Ben Revkin

The Performance of Roman Comedy

Applications are now open for a National Endowment for the Humanities Institute for Higher Education Faculty on “The Performance of Roman Comedy,” co-directed by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad and Christopher B. Polt.  The Institute takes place July 9–August 4, 2023, on the campus of Boston College.  Application deadline is 11:59pm Eastern on March 3, 2023.  For more information, to see eligibility criteria, and to apply, visit:

Roman comedy is one of the primary and oldest forms of theater that ancient Romans produced and watched. Nevertheless, all that survives of Roman comedy are its scripts, mere dialogue with no blocking or stage directions. This fact has often resulted in the genre’s being treated as purely textual or entirely ignored in classroom settings. The past few decades, however, have seen the publication of an abundance of scholarship that focuses on the performative nature and performance contexts of Roman comedy. We are now in a position to bring these texts to life, to promote the teaching of them at the college level and beyond, and, in doing so, to illuminate why and how they are so significant for understanding the meaning, comic and dramatic traditions, and cultures of both the ancient world and our own.

Over the course of four weeks this summer, and under the instruction of visiting experts representing three generations of scholarly excellence and a wide variety of research specialties, participants in this Institute will study ancient evidence for and modern experiments in the performance of these plays; the social, historical, and literary contexts of the plays; and their continuing significance and influence. Participants will put their instruction to use by staging and filming scenes from Roman comedy in multiple styles, as well as developing pedagogical modules to apply and share what they have learned from the Institute. Participants in the Institute will come away with an expert handle on cutting-edge scholarship on Roman comedy, with extensive hands-on experience in bringing Roman comedy to life, and with profound effects on their own scholarship and teaching.


Join an archaeological team of professors, Joanne Murphy of UNC Greensboro and Shannon Hogue of UMass Amherst, and 11 students from the US and Ireland as they prepare for their field season with a 12-day tour of the highlights of ancient Greece. This tour is an exciting and novel way to explore ancient Greek culture.

Proposed Schedule:

Friday 9th of June: Arrive in Greece. 

Saturday 10th of June: We will meet the students around noon and visit the South Slope of the Acropolis including the Theatre of Dionysus, followed by Hadrian’s Gate and the Olympic Stadium.  (Dinner included)

Sunday 11th of June: We will tour the Acropolis in the morning and see the Propylaia, the glorious Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion. We will then proceed to the Pnyx where the people’s assembly met. In the afternoon, we will enjoy the (air conditioned) Acropolis Museum and see the ancient art works up close. (Dinner included)

Monday 12th of June: In the morning we will visit the Roman Agora, the Library of Hadrian, and the ancient Greek Agora. After lunch, we visit the treasures in the National Museum(Dinner included)

Tuesday 13th of June: We will leave the city of Athens and head south to the Peloponnese. We will visit the Isthmus, Ancient Corinth, and the Panhellenic Sanctuary of Nemea with its amazingly well-preserved stadium and Temple of Zeus. Stay in Argos (Lunch and Dinner included)

Wednesday 14th of June: We will start our day at the magnificent site of Mycenae, then visit Tiryns, where we will have a picnic lunch, and later explore the museum and city of Nauplion. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included)

Thursday 15th of June: Depart Argos for the port of Lavrion where we will catch the boat to Kea. (Breakfast and Dinner included. Ferry included)

Friday 16th of June: After an introduction to our research on Kea, we will tour the city of Ioulida and see the famous Lion of Kea. (Dinner included)

Saturday 17th of June: Natalie Abell of U. Michigan will give us a tour of the Bronze Age site of Ayia Irini in the morning and afterwards we will enjoy a leisurely lunch in a tavern by the sea in Vourkari. (Lunch included)

Sunday 18th of June and Monday 19th of June at leisure when you can enjoy the island at your own pace.

The cost is $2500 per person for 10 days plus the additional expense of your hotel room in Athens from Friday to Tuesday (4 nights) and your flight. The $2500 includes all tours, entrance to museums and sites, travel related to our program in Greece, some (basic) lunches and most evening dinners (which we have as a group), and hotels in Argos and on Kea. Dinner is paid for with the group every night except Saturday 18th when we do our own thing for dinner.  We walk or take the metro around Athens, travel to the Peloponnese in a luxury coach, and then ferry to Kea. These travel expenses are included. When in Athens the students will stay at the Athens Studios on Veikou near the Acropolis museum. The Athens Studios has comfortable apartments and you could book there if they have space https: There are many hotels in the area as well.

Please let Professor Joanne Murphy ( know as soon as possible but no later than January 15th if you are interested in joining us. A deposit of $400 will be due by Feb 1. The rest of the price will be due on March 15th. We would also welcome any contribution you might like to make to the project and our students. Checks should be made out to UNCG with Joanne Murphy and Kea in the information line. You can post the checks to Professor Murphy’s office address below. With questions, feel free to email Joanne or Shannon (