Witte de With Contemporary Art
Graham Ley
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Graham Ley

Graham Ley (b.1951, London) is Professor Emeritus of Drama and Theory at the University of Exeter; he was educated at University of Oxford in Classics and Ancient Art History, and at the Warburg Institute in London in Renaissance Art and Culture. He has written extensively on the theatricality of ancient Greek theater, taking in subjects such as the qualities of individual performance, the presence of the chorus, the value of objects, properties and costume, and the nature of rehearsal and preparation for performance. In this field he has published many essays and chapters as well as the books The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy: playing space and chorus (2007) and A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater (1999). He has also translated, adapted, and directed Greek tragedy, and acted as a dramaturg for professional theater productions. He writes in addition on comparative performance theory, from antiquity to the present day, with essays such as “Aristotle’s Poetics, Bharatamuni’s Natyasastra, and Zeami’s Treatises: Theory as Discourse,” Asian Theatre Journal 17, no. 2 (2000) and the book-length study From Mimesis to Interculturalism: readings in theatrical theory before and after modernism (1999). Most recently he was head of a five-year research project on contemporary British Asian theater, which resulted in two studies edited with Sarah Dadswell, Critical Essays on British South Asian Theatre (2012) and British South Asian Theatres: a documented history (2011). His current interests focus on the broad terms of cultural adaptation in the field of performance, with a view of culture as organic, constantly adapting its social and artistic forms as humans migrate and survive.