Adult Ed
From Greek to Gospel



Greek drama has deep roots in American theater. Many American venues stage productions featuring the universal themes presented in this ancient literary genre as a paradigm of life in modern times. Gospel music has deep roots in the American experience as well. The two-Greek theater and gospel music-have been engrafted together in GREAT PERFORMENCES' Gospel at Colonus. This lesson will explore the artistic value in this new interpretation of the Greek chorus.

Subject Matter

  • Art, Language Arts

Learning objectives:

Students will be able to:
  • Compare references provided in text to those presented in the production
  • Determine rationale for production choices
  • Develop a production map of a literary piece


From the New York State Learning Standards

Art Standard 1:
Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts and participate in various roles in the arts

Identify and describe the roles, processes and actions needed to produce professional concerts and musical theater production

Carry out acting, directing and design choices, which support and enhance the intent of a production

ELA Standard 2:
Students will read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression-students will read and view independently and fluently across many genres of literature from many cultures and historical periods


Media Components


Web sites
"Oedipus at Colonus" by Sophocles, Translated by F. Storr
Online text of "Oedipus at Colonus"

Educational Media Collection: Topics for "Gospel at Colonus"
Resource listing for educational material Music Samples: "Gospel at Colonus"
Commercial site that provides listening samples of hard-to-find and popular music

Gospel production of Sophocles

Prep for teachers:

  • Load appropriate plug-in for Windows Media Player or Real-Time Player
  • Bookmark sites
  • Cue tape to appropriate scene
  • Photocopy Gospel production of Sophocles handout