Program in Theater senior Jack Busche directs his new English translation of the classic Roman comedy Miles Gloriosus by Plautus, featuring senior Justin Ramos in the lead role of Palaestrio, in a performative staging that emphasizes the play’s physical comedy. Miles Gloriosus was an inspiration for the classic musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

An audience talkback led by Associate Professor Yelena Baraz of the Classics Department will follow the November 30 performance.

Free and open to the public, advance tickets encouraged. Tickets are available at Frist Campus Center ticket office, Roth Box Office at Lewis Arts complex or online at


Written around 205 B.C.E by Titus Maccius Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, translated as “The Swaggering Soldier” or “Vainglorious Soldier,” is the basis for the stock figure in comedies from Roman times to the present. The play is based on one or more Greek plays of unknown authorship and is a complicated farce in which a vain, lustful, and unintelligent soldier, Pyrgopolynices, is duped by his clever slave, Palaestrio, and a courtesan. The work was highly popular, and Pyrgopolynices became the prototype for many swaggering cowards of later comedies including the strutting Capitano of the commedia dell’arte of mid-16th-century Italy, Shakespeare’s Falstaff and Pistol, and the characters of many other Elizabethan playwrights, including Ben Jonson and Beaumont and Fletcher. The influence of Plautus’ Miles Gloriosus can be seen in the works of many other playwrights, from Corneille to George Bernard Shaw and Bertolt Brecht, and was among the plays by Plautus that inspired the musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.



Map + Directions

The Wallace Theater is located on the forum level of the Wallace Dance Building in the Lewis Arts complex.

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

Learn about access information on our Accessibility page »

+ Google Map

Presented By

  • Program in Theater