The papers collected in this volume result from two seminar series held in spring 2002. The first was the panel 'The Greeks in Scotland' at the joint conference of the Classical Association of Scotland and the Classical Association, held in Edinburgh to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Classical Association of Scotland. The panel consisted of papers from Lorna Hardwick, Alison Burke and John Taylor which had been selected and co-ordinated to explore different aspects of classical drama recently performed on the Scottish stage. Hardwick's paper presents an overview of the cultural politics associated with recent productions and draws out key issues in translation and linguistic status and their bearing on debates concerning Scottish cultural identity. Burke's paper documents the significant role of Scottish productions on national and international stages, focussing on the representation of the Chorus and developing comparative insights which cross national theatrical traditions. Taylor's paper presents a practitioner's perspective which demonstrates the increasing importance of classical material in stimulating new work.
The second seminar series represented here is the Spring 2002 electronic seminar of the Reception of Classical Texts Research project based at The Open University. The electronic seminar is an annual event enabling academics and practitioners world wide to discuss current issues in the Reception of ancient drama and poetry. Countries represented in 2002 included Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Czech Republic and Israel. The theme for the 2002 seminar series was Boundaries and Identities. Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones' paper examines the impact of Greek drama on modern theatre in Welsh and also provides material for comparison with the politics of translation and cultural identity raised by Hardwick in the Scottish context. Richard Whitaker's paper summarises work-in progress on his translation on Homer's Iliad and relates the work to the linguistic, cultural and political imperatives of building the new South Africa.
Overall, the collection ranges across regional, national and cultural identities and the shifting overlaps and boundaries between them. A recurring theme is the tension between purism (whether classicist or nationalist) and cultural and linguistic hybridity. Cutting across this is the insistence on the impact of practitioners - translators, directors, designers, actors - in their engagement with the texts and the various performance traditions through which they have migrated.
The collection is the latest in the series of publications arising from the Research project on the Reception of Classical Texts under the general title of The Open Colloquium. The purpose of The Open Colloquium series is to disseminate the results of recent research, on theatre and poetic practice and the praxis which results when academics and practitioners interact. Publications of The Open Colloquium are available in print and electronically.
Previous volumes include:
The Open Colloquium 1999 Tony Harrison's Poetry, Drama and Film: The Classical Dimension
The January Conference 1999 Theatre: Ancient and Modern
The January Conference 1996 The Reception of Classical Texts and Images.
The Reception of Classical Texts project also publishes an electronic database of modern productions of Greek drama. The database can be searched from a variety of starting points (ancient play title, ancient author, modern play title, modern author, translator, director, designer, date of performance). It is accompanied by a series of critical essays evaluating the sources used in performance research and is available at the project website.