The Epidaurus Lyceum – International Summer School of Ancient Drama successfully completed its inaugural year on 19 July.
The programme was realised under the auspices and support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, in collaboration with the Department of Theatre Studies, School of Fine Arts, University of the Peloponnese and the support of the Municipality of Epidaurus.
A brand-new educational institution operating under the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, the Lyceum welcomed 120 students of drama schools and theatre studies university departments, as well as young actors from around the world for its first annual theme “The Arrival of the Outsider.”
The Epidaurus Lyceum students attended a main five-hour practical workshop daily. In 2017, the teaching staff of the Lyceum for practical workshops consisted of the following: Phillip Zarrilli, a celebrated director, performer, and teacher of a technique for actors combining yoga and Asian martial arts; Simon Abkarian and Catherine Schaub Abkarian, core members of Ariane Mnouchkine’s legendary Théâtre du Soleil; Rosalba Torres Guerrero, one of the core members of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas dance group, along with dancer and choreographer Koen Augustijnen; Enrico Bonavera, actor and drama teacher, who has worked closely with Milan’s Piccolo Teatro; RootlessRoot, an ever-active dance company who has created the “Fighting Monkey” programme; Greek directors Martha Frintzila, Simos Kakalas, Sotiris Karamesinis, Kostantinos Ntellas, actress Rinio Kyriazi, and others.
The 2017 programme of studies consisted of theory workshops, lectures, and masterclasses, in accordance to this year’s overarching theme. The majority of these events were open to the public, in an effort to strengthen the Lyceum’s ties to the local community. Theory workshops, lectures and masterclasses were led by: Ioannis Petropoulos, Director of the Center of Hellenic Studies, Harvard University in Nafplio; Ioanna Papantoniou, set and costume designer and founder of the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation; Vassilis K. Lambrinoudakis, Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; Tian Mansha, actress, director, and Deputy Dean of the Chinese Opera College, Shanghai Theatre Academy; Efimia D. Karakantza, Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Literature, University of Patras; Georgina Kakoudaki, theatre educator and director; Miranda Terzopoulou, folklorist and ethnologist; Eleni Varopoulou, theatre researcher and translator; Maria Mikedaki, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre Studies, University of the Peloponnese; Elisabeth Kouki, archaeologist and psychoanalyst; Angeliki Spiropoulou, Associate Professor at the University of the Peloponnese and Research Fellow at the University of London; Maro Germanou, Gerasimos Kakolyris, Kanakis Leledakis, Marina Maropoulou, all of whom are tenured scholars at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Panteion University of Athens; Thanassis Hatzopoulos, psychoanalyst and writer.
Courses were conducted in open-air spaces, among which the Ancient Theatre and Stadium of Epidaurus, the courtyards of the Agia Marina and Agios Athanasios churches in Lygourio, as well as cultural sites throughout of the area.
Furthermore, the student body and teaching staff of the Epidaurus Lyceum participated in cultural excursions in Nafplio, Argos, and Mycenae, and attended performances and rehearsals at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus.
One of the standouts of this year’s programme was Enrico Bonavera’s performance The Secrets of the Harlequin. Boasting over 30 years of work in Commedia dell’arte, Bonavera, who also taught at the Lyceum, directed and acted in this solo performance that was held at the Lygourio High School courtyard and was attended, alongside Epidaurus Lyceum students, by residents of the area and representatives of local institutions and organisations. The programme culminated in Martha Frintzila’s performance The Bacchae: A Liturgy, held at the Stadium of Epidaurus on 18 July, with the participation of Epidaurus Lyceum students. The Greek Minister of Culture, Lydia Koniordou gave her greetings for this performance, which had an audience of over 500 people.
The Epidaurus Lyceum was realised thanks to the important contribution of the Municipality of Epidaurus, the Administration of the Peloponnese and Argolis, the Greek National Tourism Organisation and the Institut Français, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolis, the principals of the Junior High and High School of Lygourio and many local enterprises. The contribution of the 12 volunteering students from the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of the Peloponnese was also significantly important. The Epidaurus Lyceum is a member of the International Network of Ancient Drama.
In 2018, the theme of the Epidaurus Lyceum will be The City (Polis) and the Citizen. That year’s term will run in two cycles, the first between 2 and 16 July, the second from 18 July to 1 August.
For more information, please visit the Epidaurus Lyceum official webpage (http://greekfestival.gr/gr/epidaurus_lyceum) and its Facebook page: Epidaurus Lyceum.