ECU Classics Program Presents Premier Live Performance of "A Thousand Kisses"

East Carolina University will present the world premier live performance of “A Thousand Kisses,” a new radio play by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Frederic Raphael at 8 p.m., April 11, in room C-209 of the Science and Technology Building. The play is free and open to the public. Due to some adult language, this performance may not be suitable for children.

Sponsored by the Classics Program in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences and directed by Dr. John Given, associate professor of classics, the play is the second performance for the 2010-11 academic year. It is being performed as a radio play, which is a performance by actors without the use of staging or costumes. The cast includes ECU faculty and graduate students, with live instrumental music provided by classics major Alyssa Grace and sound design provided by ECU associate professor of communication Glenn Hubbard.

“A Thousand Kisses” is a fictionalized biography of the ancient Roman poet Catullus. Built around three-dozen of his poems, it tells the story of the young Veronese poet’s adaptation to Roman life and his affair with the beautiful – and married – aristocratic woman Clodia Metelli. Along the way, the audience will meet such famous Romans as Julius Caesar and Cicero. Through it all, the comic romance tries to answer the question Catullus famously posed in one of his poems, “I hate and I love. Why do I do that?”

“It’s an honor to present the world premiere live performance of ‘A Thousand Kisses’ at ECU,” said Given. “I’ve been in constant contact with Mr. Raphael, the author. He is excited to see how his new play works in front of a live audience, and we’re excited to perform it. Every time we read it, we grow to love this very rich script more and more.”

Raphael is the author of nearly 100 novels, plays, nonfiction books, essays, translations and screenplays. He won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1965 for “Darling,” starring Julie Christie and was nominated again in 1967 for “Two for the Road,” featuring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. Raphael also wrote the screenplay for “Eyes Wide Shut,” Stanley Kubrick’s final film, which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

For additional information, contact Given at 252-328-6538, by email at or visit Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.