Studying Greek Tragedies for the Leaving Cert is one thing but putting one on is quite another. The first Dionysia in St. Josephs College, Lucan featured Euripides’ Medea in 2015 and now on Tuesday 21st March the Lucan girls will perform Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound. The rationale behind putting one of the Leaving Cert Classical Studies plays on is bound up with the notions of wait-time and the philosophy that underpins active-learning. Some teachers might find the notion of devoting 5 weeks of a term to rehearsing a play wasteful when in fact, it is the exact opposite because the essays that come from students who brought the play to life are of a far higher quality than the ones they would have written had they simply read the play. It’s more rewarding and enjoyable to teach a play by allowing the students to act it out and letting the students come up with their own answers to questions like, What is Force doing, whilst Power is bullying Hephaestus? How do you think Io looks, behaves and reacts whilst Prometheus is foretelling her future? How should the Chorus use the orchestra during their ode? What is Prometheus’ mood and tone in the Hermes scene? All of these questions are teased out in discussion, argued, acted out in improvisation and critiqued by the class as a whole and through these tasks students gain a profound understanding of the poesis of the play. And then there’s staging and costumes to design and the students have a hand in that too, so its really a creative project from start to finish. Quite something!
Break a leg ladies