Staging Sappho: embodying a fragment

altDr Jane Montgomery Griffiths, Director of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at Monash University and former Convenor of Monash’s Classical Studies Program, will give a lecture on the ancient Greek poet Sappho and her awarded playwright “Sappho…in 9 fragments”, next Thursday, 16 July 2015, at the Greek Centre, as part of the Greek Community of Melbourne’s seminar series.

"How do you tell the story when there are so many gaps?" In this talk, playwright, actor, and academic, Dr Griffiths, traces the journey of putting that most elusive of Greek poets, Sappho, on stage. Following the process of creating her award winning play, “Sappho in 9 fragments”, her talk will ask the question: Is it possible for Sappho ever to be anything but a figment of our imagination?

Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths is Director of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at Monash University, and former Convenor of Monash’s Classical Studies Program. She combines academic research and teaching with professional practice as a theatre maker. She has had an extensive career in UK theatre as an actor, performing with the RSC, Chichester Festival Theatre, Derby Playhouse, Cambridge Theatre Company, Harrogate Theatre and Compass Theatre (Manchester Evening News, Best Actress award for Electra). In Australia, she has performed with Bell Shakespeare Company in King Lear, Malthouse Theatre in Sappho…in 9 fragments and Wild Surmise, Red Stitch in Good People, Fraught Outfit in Elektra and Persona, The Rabble in Story of O (Neon/MTC) and Frankenstein (Malthouse),  Wizard of Oz (Belvoir), and for ABC Radio National in Sectioned, Sappho, and Wild Surmise.

As a director, she has worked at Harrogate Theatre, UpFront Theatre Company, Cambridge Arts Theatre, and Red Stitch Actors Ensemble, and was artistic director of the Cambridge Greek Play. As writer, her plays include Sappho…in 9 fragments (Currency Press 2010), nominated for the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Literary Awards, An Ox Stand on my Tongue (winner of an R E Ross Award and PWA development place), Sectioned (ABC RN), the libretto for the opera Razing Hypatia (3 Masks; Opera Nova), and an adaptation of Dorothy Porter’s Wild Surmise (Malthouse Theatre; ABC Radio National– nominated for Greenroom, Best Writing/Adaptation).  Sappho…in 9 fragments has now toured internationally, playing to several awards and sell out seasons in London, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto and Edinburgh.

The Greek Community of Melbourne and the organising Committee of the Seminars wish to thank the sponsor of the lecture: P. & M. Mitrakas of Mitrakas Savas & Co Solicitors.

Note: Dr Erma Vassiliou's lecture will be presented on 23rd of July.

When: Thursday, 16 July, 7.00pm
Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine Level, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Language: English
Entry: Free