Sixth Graders Perform Greek Tragedies


Ross sixth grade students culminated their studies of Ancient Greece by staging performances of two popular Greek tragedies, Sophocles’ Antigone and Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis. Antigone recounts the experiences of the title character (the daughter of Oedipus) and her sister, who endeavor to provide a proper burial for their brother in defiance of the decrees of King Creon. Iphigenia in Aulis covers the aftermath of Agamemnon’s decision to sacrifice his eldest daughter to please the goddess Artemis in advance of his fleet’s invasion of Troy.

Performing these plays is an integral part of the grade 6 Cultural History curriculum, which focuses on the cultural transformation of classical civilizations like Phoenicia, Greece, India, and China during the period 1450–356 BCE. These works illustrate the evolution of storytelling during that time period, shifting its scope from a primary focus on gods and goddess to one centered around the behavior of humans. Plays like Antigone and Iphigenia in Aulis used humans as central characters, instead of gods and goddesses. Additionally, they focused on the earthly consequences of human actions rather than divine justice.

Under the direction of Upper School theater director Gerard Doyle and Lower School teacher Margaret Kestler, the students enjoyed bringing these beloved works to the stage. In addition to learning their lines, the students also crafted their own costumes and props.

To see more images from this year’s Grade 6 Greek Tragedies, click here.