The Aristophanesathon

Sean Graney is a theater artist whose practice has focused on adapting and directing classic plays to create relevant theatrical pieces for contemporary society.

Artist Bio

The Aristophanesathon is a six-hour conjoined adaptation featuring the eleven existing plays of Aristophanes. The project builds off Sean Graney’s artistic successes with All Our Tragic, a twelve-hour adaptation of the thirty-two extant tragedies, and Sophocles: These Seven Sicknesses, the surviving canon of Sophocles plays. The plot follows a character named Aristophanes, as a girl of eleven, to just before her death at fifty-five. A cast of six actors will play thirty characters. There will be three strongly-connected acts, each functioning like a Shakespearean comedy. Each act has a main character with many subplots, resolving by the end, or resulting in many deaths. The Aristophanesathon can be performed in any setting, even non-theaters, either fully-designed, or very rough (as long as the audience can drink during the performance).

The Aristophanesathon premiered at Chopin Theater in Chicago in 2018.

Award Year


Sean Graney presents his project at the 2016 Creative Capital Retreat

Sean Graney

Sean Graney

San Diego, CA

Sean Graney is a San Diego-based theater artist who is obsessed with entertaining his audience. For the past two decades, his practices has focused on adapting and directing classic plays to create relevant theatrical pieces for contemporary society. Graney developed seven personal guidelines: to inspire, entertain, surprise, spread joy, share pain and listen and respond. Following this code, Graney has become recognized master in creating theatrical works that build in-house communities that last for the duration of the event.

He recently retired from his post as Artistic Director of The Hypocrites, the Chicago theater company he founded in 1997. He was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where he completed All Our Tragic, his 12-hour adaptation which combines all 32 surviving Greek tragedies. All Our Tragic was presented by The Hypocrites and performed for sold-out audiences during the summer of 2014, and remounted in the summer of 2015. More recently, he has been touring his adaptations of Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore across the country.