Zimmerman brings ancient classics to life

Metamorphoses director gives talk for Assembly Series

If you think the classical tales of Ovid are boring, you haven’t experienced them as envisioned by the playwright Mary Zimmerman, PhD.


A veteran playwright and stage director who has received a Tony Award and a MacArthur (genius) grant, Zimmerman is well-versed on how to make ancient texts come alive. As part of her visit to Washington University to attend the opening of her play Metamorphoses, Zimmerman will give an Assembly Series talk on “Bodies I Have in Mind: Adapting Ancient Texts for the Stage” at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 21, in Graham Chapel.

The talk, sponsored by the Women’s Society of Washington University, also is the Performing Arts Department’s (PAD) annual Helen Clanton Morrin Lecture and is free and open to the public. Co-sponsors of her visit include the Department of Classics and the Center for Humanities, both in Arts & Sciences.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Zimmerman will present another lecture, “Opera and its Discontents,” in the Danforth University Center, Room 276, This program also is free and open to the public.

In addition to her lectures, St. Louisans will have the opportunity to see her Ovidian adaptation of Metamorphoses for two consecutive weekends, beginning Friday, April 23, through Sunday, May 2, in Edison Theatre. For more information on that production, visit news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/20538.aspx.

Zimmerman received a Tony Award in 2002 for best director for Metamorphoses. She is the Jaharis Family Professor of performance studies at Northwestern University.