In this first issue the focus is on Greek drama (future issues will consider other areas of practice). The theatre director Dorinda Hulton discusses how she worked with the cast to address questions of character in the creation of Foursight Theatre's 2004 production of Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Jane Montgomery (now Montgomery Griffiths) contributes an interview reflecting on her work as director of the 2001 Cambridge Greek play production of Electra. David Stuttard describes his aims and experiences in reconstructing Euripides' Trojan Trilogy and making a new work, while in a complementary essay David Fitzpatrick approaches the question of reconstructing plays from fragments from the perspective of his work as part of a team working on a new edition of Sophoclean fragments.
We hope that the Forum will also lead to further dialogue between creative practitioners and critics and academics (who are after all also practitioners).
We are extremely grateful not only to the contributors but also to the International Advisory Board for New Voices and Practitioners' Voices for its role in developing these new ventures.
Lorna Hardwick, November 2007
Dorinda is a senior lecturer in drama at the University of Exeter and a freelance theatre director. She is particularly interested in the development of 'new work' in the theatre and in researching and evolving processes that help to generate it. She has worked extensively in this capacity in widely varying contexts. Recently she acted as director and dramaturge to 'the still small voice of the people' , an interdisciplinary piece created with Echo Arts Living Arts Centre in Nicosia. This piece was performed with artists from both sides of the military border and it was selected to represent Cyprus at the New Plays From Europe festival in Wiesbaden.
Jane Montgomery Griffiths, a Lecturer in the Classical Studies Centre at Monash University, is a specialist in Greek drama in contemporary performance and has combined academic teaching and research in the UK and Australia with professional performance practice as an award winning actor and director in the UK. She has taught in universities in both drama and Classics departments, including stints at York St John's and Bretton Hall University Colleges (the University of Leeds), La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne. She has also held two visiting Fellowships at Cambridge University as the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Junior Fellow in Drama and the inaugural Leventis Fellow in Greek Drama, during which time she was Director of the Triennial Cambridge Greek Play. She holds BA Hons./MA degrees from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.
David Stuttard took an MA in Classics from St. Andrews University, where he remained to work on a PhD on Plutarch. He subsequently taught Classics for eleven years in Edinburgh, St. Andrews and York. In 1993, he founded the theatre company, Actors of Dionysus, which toured regularly throughout the UK, and for which he directed his own translations and adaptations of Greek tragedies. In addition to stage shows, he produced the Penguin Audiobook of Medea and a video entitled The Face of Tragedy, while his play Blow Your Mind, Aristophanes! premiered at London's Mermaid Theatre in association with the British Film Institute and Channel 4. His work has been heard on BBC Radio 3, and his translation of Aeschylus' Agamemnon is an Open University set text. In 2003 and 2004, David produced Trojan Women and other plays for performance in ancient theatres in Turkey and Albania, including Troy, Ephesus, Aspendus and Butrint. In 2005, with his new Company Dionysus (founded to perform and promote works of classical literature using 21st century technology) he recorded a CD performance of Trojan Women. In that year, too, he published a book, An Introduction to Trojan Women. His dramatic reconstruction of Euripides' lost plays Alexandros and Palamedes received their first performance as part of The Trojan Trilogy at the British Museum in April 2008. Since then he has written a reconstructed adaptation of the satyr play Sisyphus as well as translating Aristophanes' Lysistrata.
David Fitzpatrick holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from University College Dublin and a PhD from the University of Nottingham . He worked at The Open University between 2000 and 2006. For almost five years, he was the project officer for the Classics section of The Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology: part of the LTSN initiative (now The Higher Education Academy) aimed at sharing good teaching and learning practice in higher education. Then he worked as an administrator in its Arts faculty with responsibilities for research and finance before returning to Ireland in September 2006. He is currently working in the Research Office of Trinity College Dublin.