This is the third consecutive year during which, in the context of its educational objectives, the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, puts into effect the project “Ancient Greek Drama: Influences and Contemporary Approaches”, which has been included by the Ministry of Culture and Sports in the 2007-2013 NSRF and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the “ATTICA” Regional Operational Program – NSRF 2007-2013.
With this initiative, and through the fertile and creative collaboration with distinguished foreign Universities, the Foundation pursues and methodically cultivates the establishment of an international network for the research, study and teaching of ancient Greek drama in the city where Theatre was born. At the same time, it provides a hospitable space and a free podium for the communication and dialogue among researchers and creators of varying theoretical backgrounds, aesthetic approaches and pursuits, whilst granting numerous youths, students, artists and scientists the opportunity to broaden their horizons, their knowledge and aptitudes through seminars and workshops that are administered by distinguished professors and personalities of the industry, all offered for free, even in the current financially challenged environment.
Thus, the “Ancient Greek Drama: Influences and Contemporary Approaches” program creates the foundation for a “conversation” between the present and the past, art and science, as well as for a true and open dialogue between different cultures and traditions, which recognizes and values the wealth that this multiformity and diversity constitute. This is exceptionally important and necessary, if we wish to keep alive and timely the global educational and spiritually stimulating and elating role of theatre and dramatic art in the modern globalized and multi-cultural society.
In this Program’s context, acknowledged academics, theatrical creators and artists attain and present new readings and interpretive approaches of Ancient Greek Drama, which address the particularities and respond to the needs of the 21st century audience. New scientific knowledge, artistic readings, and contemporary expressive and technical means are combined towards the renewed intake, interpretation and holistic cognitive and aesthetic experience of ancient plays and their thematic agendas. And all this takes place here, in Athens, highlighting the city as a point of reference for the research, study and “teaching” of ancient drama, in both the original and modern meaning of the term.
With great joy, this September we welcome to Athens the Theatre Studies department of the internationally acclaimed Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is to present at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation the play Lysistrata-X. It is an especially interesting modern choreodrama combining multimedia and video performance, inspired by Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata”. The show is enveloped by a seminar and workshops that will be administered by distinguished instructors of the Hebrew University. They draw their topics from important stagings and directors of global theatre, but also from the research of the common attributes and differences between ancient drama and the various modern theatrical traditions and practices from around the world.
Therefore, we await this year’s program with great interest, and also with the absolute conviction that the artistic level of the performances, as well as the academic level of the workshops and seminars will be as high as that of the previous two years. So, in advance, we offer the organizers and the participants alike our most sincere congratulations and our heartfelt wishes.
Dr Lina Mendoni
Ministry of Culture and Sports