Auditorium III, University of Helsinki main building (Unioninkatu 34, 00100 Helsinki)
Zahra Newby (University of Warwick): Constructing festival in the theatres of Roman Asia Minor.
This paper arises from the Leverhulme Trust-funded research project, the Materiality of Greco-Roman Festivals. Religious festivals were times when the civic community came together to present an image of itself to outsiders, but they also reflected the hierarchies which existed within the city itself. The project examines the active roles played by coins, inscriptions, art and architecture in asserting and negotiating communal civic identities and social hierarchies. This paper considers the theatre, one of the key architectural spaces in which festivals and their performances were experienced and remembered, looking at how visual decoration of the theatre interacted with ephemeral events and helped to create the meaning of those rituals for both participants and spectators.