The Trojan War, Then and Now

Stanford Continuing Studies and SRT Community Symposium

9 am – 5 pm, Saturday August 4, 2018

As part of SRT’s 20th anniversary summer festival, Nevertheless They Persisted: Euripides’ Hecuba/Helen, we offer an all-day community symposium, “The Trojan War, Then and Now,” exploring the afterlife of the Trojan War in literature and art. 

The symposium combines lectures, scenes performed by the SRT company, a panel discussion with the artists who have collaborated on the Hecuba/Helen production. The day beings with a continental breakfast, and we break for a delightful catered lunch (with the opportunity to talk informally with the lecturers and actors), and enjoy afternoon tea and cookies before our final panel. The symposium takes place on the Stanford campus Saturday, August 4, 2018, and advanced registration is required. To register for the symposium, please visit the Stanford Continuing Studies website:

Stanford Professor Richard Martin (Classics) will provide insights into the way the Trojan War has entered the mythic consciousness of the West, and Professor Heather Hadlock (Music) will discuss the Trojan War and opera. Professor Katerina Zacharia (Classics and Film, Loyola-Marymount University) considers how the Trojan War has influenced modern Greek literature and film, and symposium favorite Professor William Eddelman (Stanford Theater Studies) will talk about how visual artists and theater designers have adapted the Trojan War in their work. 

We follow each lecture with a lively question and answer period, and the lectures are interspersed with short performances by the SRT company, including scenes from Euripides’ Orestes and Andromache, Marlowe's Faust, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida, George Seferis’ "Helen," and others, all dealing with the symposium theme, The Trojan War, Then and Now.

Following afternoon tea and cookies, the day ends with a panel discussion with SRT artists who have brought Euripides’ Hecuba/Helen to life on stage. We encourage all symposiasts to see the production before the symposium, or you may join us at the theater that evening. Hecuba/Helen plays Thursday – Saturday, 8 pm, and Sunday at 2 pm, from July 26 through August 19, at Roble Studio Theater, in the historic Roble Gym, 375 Santa Teresa.


Euripides Our Contemporary

Continuing Studies Course taught by Rush Rehm

SRT Artistic Director; Professor of Classics and Theater, Stanford University


As part of Stanford Repertory's 20th anniversary summer festival Nevertheless They Persisted: Euripides' Hecuba/Helen, “Euripides Our Contemporary” will focus on Euripides' plays that deal with female protagonists, especially in relationship to war and violence. Although Euripides wrote and directed his plays in ancient Athens, we keep returning to his tragedies for their uncanny modernity, and the course will focus on this aspect of his work. 

Over six sessions, we will read and discuss some of Euripides’ most famous tragedies (Medea, Trojan Women, Electra), but also several of his lesser-known works (Andromache, Hecuba, Iphigenia in Aulis, Iphigenia among the Taurians, Helen). In each of these, a tragic heroine “takes on” a world not of her own making. Drawing on a combination of resilience, will power, deception, courage, and endurance, these powerful female characters face the direst of circumstances. However, surrender is not in their vocabulary, or if it is, it comes with such depth of understanding as to constitute its own form of resistance. 

Euripides’ tragic heroines are full of surprises, shifting the ground out from under our expectations in the audience. Alive to shifting sympathies and dynamics of power, his plays provoke us by unsettling our expectations and disturbing our comfort level. Part of his genius lies in his daring theatricality, joining tragedy and humor, suffering and escape, irony and heartfelt emotion. We recognize a modern sensibility here, one that justifies considering Euripides very much as our contemporary. Join the conversation with an ancient playwright who is – for better or worse – one of us. 

The course meets Wednesday, 7 – 8:50 pm, June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25 (attending Hecuba/Helen preview, 8 pm, Roble Studio Theater), August 1, and August 8, 2018. 

To enroll in the course, please visit the Stanford Continuing Studies website,

Please note: The class also will attend a preview performance of SRT's Hecuba/Helen production.  Students are encouraged to attend SRT’s free Monday night film festival, where we will screen films based on Euripides directed by Michael Cacoyannis (Electra, Trojan Women, and Iphigenia), as well as three films directed by Margarethe von Trotta (The Lost Honor of Katerina Blum, Marianne and Juliane, and Hannah Arendt). Enrollment also includes free attendance at SRT’s community symposium The Trojan War, Then and Now (Saturday August 4, 2018,) featuring lectures by Professors Mary-Kay Gamel (Classics, UC Santa Cruz), Katerina Zacharia (Classics and Film Studies, Loyola-Marymount University), Richard Martin (Classics, Stanford), and William Eddelman (Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford), short performances from relevant plays, and a catered lunch. 


Film Series 

Monday evenings, 7 pm

Sapp Auditorium, Sapp Center for Science Teaching and Learning, 376 Lomita Drive, Stanford campus

Free to the public; no admission after 7:10 pm


As part of our 2018 Nevertheless They Persisted Festival, SRT and Stanford Continuing Studies present a free film series focusing on powerful female protagonists who confront patriarchy in its various forms. We feature three films from two Academy Award winning film directors, the Greek Michael Cacoyannis (his famous ‘trilogy’ based on plays of Euripides) and the German Margarethe von Trotta. Each film is introduced by a Stanford or guest faculty member, who leads a discussion with the audience after the screening. 


July 9    Cacoyannis, Electra (1962)                                                Prof. Rush Rehm

July 16  Cacoyannis, Trojan Women  (1971)                           Prof. Katerina Zacharia

July 23  Cacoyannis, Iphigenia (1977)                                    Prof. Katerina Zacharia

July 30  von Trotta, Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1975)       Prof. Matthew Smith

Aug. 6   von Trotta, Marianne and Juliane (1981)                           Prof. Tobias Wolff

Aug. 13 von Trotta, Hannah Arendt   (2012)                       Prof. Branislav Jakovljevic