Responses to Ancient Drama in Contemporary Performance

Anyone who spends time looking at how classical drama is performed today creates in his or her head an ever-evolving series of definitions concerning degrees of translation. The same terms are often used in the vocabulary of these discussions - translation, adaptation, version, rendering - but the semantic field that each term encompasses necessarily varies from one person to the next, as different influences from culture, upbringing, and experience exert themselves. The axis of 'fidelity' possesses many stops, and how we perceive these points depends on our familiarity and associations with the source material. But even this initial framing is inadequate: because I locate a modern performance against its relationship to a specific source text from antiquity (or its absence) does not mean that this is what the artists involved do, or indeed that this is a preferred means of reading a given performance. [ Read more ]...

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