20th Annual Joint Postgraduate Symposium on Ancient Drama

Thursday, July 2, 2020 - 11:00am to Friday, July 3, 2020 - 4:30pm

Instead of the planned twentieth-anniversary celebrations (sadly postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19), this year’s Postgraduate Symposium took place online.

The organisers (David Bullen, Giovanna Di Martino, Peter Swallow, Claire Barnes, Alison Middleton, Marcus Bell and Zoë Jennings) devised sessions exploring some of the questions, challenges and possibilities surrounding virtual theatre and performance. What precisely is the reception dynamic when watching virtual performance? The discussion raised several broad questions over the two days surrounding the interplay between virtuality and liveness, ownership and global dissemination, place and space.

Thursday 2 July (11am – 12.30pm):
1. Performance, Collaboration and Reception
2. Digital Archives
Friday 3 July (4.30 – 6pm):
3. Who authors and owns classical drama in the post-COVID digital world?
4. Virtual Space, Canon and Performance

A group from Magnet Theatre Company and the University of Cape Town shared some fascinating examples from South Africa’s Virtual National Arts Festival, including a play staged on WhatsApp directed by participant Lesego Chauke.

There were also participants tuning in from Italy, Greece, Austria, the US and beyond and we are hoping to recreate this level of global connection in 2021.