Prize Awarded to Producer of Westminster's Classical Greek Theatre Festival

Dec 13, 2012

Jim Svendson recognized for his work with the Classical Greek Theatre Festival of Utah The American Philological Association, (APA), has awarded the 2012 Outreach Prize to James Svendsen, professor emeritus of the University of Utah, for his work with Westminster College's Classical Greek Theatre Festival of Utah (CGTF). Svendsen has been the producer and dramaturge of the festival since 1971, when he helped found the group with a production of Prometheus Bound. After 40 years at the University of Utah, Westminster College proudly became the festival sponsor in 2011. CGTF is the only touring Greek festival in the country and expanded its tour under Svendson's leadership at Westminster. The 2012 production of Antigone opened to rave reviews at Westminster. In ancient times, Greek theatre traditionally began at dawn, and Utahns have made their own tradition of bringing a blanket and breakfast to watch the morning production at Red Butte Garden. The tour continued in Ogden and Provo with new stops in Denver, Colorado, and Springdale, Utah, outside Zion National Park. The performances at Westminster, BYU, Weber State University and in Colorado sold out to enthusiastic crowds. As dramaturge of each play, Svendson insures that the director uses modern translations accessible to general audiences, provides detailed online study guides and study questions to the audience and delivers an orientation lecture before each performance. In the words of Svendson's APA nominator, "he is a gifted lecturer, not only because he himself has a dramatic flair, but also because he is able to give the audience, most of whom have no background in Greek drama, a framework for understanding the play they are about to see." The American Philological Association, founded in 1869 by "professors, friends, and patrons of linguistic science," is the principal learned society in North America for the study of ancient Greek and Roman languages, literatures and civilizations. The APA Outreach Prize recognizes outstanding projects or events by an APA member or members that make an aspect of classical antiquity available and attractive to an audience other than classics scholars or students in their courses.

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About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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