Ancient Drama Competition 2023

For students aged 13-18 years

Perform a piece of ancient drama and be in with the chance of WINNING GREAT PRIZES!

The Faculty of Classics, in partnership with the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (APGRD), is proud to launch the Ancient Drama Prize, our performance competition for young people from across the UK.


Deadline for entries: 6pm on Friday 10 March 2023.

Two winners in each age group will each receive a prize of £100.

For group entries, prizes will be split equally within groups.

All winners and shortlisted performers will receive a certificate.

image by publicdomainpictures from pixabay

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

  1. Film the performance piece (no more than 5 minutes).
  2. Ask your parent/guardian to fill in this CONSENT FORM. We are unable to consider any entries without a parent/guardian signature.
  3. Ask your parent, guardian or teacher to upload your video to YouTube following these safety guidelines:
    • Do not include any names, identifying details or contact details in the video title or description.
    • Under Comments, select DISABLE COMMENTS.
    • Set the video to UNLISTED (not public or private). UNLISTED means only people with the link can see the video. You might choose to share your link with others, but we will only allow judges in the competition to use the link for judging. We will not share your link with anyone else.
  4. Complete this ENTRY FORM.

For practical guidance on how to upload a film please see YouTube help pages such as this: Link opens YouTube help pages.

photo by paul green on unsplash

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

You can choose to deliver a solo spoken word composition or a translation.

Translations can be delivered solo (1 student) or as a group (2 or 3 students).

Compositions should be delivered solo (1 student).


Translation (solo or group)

Perform a piece of ancient drama in English translation.

A piece of ancient drama means an extract from a tragedy or comedy originally written in Latin or Greek prior to 476 CE.

You can use any published translation, for example:

  • Oliver Taplin’s translation (2016) of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.
  • Edith Hall’s translation (1996) of Aeschylus’ Persians.

You can use your own translation, but you will not gain extra credit for this – submissions will be judged purely on performance value. 

The translation used should be clearly stated in the entry form.


Spoken Word Composition (solo)

Deliver a spoken word composition in English, inspired by one or more aspects or extracts from an ancient play. The composition can be the original work of the performer, or the work of another writer. This must be clearly stated on the entry form and, if it is the original work of the performer, an explanation of which ancient sources inspired the piece (no more than 200 words) must also be given.

photo by fabian centeno on unsplash

Photo by Fabian Centeno on Unsplash


  • This competition is open to any participant aged 13-18 years within the UK.
  • Performances are to be delivered entirely in English.
  • Performances must be no longer than 5 minutes. There is no minimum length.
  • Entries received earlier than the deadline are very welcome; entries received after the deadline will be disregarded.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Deadline for entries: 6pm on Friday 10 March 2023.
  • The decisions of the judging panel are final and individual feedback will not be given.
image by gerd altmann from pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

  • Submissions will be judged by a panel of Oxford academics, students and members of the APGRD.
  • The judges will be looking for powerful, creative and exciting interpretations of ancient material.
  • Performers will not be judged on the technical quality of the recording (phone footage is perfectly acceptable, for example).
  • We suggest that the video is of a single take, rather than a montage of clips.
  • Students may use their own translations, but they will not gain extra credit for this – submissions will be judged purely on performance value.
photo by hulki okan tabak on unsplash

Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

Entries will be judged in two age groups:

  • 13 – 15 years (Years 9/10/11 or equivalent).
  • 16 – 18 years (Years 12/13, sixth form, or equivalent).
image by intographics from pixabay

Image by Intographics from Pixabay


  • Check out last year’s winning entries here.
  • Watch some readings of Greek Tragedy from Out of Chaos.
  • Explore APGRD’s Learning Section and Digital Resources.
  • Daily Dose by Actors of Dionysus is a YouTube playlist with over 100 examples of how you could present an extract from or inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. Actors of Dionysus have lots of other great resources here and you can follow #MiniMyth by Actors of Dionysus @AODtheatre on Twitter.
photo by ahmad odeh on unsplash

Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

If you have any queries, please contact us at

photo by jaime spaniol on unsplash

Photo by Jaime Spaniol on Unsplash

Information about safeguarding at the University of Oxford can be found here.

If you have any concerns about this competition, how it is run or any university staff member that you come into contact with through your participation, you can report your concerns to either:


Faculty of Classics Designated Safeguarding Lead:


The University’s Safeguarding Officer.

image by cari r from pixabay

Image by Cari R from Pixabay

Good Luck!