Performances of ancient plays are rare enough, though I did see an amusing production of Euripides' Orestes in upstate New York last summer. Even rarer are those that make any attempt at authenticity, whether in costumes, sets, choreography, or (above all) language. There are surely at least several thousand people in the world who would like to see a Latin Plautus or Seneca, or an Attic Sophocles or Aristophanes,(1) and know the languages well enough to appreciate them without subtitles.(2) Of course, most of us will never have the pleasure, since classicists are scattered thinly around half the world (and even more thinly around the other half). Even if we do, chances of seeing any particular ancient play in one's lifetime are very slim.
Until recently, filming an amateur or university production of any play was difficult and expensive, and distributing the film to anyone except participants nearly impossible.(3) However, that has changed in the last few years. This is from Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, last May:
I've . . . become very interested in video. With my DVD burner fixed (well, replaced), I put together a music-video DVD of my brother's band. I edited some footage I had from his outdoor concert at "Volapalooza" into a passable music video and made a fancy DVD whose menu page featured a cool photo of the band (taken from their webpage) and an animated menu where the buttons showed short loops of video. It was surprisingly easy, and the results look great. I'm very happy with the Sonic Foundry Vegas Video 4 / DVD Architect bundle. Both programs work well, don't crash, and are easy and pretty intuitive to use. Plus, with the academic discount the bundle was only about $250, which is pretty cool since it lets you do things that would have required $250,000 worth of equipment not long ago.
Of course, Reynolds must have already owned a high-quality digital video camera and a computer with read/write DVD capability: the $250 was just for the editing software.
Whoever is the first to put on a competent production of an ancient play, film it, slap it on a DVD, and sell it on the web would earn the gratitude of all classicists, and most likely at least a few hundred dollars or Euros over and above expenses.(4) I would pay at least $20 for a well-reviewed DVD of a moderately 'authentic' production of any ancient play, sight unseen. Yes, even the Rhesus or Trinummus or Hercules Oetaeus. I would pay quite a bit more than that for a really excellent performance of a favorite play.(5)