In the spring of 2018, the UVM Classics Department produced the Greek tragedy Helen by classical Athenian playwright Euripides. Seven Days praised the effort, saying the production was “an unusually inventive rendition.” The play entailed extensive collaboration, involving UVM students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community artists and actors.
The exhibition Behind the Schemes: When Helen of Troy came to UVM features visual artifacts from the production, documenting the interdisciplinary scholarship and artistry that made it both unique and noteworthy. On display are musical scores by John Franklin, Professor and Chair of the UVM Classics Department; set drawings and sketches by cartoonist and archaeological illustrator Glynnis Fawkes; script notes from the numerous classical scholars who contributed to the translation; a 3D-printed mask mold; and an electric lyre built by local guitar-maker Creston Lea and used by Franklin to perform the original score of “New Ancient Music” he composed for Helen. The artifacts chosen for this exhibition share distinct aesthetics of mapping—the organization of space—and scoring—the organization of time.
Behind the Schemes celebrates an inspired collaboration and its potential to serve as a model for interdisciplinary scholarship and artistry on a university campus. The exhibition is curated by Jenn Karson, Director of Communications for UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, who has been recognized for her work with interdisciplinary research through Vermont Makers programming and the UVM FabLab.