Dr Maria Mikedaki was born in Piraeus. She graduated from the Faculty of History and Archaeology of the University of Athens (Department of Archaeology and History of Art). She holds a master’s degree (Μ.Α.) and a PhD in Classical Archaeology (with an emphasis on ancient Greek theatre) from the University of Vienna, Austria.
As an archaeologist, she participated in various excavations in Greece and Cyprus and worked in the Hellenic Ministry of Culture (Directorate of Byzantine and Postbyzantine Monuments, Epigraphical Museum) and in the Archaeological Society at Athens. She also participated in four research programs, supervised by the Academy of Athens, the Archaeological Society at Athens, and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Department of Theatre Studies).
In 2009 she became a Lecturer in Ancient Greek Theatre at the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of the Peloponnese and in 2016 she became Assistant Professor at the same Department. She has previously taught at the University of Patras (Department of Theatre Studies, 2005-2006). Her research work focuses on Ancient Theatre, Architecture, Scene Painting (Scenography), Masks and Costumes of the Ancient Theatre, as well as on Roman Boeotia. She has published in Greek and international refereed journals and conference proceedings. Her monograph, entitled, The painted backdrops of the Hellenistic Theatre (in Greek), was published by Filntisi editions in 2015.
Dr Mikedaki is a member of the Archaeological Society at Athens.
Form and function of the ancient Greek theater
The ancient Greek theater was a large open-air place used for dramatic and musical contests, often in conjunction with a festival or other ritual event. Moreover, it was the venue for general gatherings and political meetings and sometimes it was even used as court of law. This multipurpose structure was always arranged on the slope of a hill and consisted of three distinct parts: the seating area (cavea or koilon), the performance space (orchestra) and the stage building (skene). Most likely, the audience of the Classical theater sat on wooden benches, which were called ikria, or on rectilinear seats cut from the rock of the hillside. On the contrary, the koilon of the Hellenistic theater was semicircular in shape, like the one we see at the theatre in the sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus. Possible explanations for the modification from rectilinear to semicircular architectural form will be discussed. Furthermore, special mention will be made of the stage machinery which was used to achieve “special effects” in theatrical productions.