Educating audiences in ancient drama


2018 Theme: Polis and the Citizen

For the second year in a row, the Epidaurus Lyceum activity "Educating audiences in ancient drama" will be organized by the Athens & Epidaurus Festival. The project will be held in collaboration with the Theatre Studies Department of the University of the Peloponnese, supported by the Municipality of Nafplio, under the auspices of the Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education in Peloponnese, with the cooperation of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolis. The programme aims to foster dialogue between the Epidaurus performances and the local community, as well as to boost the educational aspects of Athens & Epidaurus Festival.


The programme

The programme "Educating audiences in ancient drama" consists of short experiential theatrical workshops and lectures on dramatic texts/plays that are to be presented in Epidaurus. This year, the programme will incorporate two new activities, “Debates” and “Expansion of international audiences.”

These activities are meant both for local residents of all age groups, as well as for people from all over the world making educational trips in the area. Workshops are run by experienced theatre educators, theatre researchers, directors and other artists, supervised by Athens & Epidaurus Festival and the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of the Peloponnese. The activities are supervised by Georgina Kakoudaki, director and Athens & Epidaurus Festival co-curator for educational programmes; Christina Zoniou, who teaches acting at the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Peloponnese, and Angeliki Tsakona, theatre researcher and educator for the Creative Children workshop of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival.

Workshops, theatrical/educational activities and lectures will be structured around this year’s theme: Polis and the Citizen. The most suitable plays, those whose themes can be better adapted to the needs and goals of the individuals attending the programme and their education level will be selected out of all the Epidaurus Festival 2018 performances.


 Activity 1: “Dialogues”: Discussions and open workshops with artists performing in Epidaurus

Directors, choreographers, actors and other artists are already hard at work, preparing their performances for Epidaurus Festival 2018. A few months/weeks ahead of the Festival, taking place in summer, these artists will elaborate on the themes of the plays to be performed in Epidaurus through discussions and experiential workshops.

26 February: Vangelis Theodoropoulos
19 March: Kostas Filippoglou
16 April: Thanos Papakonstantinou
7 May: Konstantinos Ntellas
21 May: Martha Frintzila


Activity 2: “Playing with ancient drama”: Interventions in primary and secondary schools in Argolis

Workshops with students

An exciting journey into ancient drama from a contemporary perspective, engaging school students in the different ways ancient drama can be staged in our days. Selected theatre educators will adopt a student-centred and group-centred approach, with an emphasis on playing and the collective imaginativeness of the performing process. The programme is structured according to the needs and features of each age group.

Meetings will be held at selected schools, after school hours, and will be run by two theatre educators, with the participation of teachers and selected theatre educators from the Argolis area, already experienced in serving as motivators of similar projects.

Projects involving local Parent-Teacher Associations will also be scheduled, allowing parents/guardians to attend the programme, either by themselves or alongside their children/wards.


Reeducating teachers

Reeducation/retraining activities for teachers of all specializations, currently teaching at primary and secondary schools in Argolis who are interested in participating in the programme together with their class or with a group of students.


Central activity – Closing ceremony

An experiential theatrical workshop with selected activities drawn from the entire programme. Featuring students, teachers and artists who have participated in this year’s workshops.


(Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus, June 2018)


Activity 3: “Active audience – active citizens”: Adult education for local residents

Having closely followed the Epidaurus Festival and its ancient drama productions throughout the years, locals now have the opportunity to attend experiential theatre workshops and lectures free of charge. The longtime relationship between local residents and the Epidaurus performances is renewed and enriched, as residents gain insight in current theatrical aesthetic trends and urgent questions posed onstage by contemporary artists. Through experiential approaches and theoretical insight, the locals are transformed into active audiences, fully experiencing the poignant questions of these ancient texts, as well as those raised by contemporary artists. As active audience they are capable of critically engaging with the Festival performances and enjoying theatre with a new set of eyes.


Activity 4: “Expansion of international audience”

Each year, Epidaurus is visited by groups of school and university students and researchers from around the world, coming in contact with their object of studies: ancient drama. Often, visitors combine their trip with attendance of one or several performances at the Epidaurus theatres.

The Athens & Epidaurus Festival, in collaboration with the Theatre Studies Department of the University of the Peloponnese, launches a new activity aiming to expand the international audience of Epidaurus Festival and boost international visitors’ relationship with ancient drama.


Experiential theatre workshop (up to 30 participants)

This workshop encompasses theatre and educational activities aiming to creatively engage young audiences with the ancient drama performances they are about to watch. Lasting between 3 and 6 hours, this workshop will have a maximum capacity of 30 attendants and will be held in an outdoors/indoors venues near the Ancient Theatre in Epidaurus (possibly the Costume Museum).


Lectures on ancient drama and ancient theatre (over 30 participants)

Lectures by scholars and thinkers specializing in ancient drama (archaeologists, literature teachers, theatre researchers) introducing critical questions concerning ancient drama, with a contemporary, international, young audience in mind.


Guided tours in the Asklipion Epidaurus archaeological site

Guided tours, including site-specific experiential activities, narratives, games, according to the participants’ age group.


Activity 5: Educating audiences in ancient drama in Kalavryta

Held with huge success this winter in the Argolis area, where it saw the participation of 25 schools and local cultural institutions, the programme Educating audiences in ancient drama now travels all the way to Kalavryta. Starting on Sunday 22nd April, the programme will expand to include 48 school students from the town of Kalavryta, with Vasileios Spanos, principal of the Kalavryta Gymnasium and Lyceum, in charge of the initiative. The students will participate in theatre education workshops, with educators and collaborators of Athens & Epidaurus Festival Angeliki Tsakona and Giouli Douvou serving as motivators. In this 5-hour workshop, students will examine the content, main concepts, and characteristics of Aeschylus’  Prometheus Bound through a number of theatrical activities, on the occasion of the performance that is to be directed later this summer by Martha Frintzila and presented at the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus, 

The programme is realized in collaboration with Athens & Epidaurus Festival and the Theatre Studies Department, School of Fine Arts, University of the Peloponnese, and is run by Georgina Kakoudaki, Christina Zoniou, and Angeliki Tsakona.

Educating audiences in ancient Drama in Kalavryta is realized with the support of Mr. Giannis Michalidis, in memory of his late daughter, Sophia, and is part of the Epidaurus Lyceum Parallel Events.


Educating audiences in ancient drama 2017-2018

Duration: November 2017-August 2018


List of theatre educators

1. Lina Axiotaki, senior of Theatre Studies Department, University of the Peloponnese  

2. Aimilia Valvi, actor and theatre researcher

3. Alkistis Vasilakou, nursery teacher,  theatre educator and senior of Theatre Studies Department, University of the Peloponnese  

4. Eleni Drivakou, teacher, social worker and  senior of Theatre Studies Department, University of the Peloponnese  

5. Rita Zikidou, theatre researcher and educator

6. Christina Zoniou, member of the teaching staff of the Theatre Studies Department, University of the Peloponnese and acting coach 

7. Mara Kalantzi, nursery teacher and theatre researcher

8. Kalliopi Kalpodimou, Greek language teacher and theatre researcher

9. Elpida Komianou, actor,  senior of Theatre Studies Department, University of the Peloponnese   

10. Anastasia Kordari, nursery teacher, motivator, teacher at Public Institute of Vocational training, puppeteer

11. Maria Bakali, nursery teacher

12. Maria Bakopoulou, teacher, theatre researcher and educator

13. Elena Paparizou, teacher, author of children's literature and student of Theatre Studies Department, University of the Peloponnese 

14. Angeliki Tsakona, Greek language teacher, theatre researcher and educator

15. Despina Flevari, motivator and theatre educator


The programme is realized with the support of the Municipality of Nafplio