Fringes of Roman Empire pique Richlin’s interest

| September 1, 2016 | 0 Comments
AMY RICHLIN is a consultant on the 2200-year-old, sitcom-like play at the Getty.

AMY RICHLIN is a consultant on the 2200-year-old, sitcom-like play at the Getty.

Amy Richlin is interested in the fringes of society, not ours so much, but the women, slaves, sexual minorities and indigenous peoples of the Roman Empire, which is how the local resident and UCLA professor became the dramaturg for a play opening Thurs., Sept. 8 at the Getty Villa in Malibu.

“Haunted House Party, A Roman Comedy” is based on Plautus’ “Mostellaria” (circa 200 B.C.). The Troubadour Theater Company production at the Getty reads like a contemporary television sitcom.

In the play, a young man leads an indulgent lifestyle. When his father is away on business, he borrows money from a swindler to buy the freedom of a slave girl he loves. Trouble and laughs ensue.


The role of the dramaturg, in a theater or opera company, is to work with the director and actors in the preparation of the script and the elaboration of the play.

“I’m consulting on the Getty play because I’ve been working on Plautus since 2001 and have a new book forthcoming from Cambridge University Press called, ‘Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy,’” she told us.

Richlin and her husband, Lon Grabowski, live on N. Van Ness Ave. with three dogs. Their two grown children live in Culver City and Seattle.
A graduate of Princeton and Yale, Richlin taught at USC prior to UCLA.

The Getty play continues Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through Oct. 1 at the Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. For parking and ticket information, call 310-440-7300. Visit

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Category: Entertainment

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