Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: Poetry–Drama–Dialogue

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will host staged readings and a series of book discussions as part of a grant-funded series called Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives: A National Conversation. Our library was one of 100 libraries and centers across the nation selected for this traveling, humanities program focused on inspiring people to come together to read, see, and think about classical literature and how it continues to influence and invigorate American cultural life.

On March 1 at 7pm, New York City’s famed Aquila Theatre will perform a staged reading of scenes from Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Euripides’ Heracles and Sophocles’ Ajax, followed by a town hall-style discussion led by Dr. Pamela Gordon, University of Kansas.

Our Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives Book Discussions, moderated by Dr. Gordon, will be held every Friday in March from 1-3pm. Discuss Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus and Electra, The Phoenician Women, The Bacchae, and Iphigenia at Aulis. Books provided. Call 580-4608 to make arrangements to pick yours up. All talks held in Anton Room, except March 9 is in the Hughes Room.

This program unites the assets of the Aquila Theater Company, the Urban Libraries Council, the American Philological Association, the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University and the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC.

Aquila Theatre’s mission is to bring the greatest theatrical works to the greatest number. By presenting a regular season of plays in New York, at international festivals, and touring to approximately seventy American towns and cities a year, Aquila provides access to excellent theatre for people in under-served rural and inner city communities. More information at

The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is a 21st-century, landmark library, and features the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, the Millennium Café, Chandler Booktique, meeting rooms, and free computer and Internet access and training.

This program has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Great Ideas Brought to Life. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lisa is a former employee and shared the library story in many of her posts.