This week at the classics centre we were delighted to welcome ancient theatre specialist Marchella Ward from the University of Oxford to deliver workshops on Greek Tragedy to Year 12 Classical Civilisation students and Year 8 Beginners Latin students. Marchella created a fun and informative "recipe" sheet with different heroes and heroines, plot ideas and styles of writing used by the Ancient Greek Tragedians. Through these, teams of students mixed the ingredient to devise their own Greek play! They then explained the plot lines to the class, before voting for the winning play, just as the ancient Greeks themselves did at large festivals of theatre, called "Dionysia".
The groups learned how the Athenian playwrights tended to set their plays in different cities from their own, rather as Shakespeare did, in order to be able to explore controversial perspectives and storylines. They also learned about the role of the chorus in commentating on the action and representing a community of people within the play. Some fascinating new tragedies were created by the groups and we are very grateful to Marchella for running such stimulating workshops.
Later this term, Year 8s will be performing their own ancient Greek plays; they have also been creating trailers and posters which will appear soon!