Video #5: Melissa Funke talks about Theatrical Performance and Mime

Image of Melissa Funke in Greece
Dr. Melissa Funke showcasing the sign for the village of “Melissa” in Greece

In the fifth instalment of our video series, Dr. Melissa Funke discusses theatre and mime in the ancient Mediterranean, including theatrical performance and staging, actors and mime characters, and the role of mime as a form of popular culture in diverse communities.

Melissa Funke is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Winnipeg and a member of the Ancient Love Letters research network at the University of Leeds. She completed her PhD at the University of Washington with a dissertation on gender in the fragmentary plays of Euripides. Her work focuses on dramatic performance (ancient and modern) as well as gender and status in classical antiquity, particularly as it is depicted in literature; it has appeared in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies along with several collected volumes. Her current project is a biography of the (in)famous Greek courtesan Phryne that examines the role of anecdote in fashioning literary-historical narratives. She also directs the Lux Project at the University of Winnipeg, which is an outreach project based on a collection of Roman-Egyptian artefacts that aims to make them accessible to both the local community and scholars around the world.

Interested in learning more? Check out these articles:

Marshall, C.W., and M. Funke. 2019. “A Script for a Sixth-Century Mime (P.Oxy. LXXIX 5189).” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 59: 460–92.

Panayotakis, C. 2014. “Hellenistic Mime and Its Reception in Rome.” In The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy, edited by M. Fontaine and A.C. Scafuro, 378–96. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Tsitsiridis, S. 2011. “Greek Mime in the Roman Empire (P.Oxy. 413: Charition and Moicheutria).” Logeion 1: 184–232.

Webb, R. 2002. “Female entertainers in late antiquity.” In Greek and Roman Actors:Aspects of an Ancient Profession, edited by P. Easterling and E. Hall, 282–303. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

A Descriptive Transcript for this video can be found HERE

Further Reading

Csapo, E. 2014. Actors and Icons of the Ancient Theatre. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.

Csapo, E., and M.C. Miller, eds. 2008. The Origins of Theatre in Ancient Greece and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Green, R., and E. Handley. 1995. Images of the Greek Theatre. London: British Museum Publications Ltd.

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