailed exploration of the societal conditions and theatrical realities of 5th century BCE, allowing for an understanding of theatre as an artistic product of a particular historical context and culture. Modern stage adaptations of Greek drama and methods of performing Greek theatre will also be considered through seminars and practical workshops, taking account of issues regarding historical and cultural transposition. As comparative foil, the module will also discuss non-European 'classical' traditions such as for example Japanese Noh theatre, and the Indian theatre tradition based on the Natyasastra


Contact hours

Contact hours = 40
Independent Study Hours = 260
Total learning hours = 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

50% - Essay of 2,000 words
50% - Performance (including programme note)

Reassessment methods:
like for like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Goldhill Simon (2007) How to Stage Greek Tragedy Today, Chicago: University of Chicago
Hall Edith (2010) Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun, Oxford: OU
Ley Graham (2014) Acting Greek Tragedy, Exeter: University of Exeter Pres
Rabinowitz, Nancy Sorokin (2008) Greek Tragedy. Oxford: Blackwell
Rehm Rush, (2017) Understanding Ancient Greek Tragedy, NY: Routledge
Wiles, David (2000) Greek Theatre Performance. Cambridge: CUP

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a knowledge of ancient Greek theatre and performance traditions through written (essay) and practical work (for example, performing short extracts from Greek tragedy or comedy, making and using Greek masks)
2 Articulate an understanding of the relationship between ancient Greek theatre, drama and performance and the specific political, cultural, and social contexts in which it was produced;
3 Demonstrate a specific understanding of the work and significance of key theatrical practitioners (for example, ancient Greek playwrights, performers and modern practitioners who have engaged with Ancient Greek theatre);
4 Undertake analysis and methods of performing non-realistic dramatic texts that are informed by myth, ritual, and oral traditions different from our own, present conventions and expectations;
5 Demonstrate research skills in using secondary and, where available and appropriate, primary materials such as ancient iconography and artefacts.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate skills in self-management and independent working;
2 Demonstrate skills in time management and problem solving;
3 Demonstrate communication skills, both orally and in writing
4 Demonstrate skills in written analysis and critical reflection
5 Demonstrate presentation skills in writing and practice


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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