Performing Ancient Texts in the Original Languages

My colleague Chris Bungard is one of the performers (the first you see) in the above video, which was made as part of an NEH Summer Institute: Roman Comedy in Performance. It got me thinking. Has anyone done something similar with Biblical texts, acting out and narrating stories in the original languages?

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  • Yuyu

    I hate to mention it because it’s such an internet-drama generating title, but Passion of the Christ was done in Aramaic and Latin. So there’s that.

    • James F. McGrath

      I thought of making some sort of Mel Gibson quip and then decided against it! But at any rate, I had in mind performances using the original languages of the texts.

  • Jessica Harmon

    My undergrad Greek professor did this. It was the year before I had her, but instead of a written final the students performed a scene in Greek in the school amphitheater. Someone even did part of the critical apparatus in Latin. I think the students definitely liked it more than a written exam.

    • James F. McGrath


  • Brenda Kronemeijer Heyink

    Western Seminary in Holland, MI has been doing this with Hebrew for awhile now, and the Hebrew instructor, Travis West, is now working on a PhD on this. I think the study of it is called performance criticism.