Panteion University Drama Center (Greece)


“Classical theatre is every good theatre. Brecht, Pinter are classic like Aeschylus”. These were the words of the great director Minoas Volanakis when he suggested the name “Center for Classical Drama and Spectacle”(CCDS) for the institution that operates at Panteion University since 1992.

The stage reading “Kein” of Byron directed by Volanakis was the first event organised by the centre. The aims of the Centre were to research the roots of theatrical creation and to present either classical or unpublished plays using both traditional and alternative acting methods. For this purpose it organised intercultural theatrical meetings and productions with top Indian and Cuban theatre companies (mixed workshops for greek and Indian classical drama and workshops dedicated to kalari –Indian version of Shaolin- and to the Cuban ritual Yoruba) and promoted MA and Phd researches.

The ancient Greek drama is by many ways at the centre of activities of CCDS( Centre for Classical Drama and Spectacle). This is evident from the organization of a series of congresses at Delphi, Thebes and elsewhere, as well as from the publication of the bilingual book “Tracing Dionysus, Ancient Greek Tragedy Plays”, (published by Sideris Publications in 2003) which includes analysis, list of shows , biogs of actors, directors and other contributors-associates, a rich unpublished material and a relevant CD-ROM.

The main occupation of CCDS with the ancient drama is practical and creative. Since 1994 the centre presented “Bacchae, the journey of Dionysus” and “Cyclop” of Euripides in Greece, Cyprus, France, Spain and Portugal. Workshops were also conducted for “The children of Antigone” which combined the translation of the play with a cd containing the choruses and which will be used for a new forthcoming show of the theatre piece.It is also worth noting that the centre converted a car-ferry of the military navy into a floating theatre twice (1996,1998) and presented ancient drama around the Mediterranean and reached as far as Lisboa.

During the last years the centre experiments in a new genre which belongs at the vanguard of the international theatre: the adaptation of ancient dramas into musicals. These experiments led to productions like “Oh my murderer” (Ach dolofone mou, 2007) and “ Burn it all” (Ola kafta) which are related to Oedipus Rex and Agamemnon of Aeschylus. The last play consists a protest against the acts of arson that took place in Greece in 2007.

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