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Naked Greeks: A Modern Festival of Dionysus

Join SMU Student Theatre as they host a festival inspired by the Ancient Greek tradition, April 27-30

Students from SMU’s Division of Theatre are hosting Naked Greeks: A Modern Festival of Dionysus from April 27-30, 2011. Throughout the festival, guests can enjoy various performances dedicated to different art forms by students from both the Meadows School and the campus organization TREAT (Talent Recruitment and Entertainment Agency Team). Often-omitted clowning scenes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Tempest, directed by theatre professor Sara Romersberger, as well as prolonged combat fight scenes depicting the Trojan War and the legendary swordfight between Hector and Achilles will introduce the festival’s primetime productions: Iphigenia at Aulis and Andromache. Iphigenia at Aulis is based on the story of the Greek king Agamemnon and his decision to appease Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, by sacrificing his daughter, Iphigenia. Through the sacrifice, he hoped to ensure that his troops would be allowed to set sail to defend their honor in the heroic war against Troy. Set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, Andromache focuses on the slavery of Andromache, widow of Trojan warrior Hector, and the ill will she also endured from her master’s wife, Hermione. Each play will run as a full production. In addition, spectators can view the Seven Deadly Sins Movement Show at various times each day; actors will replicate the seven deadly sins in movement pieces inspired by the nature of the sins. 

While most people are not surprised that theatre students are hosting a festival inspired by Ancient Greek theatre, some may be slightly curious about the word “naked” in the festival’s title. It does not refer to the actors, who will be clothed in Grecian costumes, but to the festival’s pared-down focus. In a society famous for outdoor performances and with a culture dedicated to its people, celebrations and the telling of stories, Ancient Greece not only shaped the world of theatre 2,500 years ago, but it also inspired the art of modern theatre today. Jessica Andrewartha, a theatre student heavily involved with the festival, said the goal of the festival is to introduce the concept of “outdoor, low-tech performances where theatre is stripped down to the stories and the people telling them” – hence the term “naked”.

The idea of outdoor performance for this festival was inspired by the new addition to the recently renovated Caruth Hall, the Hillcrest Foundation Amphitheatre. As part of Caruth Hall, a building belonging to the Lyle School of Engineering, the Hillcrest Foundation Amphitheatre will serve as a platform for Meadows students to showcase their talents to students from other areas of SMU, as well as guests from around the Metroplex. Join SMU and Meadows theatre students at the Hillcrest Foundation Amphitheater for the festivities and channel your inner Grecian. 

For a complete schedule and more information, please visit the festival’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=194305127270196

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