Lecturer: Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths
In this talk, playwright, actor, and academic, Jane Montgomery 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.
Her practice and research actively fosters interdisciplinary links between Classics and performance, and her current research projects investigate affective ways of interpreting classic/al texts through performance, for which she is currently working on a new version of Antigone for Malthouse Theatre. She was the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Lecturer in Drama (1998, King's College) and the inaugural Leventis Fellow in Greek Drama (2001, Peterhouse) at the University of Cambridge,an ARC post-doctoral fellow, and has also taught at Bretton Hall, York St Johns, La Trobe and University of Melbourne.
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For this seminar we'd like to thank the following donors: Chapter Kleio 15, Daughters of Penelope, AHEPA and P. & M. Mitrakas of Mitrakas Savas & Co Solicitors
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