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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While Harley Granville Barker and Lillah McCarthy did not originally schedule Euripides for their 1915 American tour, once there Barker devised a plan to stage Gilbert Murray’s translations of Trojan Women and Iphigenia in Tauris outdoors, mimicking ancient theaters. With wartime Britain needing American support, Trojan Women seemed an obvious choice. Iphigenia, in a primitivist, “expressionist” production designed by Norman Wilkinson, proved much more surprising and controversial. Forgotten photographs by Yale undergraduate Donald Cummings Fitts help recapture the shock of those designs, while reviews illuminate their daring color schemes. As Barker and Wilkinson defended their choices for Iphigenia, the production drew just as well as her more somber sister. Women sharply predominated in at least one audience, raising questions of gendered reception. Changing public taste, economics, competition from spectacle in movies, and the vagaries of star culture help account for trends away from Barker’s large-scale productions after the war.

Keywords: Harley Granville Barker, Euripides, Donald Cummings Fitts, Iphigenia in Tauris, Lillah McCarthy, Gilbert Murray, outdoor drama, Trojan Women, Norman Wilkinson, Yale Bowl

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