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In collaboration with Maynard Adams Fellow Kari Lindquist and the Department of Classics at UNC-CH, the Parr Center for Ethics is excited to offer on campus- and community-based programming around ancient tragedy. This unique project includes reading groups and community offerings to supplement performances by exploring the themes in each play.



Our Aims


  1. to create an intergenerational space for community members to grapple with life’s moral tensions
  2. to ask questions that are grounded in the richness and lived experience of folks across the lifespan
  3. to confront a world that is riddled with injustice, vulnerability, and loss







On Monday, April 8 at 7:30 PM in Person Hall at UNC-CH, we will host a public, free, and CLE-approved stage reading of Euripides’ Alcestis.

Alcestis gives up her life for her husband Admetus to live. While even his parents wouldn’t sacrifice themselves, she goes to Hades in his place. In the household’s time of mourning, a guest arrives. What will happen next? Join us as we explore as we explore the play’s philosophical and existential themes—death & afterlife, hospitality & friendship, love & betrayal, gender & social expectations.


Join us for Pre-Show Programming

Engagement Week Reading Group

We are holding a community reading group as part of Carolina Engagement Week on Wednesday, February 28 from 2:45-4:00pm at Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the play will be provided.

RSVP Here:


Flyleaf Lecture and Discussion

The Classics Department and the Philosophy Department are hosting a lecture at Flyleaf Books, facilitated by UNC Professor Al Duncan (Classics) on Monday, March 4 at 5:30pm. Copies of the play will be provided.

RSVP Here:


Coffee with Alcestis

This is a two-part reading group taking place in March 2024 on UNC’s campus and open to UNC students, staff, and faculty of all backgrounds. As the title suggests, we’ll also have coffee! We’ll read one half of the play for each session. Sessions will be facilitated by Mariska Leunissen (UNC Philosophy) and Michael Vazquez (Parr Center for Ethics).

Meeting #1: Thursday March 7, 2:30 pm (Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library)
Meeting #2: Tuesday March 19, 2:30 pm (Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library)

RSVP Here:


Classroom Visits in Chapel-Hill Durham

The Alcestis team will be visiting local schools to facilitate discussion around this text. K-12 teachers in the Triangle Area are encouraged to contact us to schedule a session!



Planning Team


Kari Lindquist // Project Lead & Performance Conductor

Kari Lindquist (Ph.D. Candidate) holds an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago with an interdisciplinary focus on Music History and English and a double BA in Comparative Literature and Arts & Ideas in the Humanities from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation explores tours of U.S. wind bands in Cold War musical diplomacy. She uses archival materials and interviews to reconstruct individual musicians’ sonic experiences and encounters in public spaces. She served as a fellow with Carolina Performing Arts as part of Humanities for the Public Good at UNC from 2021-2022 and currently holds a Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities.


Michael Vazquez, Ph.D. // Philosophy Content & Community Programming

Michael Vazquez is a Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Director of Outreach at the Parr Center for Ethics. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and specializes in ancient philosophy and the philosophy of education. He is committed to forging lasting, democratic, and collaborative partnerships between the academy and the community, and to cultivating the philosophical voices of people of all ages.



Al Duncan, Ph.D. // Classics Content

Al Duncan’s research considers the ways audiences, ancient and modern, perceive and value ancient Greek and Roman theater. Considering plays not simply as poetic texts but also as scripts for performance, his work focuses on the production, materiality, and aesthetics of the dramas of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. In his soon to be published book, Ugly Productions: An Aesthetics of Greek Drama, Duncan explores the ways ugliness established and mediated genre in the nascent art form of theater. His forthcoming and in-progress work explores cognitive aspects of dramatic production and reception as well as distributed authorship in ancient literature.


Alex Richardson, Ph.D.  //  Creative Consultant

Alex Richardson has been Director of the National High School Ethics Bowl since 2019. A philosopher working at the intersections of ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of education, Alex is an award-winning teacher and an advocate for public and pre-college philosophy pedagogy. His research interests are varied, but as of late concern issues in moral and civic education. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2021, where he wrote a dissertation on the liberal virtue of civility and its role in the non-ideal politics of democratic societies like our own.


Ways to Volunteer


Our free and public performance event will take place on April 8 at 7:30 pm in Person Hall. All are invited and welcome to attend!


Event Support

The performance event will be a logistical feat, and we are looking for folks who might wish to serve as ushers, to answer attendee questions, and to participate earnestly in the discussion to follow the staged reading (including possibly co-facilitating small group discussions).


Promotion & Recruitment

We want this to be a multi-generational community-facing event, so we are casting a wide net with event promotion. We could use help putting up posters around town, interfacing with local organizations, and more generally with spreading the word both on and off campus.

We are grateful to our sponsors


Questions? Contact or