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Culture

A Festival Prelude

NEW YORK – For the second year in a row, American Thymele Theatre conducted its Spring Readings series with another reading of a play set in ancient Greece. Emory Wilson, a prolific playwright who has been writing for more than 50 years, was the featured playwright. Mr. Wilson’s The Father of Comedy was read last year, a play about Aristophanes and the law suit by Cleon for containing a character too closely modeled after him during production of The Knights. This year’s reading of Emory Wilson’s A Season in Sparta was again read in collaboration with Team Theatre, moderated by Gwendolyn Snow. The reading workshop was attended by various theater goers who were invited to the reading, along with the playwright himself who shared his thoughts on writing about ancient Greek themes and gathered professional feedback on his work.

A Season in Sparta concerns Alcibiades, the flamboyant, daring commander of the 5th century BCE Athenian forces, sent to conquer Sicily, read by actor-director Adam Martin. Spartan king Agis II was read by Ken Solway, an American Thymele Theatre associate for the past several years who also participated in last spring’s reading of The Father of Comedy. Other readers for A Season in Sparta included Elisabeth Good (Elpis), Tamarea Kramer (Timaea, Queen of Sparta) and Stephen Diacrussi who read for Theron, a Spartan general.

Emory Wilson had worked with Apollo Dukakis in Massachusetts and also wrote Halfway to Cephallenia, a comedy produced by MIT in Cambridge, among many other plays of his, produced and read by various theater companies around the country. An outgrowth of American Thymele Theatre, the highly anticipated New York Euripides Summer Festival that started in 2009 with Euripides’ Rhesus, is compelled to go virtual for the second summer season due to the pandemic. Phoenician Maidens and Iphigenia at Aulis are slated for the summer of 2021.

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