by Hugh Denard
School of Theatre Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
This volume is necessarily incomplete, pending the arrival of materials from some contributors, but it does give some sense of the volume as it will be. The issue will continue to grow as new materials come in, and the whole site will continue to expand rapidly over the coming days and weeks. Many thanks to those who have provided articles, abstracts, images and video clips to date, and who have persevered with us through the labyrinths of data and metadata specifications! Particular thanks to John Barsby for taking this journey with us, and for being such a gentle travelling companion.
This is the first issue of Didaskalia in some time, and my first as Editor. As I have cajoled and pressured this issue into being, and have endured the birth-pangs of the new web-site, it has become clearer and clearer to me just what an astonishing legacy my predecessor, Sallie Goetsch, has left to us. Again and again, some bright idea or initiative in our own processes turns out to have been anticipated--usually brilliantly--by her work. This area of scholarship owes Sallie a very considerable debt for her vision, talent and tenacity; it is a humbling example. I am grateful that Sallie has agreed to remain with us as an active member of the Editorial Board - her advice has been, and continues to be, invaluable.
Toph Marshall, long time Associate Editor of Didaskalia has (with a little persuasion) agreed temporarily to add 'Reviews Editor' to his existing role, for which the Journal owes him thanks. We are delighted to welcome Amy R. Cohen as Listings Editor, courtesy of a new link with the Drama Committee of the American Philological Association, which we hope will be the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration. Erika Fischer-Lichte and Mary-Kay Gamel are two new luminary members of The Editorial Board; we look forward to working with them as the mission of the journal expands in the coming months and years.
Much depends on our ability to create an financial infrastructure to enable the work to survive and thrive. As Didaskalia has grown in size and complexity, and as the character of the academic life has changed, the task of editing the journal has become untenable without the provision of substantial administrative and technical support. This first phase of re-designing the web-site, and providing initial administrative assistance has been funded by a generous grant from a discretionary research fund controlled by Prof. Richard Beacham at the University of Warwick, for which we are extremely grateful. We are now actively pursuing means of generating income both from grant bodies and from commercial sources.
Our mission is ambitious, and can perhaps be summed up in the word 'interaction.' Interaction between and amongst students, teachers, scholars, theatre practitioners, resource-providers, publishers, and educational and cultural institutions. Didaskalia will develop a much-needed 'hub' of resources--scholarly and artistic; documentary and educational--for everyone engaged in the study or performance of ancient drama and its legacy. One of the most immediate ways of developing this role is to work alongside conference organisers to publish proceedings either in full or--as with the present issue--in collaboration with a conventional publisher. In this way, scholarship can be disseminated much more rapidly and flexibly than heretofore to a much wider audience, and be guaranteed an attentive audience by its 'natural' readership. (We are currently preparing our next issue, devoted to examining John Barton's Tantalus and the Hall production of that name, in collaboration with Kings College London which organised a one-day conference in May.) It is not impossible that in the future we may wish to host, or co-host conferences of our own.
Didaskalia will offer interactive 'spaces' in which readers can meet, hold discussions, contribute reviews, and submit work for review. Through a freshly-defined, high calibre, academic journal, it will invite into a further shared space scholars from diverse disciplines: Classics, Theatre Studies, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Linguistics, Translation Studies, Cultural and Critical Theory, Sociology, Psychology . . . It will host a continuously updated bulletin of forthcoming productions and events, and archive information about past such events.
Our hope is that by facilitating these several, simultaneous interactions, we can enable students, scholars and artists alike rapidly and radically to expand the frontiers of their individual and collective work. Our vision is of the extraordinary potential that such interactions have to create an intensity of intellectual and creative ferment out of which 'newness' may be born. Didaskalia has already been a surprising and unpredictable journey for many of us. Let us hope that the future holds yet more surprises!
University of Warwick, 21 June 2001
TECHNICAL NOTE FOR VOLUME 5, ISSUE 1
A number of the articles and abstracts published here contain video clips. For the most part, contributors have been able to provide a smaller and a larger version of each clip to cater for different connection speeds. The free QuickTime Plugin necessary to view all of these clips can be downloaded from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download.