MSU Shackouls Honors College to present Classical Week 2016

For the fourth consecutive year, Mississippi State’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College is presenting an outdoor production for Classical Week. Free to all, this year’s performances take place Tuesday and Wednesday [Sept. 27-28] at 6 p.m. in the Zacharias Village courtyard behind Griffis Hall. Four humanities scholars, including two from MSU, also will present a lecture titled “Another Look at Seneca’s ‘Phaedra’” at 2 p.m. Thursday [Sept. 29] in Griffis Hall, Room 401C. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—As part of its fourth annual celebration of Greek, Roman and other ancient-world cultures, Mississippi State’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College will present Seneca’s tragedy, “Phaedra.”

Free to all, the Tuesday-Wednesday [Sept. 27-28] performances will take place at 6 p.m. in the Zacharias Village courtyard behind Griffis Hall.

In addition to blankets and chairs, patrons are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy during the performances. In the event of inclement weather, the productions will be held in Griffis Hall.

With “Phaedra” perhaps being the most influential, the 10 Senecan tragedies of the first century AD are said to be the only Roman tragedies to survive. The intensity of these tragedies made them especially popular in the Renaissance.

“This Roman tragedy is rarely produced, so it will be exciting for our audiences to see such a play,” said director and professor Donna L. Clevinger.

Clevinger explained that the play’s actors include new and returning honors students who represent a variety of academic majors, including engineering, business, agriculture, animal and dairy science, and computer science. Most of the cast will be performing for the first time in front of a live audience, she noted.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to “come support these wonderful students who have worked really hard,” Clevinger said. “They’ll do a wonderful job.”

A Senior Faculty Fellow for the honors college, Clevinger said she also is grateful for the contributions of “Phaedra” dramaturg Wilfred E. Major, associate professor of classics at Louisiana State University.

Major, who served as keynote speaker during MSU’s Classical Week 2015, collaborated with Clevinger to devise the script for “Phaedra,” which represents an interdisciplinary project between the two educators’ respective institutions of higher learning.

“It’s pretty exciting to work with other individuals like Dr. Major who have a different background,” Clevinger said. “It gives students an opportunity to learn from another viewpoint. They can expand their knowledge not only of how to put a play together, but also about the writers themselves and how they dealt with issues during particular time periods.”

Clevinger said she is looking forward to welcoming Major, as well as students in his fall-semester classics course, to the Starkville campus for next week’s Classical Week productions.

Additionally, Major is among four humanities scholars who will deliver a lecture titled “Another Look at Seneca’s ‘Phaedra’” at 2 p.m. Thursday [Sept. 29] in Griffis Hall, Room 401C. To be moderated by Clevinger, the lecture is made possible through a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.

In addition to Major, presenters will include MSU Assistant Professor of Classics Salvador Bartera; Professor of History and Shackouls Honors College Dean Chris Snyder; and University of Cincinnati Assistant Professor of Classics Lauren Ginsberg.

For more information about Classical Week 2016, contact Clevinger at 662-325-2522 or

Additional details about MSU’s Shackouls Honors College may be found at and

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