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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Drawing on critical theory from the field of performance studies, such as Patrick Johnson’s concept of “reclaiming,” Harvey Young’s the “black body,” and Brenda Dixon Gottschild’s “the Africanist presence,” this article examines two 2008 performances of Euripidean tragedies produced by distinct Harlem-based classical theater companies: Take Wing and Soar’s Medea and The Classical Theater of Harlem’s Trojan Women. Foregrounding the problematic history between artists of color and the Classics, Powers argues that these performances work to “reclaim” ancient Greek theater for diverse artists and audiences by challenging such problems as stereotypical casting practices, and by presenting the Classics through the hybridized characteristics of American language, culture, and identity.

Keywords: Euripides, Harlem, black body, reclaiming, Africanist presence, Trojan Women, Medea, Patrick Johnson, Harvey Young, Brenda Dixon Gottschild

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