During the past century, the interpretation given by the various directors staging Greek drama has varied, and the critical reception accorded the productions has also altered. While the texts of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides remain constant, the meanings drawn from their plays do t. The director who decides to offer a Greek tragedy in the modern American commercial theater believes in the ability of the text to reach the contemporary audience, and the reviewers assess the success of the venture: their words become a record of both a particular performance and the time in which it played. Hartigan explores how drama and society interact and witnesses the continued vitality of the Greek tragedy.
KARELISA V. HARTIGAN is Professor of Classics at the University of Florida. She is the author of several books including Ambiguity and Self-Deception: The Apollo and Artemis Plays of Euripides.