| in Community

On October 23, the College of Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum, the Department of Classical Studies, and the Undergraduate Classics Association hosted the eighth annual GoreFest: A Halloween Reading Greek and Roman Tragedy.

The community outreach event gathers students and faculty to perform overly histrionic, completely ridiculous readings of ancient drama.

“This year’s event included some horrific descriptions of the carnage of the Cyclops, some horrifying prophecies from the gods, and some hair-raising moments from Athenian tragedy,” says James Uden, professor and chair of classical studies.   

Sophie Klein, a lecturer in core curriculum and classical studies, coordinated the event with the help of members of the Undergraduate Classics Association Sofia Podgorski (CAS’24), Vivian Dai (CAS’24), Caroline Foley (CAS’25), and Henry Chuang (CAS’26). The team adapted the scripts, made the props, and created an evening of ghoulish fun. 

“There are no rehearsals — participants are handed a script and silly costume and are ushered onto the stage,” Klein says. “Most only discover what role they’ll be performing moments before delivering their first lines.” 

This year’s program included scenes from Euripides’ Bacchae (featuring a memorable cameo by Professor of Classical Studies Leah Kronenberg’s dog, Lydia, in the role of Pentheus’ Head), Sophocles’ Ajax, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Aeschylus’ Eumenides. The performance was followed by a costume contest, pizza, and candy. 

“These and other events are funded with the help of alumni on BU Giving Day, so the Classical Studies department thanks alumni for their ongoing support,” Uden says.   

GoreFest 2023 Actors

Agave- Leah Kronenberg

Cadmus- Henry Chuang

Dionysus- John Griffin

Athena- Kit Houng Li

Odysseus- Jasper Blume

Ajax- Dorothy Brown

Narrator- Lauren Steiger

Achaemenides- Adam Godel

Odysseus (non speaking)- Sofia Podgorski

Polyphemus (non speaking)- Brandon Jones

Pythia- Caroline Foley

Apollo- Jackie Reynolds

Chorus of Furies- Colin Lacey, Joe Watkins, Philip Levine

Ghost of Clytemnestra- Anna Sokolova