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Howard Rubenstein (born 1931) is an American physician, playwright and translator of classical Greek drama.[1]

Life and works

Rubenstein was born in Chicago and attended Lake View High School. He was a magna cum laude graduate of Carleton College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi and won the Noyes Prize for excellence in Greek studies. He received his MD degree from Harvard Medical School in 1957 and was a physician for over 40 years, most of them at Harvard University. For several years, he was a medical consultant for the State of California.

Now retired from the practice of medicine, he lives with his wife Judy in San Diego, where he writes and enjoys his grandchildren.

He has published translations of Agamemnon[2] by Aeschylus and The Trojan Women [3] by Euripides. His translations have been praised by the leading classical scholars P. E. Easterling, Regius Professor, Cambridge, and Oliver Taplin, Regius Professor, Oxford. The production of his adaptation of The Trojan Women won more Billie Awards (San Diego Playbill) than any other play of the 2000-1 San Diego theater season.

He has also published stage adaptations of Jean Racine's Britannicus[4] and the 20th century Yiddish dramatic poem, The Golem,[5] by H. Leivick.

He has also written an historical comic tragedy Tony and Cleo[6][7] and an epic poem in free verse based upon the books of Maccabees.[8]

Selected Works

  • Agamemnon: A play by Aeschylus; translated from the Greek into English with introduction, notes and synopsis, Granite Hills Press, 1998. ISBN 0-9638886-4-1
  • The Trojan Women: A play by Euripides; translated from the Greek into English and adapted in response to Aristophanes’ and Aristotle’s criticism, Granite Hills Press, 2002. ISBN 1-929468-05-9
  • Britannicus: A play in two acts, adapted from Jean Racine’s Britannicus, Granite Hills Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1-929468-14-0
  • The Golem: Man of Earth: A play in two acts based on historical events, a medieval Jewish legend, kabbalah, and the Yiddish dramatic poem by H. Leivick, Granite Hills Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-929468-12-6 ISBN 1-929468-12-1
  • Tony and Cleo: A play in two acts, Granite Hills Press, 2008. ISBN 978-1-929468-13-3
  • Maccabee: An epic poem in free verse based upon the books of Maccabees, Granite Hills Press, 2004.ISBN 1929468083
  • Becoming Free: A biblically oriented Haggadah for Passover: the permanent relevance of the ancient lesson (with Judith S. Rubenstein) Granite Hills Press,1993. ISBN 0-9638886-0-9


  1. ^ Howard Rubenstein in The Playwrights Database
  2. ^ Fiona Macintosh, Pantelis Michelakis, Edith Hall, and Oliver Taplin, Agamemnon in Performance 458 BC to AD 2004, Oxford University Press, USA. 2006 pp.416, 430 ISBN 0-19-926351-5 ISBN 978-0199263516
  3. ^ J. Michael Walton, Found in Translation: Greek Drama in English, Cambridge University Press, 2006 ISBN 978-0-521-86110-6 ISBN 0521861101
  4. ^ Mark Gabrish Conlon, "Britannicus: Neo-Classical Masterpiece," Zengers Newsmagazine, 2008 [1]
  5. ^ ArtsDig National Arts Digest, "The World Premiere of The Golem: Man of Earth" [2]
  6. ^ Jean Lowerison, "An American classic, two satires and ‘Tony & Cleo’", GayLesbianTimes, 14 Feb. 2008 [3]
  7. ^ Frankie Moran, "Tony and Cleo at 6th @ Penn Theatre", San Diego Arts [4]
  8. ^ "Maccabee: an Epic in Free Verse", (Book Review), Wisconsin Bookwatch, January 1, 2005 [5]