‘Communal Hellenism’ and Ancient Drama Performances (1975-1995)

Research Team: Efthymios Kaltsounas, Tonia Karaoglou, Natalie Minioti
Academic Advisor: Eleni Papazoglou, Associate Professor

June 2018 – February 2020

The programme explored the reception of Antiquity in Greece from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s (from the Metapolitefsi to the accession to the EEC / EU, and from there to the aftermath of the ‘Macedonian’). Its main focus was on the journalistic and critical reception of the performances of ancient drama, which in this period are multiplying and conquering the mass audience. Performances and newspaper/magazine publications decisively shape the spectators image and knowledge of Antiquity – what can be defined as “Common Hellenism”.

The programme cataloged theatrical reviews and other articles related to ancient drama performances that appeared during the period in question. Digitized newspaper/magazine publications are presented in a Free Access Database (http://www.thea.auth.gr/koinochristi-archaiognosia-db/).

In the period in question, the invocation of Antiquity as a component of national political and cultural identity marks a dynamic curve (relative decline in the Metapolitefsi, revitalization and reinterpretation after joining the EEC and, subsequently, after the remodelling of the Balkan map). The tensions observed are directly reflected in the production of ancient drama performances. Next to and in parallel with the neoclassical performances, which continue to attract large audiences, others begin to appear that utilize elements of the Greek folklore culture, at first experimentally, but rapidly and in productions addressed to the mass audience attending the ‘institutional’ Epidauria. In both cases, the performances of ancient drama become a vehicle for the dissemination of the depictions of Antiquity that they serve.

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