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Introducing Playing Dionysus, a student theatrical competition organized by Out of Chaos Theatre and supported by the Society for Classical Studies and the Center for Hellenic Studies. The contest is open to high school and college students in the US and Canada (there will be separate competitions in assorted other countries) and offers a cash prize for winning! We are using Aaron Poochigian’s translation of Euripides’ Bacchae, the same version that was used by SITI Company for their Getty Villa and Brooklyn Academy of Music performances.

Here’s how it works

You record a scene from Bacchae and submit it to us by 31st October 2022. Our panel of judges (including representatives from the prestigious British American Drama Academy) will watch all submissions and then announce the winners during the Reading Greek Tragedy Online in December 2022. The winners will receive (along with eternal glory, of course) $400, with two second place prizes of $200 each.


We welcome entries recorded remotely or in person (safely, of course) and encourage creativity within the form–if you’re on Zoom, feel free to be inventive! How do you want to make digital theatre work for you? 


University or high school groups can enter multiple times, but each actor can appear in only one submission. 


Check back soon for an assortment of dramaturgical materials, including information about Bacchae’s production history, the mythic background of its characters, and some general information about the structure and form of Greek drama! 


We will also be offering some videos and materials which focus on the contemporary applicability and reception of Bacchae, especially as it relates to queer/LGBTQIA+ themes. Also included in these materials will be some tips and advice for performing sensitive topics–Greek tragedy can be heavy stuff sometimes and we want to give all students competing the tools to work with the text (and each other) with awareness and compassion. 


If you have any questions or anything you want to reach out about, feel free to email


As stated above, we encourage creativity of all kinds for this competition–please don’t feel obligated to produce a scene the way you think it ‘should’ be done! This encompasses casting, costumes, performance style, anything you can think of! Want to dress your actors in full ivy and fawnskin? Go for it! Jeans and leather jackets? That’s great too! We’re interested in what choices you think will make the text light up–go forth and be wild. 

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