Looking Back to Greece: Exiles in the Ancient World


I:  "I do not think there is any other country in the world," Thodoros Kritikos, the university professor and drama reviewer, has recently pointed out, " that honors the classics with so many and also such miserable productions as [Greece]. ...In our country the daily and friendly communion with the leading writers of ...theatre has familiarized us so much with them that we call them by their first name and pat them on the back" (Kritikos 16.4.1987: 152).  Kritikos obviously exaggerates.  Yet his comments, with their characteristic spleen, provide a direct entry into the concerns of this paper.
It is true that in the last fifteen years there have been more revivals of ancient Greek drama than in any comparable period of our history, and yet, quality aside, no age has been less sure about what a "proper" revival of ancient drama, and particularly tragedy, is.  Seldom has the theatre-goer been burdened by so many competing claims.  The positions taken by practitioners and critics have thrown the genre into a flurry of controversy that serves only to generate further questions that call forth still more manifestoes.  Practitioners, for their part, argue that the Greek classical heritage has run its logocentric course and that we must re-examine the appropriateness of traditional dramatic forms to our contemporary experience (Doufexis 12.4.88: 20).  We can no longer act, they say, as if time has done no more than cover the text with "layers of dust" which one cleans up so as to make it respectable again. Nor can we enclose ourselves within the privilege of a highly civilized minority and make privileged isolation thematic.  We have to find a way of mediating between theatrical culture and the public as a whole, which means approaching classical drama within a broader and everchanging cultural system.
Although contemporary Greek critics cannot be grouped under any one heading, either aesthetically or professionally -- some teach in universities, others write poetry, others translate or work for the radio or review other arts as well, and others come from different ideological camps or belong to different generations --they appear relatively cohesive when the subject under discussion is ancient drama and its revival.  While they generally agree that ancient drama is not an elitist art and that it should be carefully revived to accommodate, among other things, the tensions and contradictions of our postmodern times, they disagree with the way Greek and foreign artists have, thus far, pursued their goal.  The overwhelming feeling seems to be that the source of evil that plagues the productions of ancient drama in contemporary Greece is crude commercialization, the ascendancy of the director and the other practitioners to a superstar status and the hasty appropriation of foreign models.
II:  Since 1974, critics claim, when real money and indiscriminate institutional funding appeared in the field, ancient drama has been perceived both by Greek society and by many of its artists, mostly as a means for individuals to gain success as opposed to an end in and for itself.  Very few of its devotees, critics charge, have really bothered to devote their lives to this theatre.  Most of them show up in the summer, when the regular season is over, and mount "cute" artifacts devised for mass consumption, meant to offer instant satisfaction of the most superficial aesthetic needs or whims of a wide public. Those involved in the revival of ancient drama, Greek critics maintain, suffer from an "omnivorous theatrical syndrome"that "surpasses every bacchic irresponsibility" (Frangopoulos 1988:575).  "They want to grasp everything and respect nothing," Georgousopoulos, the most influential critic of the country, angrily contends: "They have gone berserk ...They have courage that cannot be distinguished from audacity" (Georgousopoulos 7.7.1986:27). How far can a practitioner go, critics wonder, without sacrificing the integrity of the text? How far is not too far?  Artists should be reminded, maintains Lygizos, a critic whose distaste for modern revivals has remained consistent through the years, that they are "the vehicles (organum) for the transmission of the meanings and messages of the author.  The author legislates and the artist interprets."  And if  he is an ingenious interpreter, he will probably equal the original vision, but never surpass it.  No one can touch, he contends, "the deepest essence of tragedy; only the form can be re-interpreted" (Lygizos 1984:10).  The classics, the argument goes, for better or worse, gave us with their work a final version of their understanding of the world and its myths. Whoever questions this understanding has to propose another one in a different form; but whoever undermines it is "dishonest" (Georgousopoulos 30.6.1986:25).  After all, Prof. Kritikos contends, "classical plays are not knickers to be stretched or shrunk indefinitely, depending on the size of the leg" or the size of the market.  They are by-products of a particular epoch, a particular artistic use.  "They are sensitive organisms that fall apart if you exercise violence on them" (Kritikos 15.8.2986:102).  Directors have to learn, critics assert, to look at the classical text as an organic whole, complete within itself and with each part related to every other.  Their guiding principle must be the voice (phone) of the first creator (rather than the voice of the box office or of instantaneous fame), for it is there that the deepest meaning of the text lies.  His word is all we have, and that we must treasure in both our translations and in our productions (Andronikos 27.8.1989:54).
Without rejecting performance or relegating it to a minor status, critics warn against the replacement of the proto-text by either alien or external elements.  All ideas, forms and values are not necessarily wrong, the argument goes, because we have learned them from our predecessors.  Isn't the reality, Lignadis wonders, of, say The Persians or Bacchae similar to ours?  How much do we differ from their ideas of siege, famine, genocide, the fate of the defeated?  Ancient discourse, the same critic argues, has perfected itself to the point that it has become and a "living organism" (the Aristotelian zoon).  We cannot develop indiscriminately any point of view only to show our freedom from all constraints.  In our writing and in our reading, the critic concludes, we are bound to encounter an archival network that governs (or should govern) to a large degree, our practice. After all, we are Greeks and we partake of our tradition (Lignadis 1988: 185-190).  That does not mean, of course, the advocates of valid interpretations argue, that we must be "faithful" to the degree of using performance merely as translation of the playscript to the stage.  Classical plays, like words in a poem, do not "translate" in a one-to-one relationship of reference.  In order to function, artists must carefully "retranslate" them into  the new idiom, renaming principles of practice where appropriate, but especially naming indigenous principles of practice -- based on language, temperament, local rhythms and traditions -- applying those to explicate their practice.  But whatever mise-en-scene practitioners devise for the needs of their production, they have to make sure, critics warn, that they do justice to the essence of tragedy, which is to bring us face to face with the depths of human pain, the "signified already there" out of which human life molds itself.  Eliminating the "tyranny" of this truth, is like eliminating everything the text stands for.  It is like using the set without its foundations.  By actively invading the autonomy of the text, its visual concepts, its inner rhythms, its emotional tensions and structural arrangements, by a new and insubordinate commentary that puts in question all the attributes of dramatic meaning, we not only deceive the public that goes to see a classical play, but we also stretch the text beyond its limits.  We give the impression that classical playwriting is faulty in its perception of life and theatre and that one can do anything with it.  This deconstructive practice, critics maintain, might occasionally produce good theatre, but not necessarily tragedy.  The production will be a departure from the original, in which case we have a new play that should be interpreted differently.   
III: What puzzles and frequently enrages Greek critics is the ease with which Greek practitioners imitate theatrical models developed by various cultures as diverse as the Japanese, the American, the German or the French.  Instead of turning to Greek culture for inspiration, artists sell out their legacy in order to copy models that are most of the time inappropriate.  In fact, critics charge, Greek artists have committed "adultery" so many times that they have forgotten where their own bed is: they have forgotten, as the director Solomos put the case, that it is their "duty" to open the foreigners' eyes "instead of  losing ours in order to copy them."  As long as "we copy foreign artists," the same director asserts, "we will continue to exhibit our culture in the front window of our tourist shop... .  We do not love our field.  We love easy profit.  We import ideas, innovations and impressions which we cover with a layer of shadow theatre and oriental music and sell them as products made in Greece.  And this is no different from exposing the country to international ridicule" (Solomos 1986: 20,18).
A still prevailing view among local critics is that of ancient drama as mainly a "Greek affair".  Their contention is that ancient art cannot be easily transported, let alone absorbed, into the international dramatic repertoire.  Only the technique travels; tradition stays within its own country.  And that explains, according to them, why foreign practitioners are more daring with their transcultural experiments than their Greek counterparts.  After all, for non-Greeks ancient drama is a neutral ground that they take for granted.  Whenever they resort to it, it is simply for practical reasons.  They are hardly interested in preserving any continuities or unities.  Nor are they interested in preserving anything Greek in it.  Greece is but a memory, a mask, a pretext for something else.  Their major concern is how to increase the readability of the plays, how to give them a certain notion of "hominess" and thus enable their spectators to flesh out the old structures by a series of formal rules that derive from their native experience  (Varopoulou 22.5.1988:60).
So to find the "code" of Greek theatre, Georgousopoulos declares, "one should risk a dive into the innermost layers of its tradition," rather than seek refuge to either principles of impressionism or principle of undigested interculturalism.  The confrontation of dramatic text and performance should not be the haphazard and thoughtless assembly of heterogeneous material in the name of modernization, but a carefully considered system of "colossal analogies and associations" that will lead to a fresh and synthetic reading of the old text, a reading based as much as possible on the peculiarities and continuities of Greek culture and its received patterns (Georgousopoulos 1984:188; also 8.8.1989:23).  Where else can Greek artists find, the same critic wonders, better material for the revival of tragedy than in the Greek Orthodox Church, the only topos that still resembles, with its semi-choruses, its exits and entrances, its divine drama and its crowd of participating (and not judging) onlookers, the workings of the old theatre?  If this tradition is not enough, he concludes, for a sound revival of ancient tragedy, then "we better give up our efforts and continue concocting our beautiful performance post cards" (Georgousopoulos 1984:28).  The pseudo imitations of foreign models, be it Kabuki techniques, Brechtian techniques or Hollywood spectacular effects, critics claim, "distort the foundations of the poetics of Greek drama" (Lygizos 1984:18 19).  Just like soda water, they help our digestion, and the tourists' digestion after a gargantual meal at a local taverna.
IV: This rage that characterizes the ideas of Greek critics, although farfetched sometimes,  is to a certain extent understandable.  After all, contemporary practice has defied many accepted premises of what we have come to expect from the revival of ancient drama, premises derived primarily from the conventions of a long logocentric tradition, that have so come to dominate our view of ancient stage that it is still difficult for critics to endorse strategies that question long tested values and codes. This paradigm as regards the recent revivals of ancient drama could be summarized as follows:  1) Classical drama is a treasure house of experience, if not form, that can still inspire our contemporary life.  It contains elements of truth about human life that should be respected at all cost.  It cannot be treated as a container into which anyone can pour his/her precious cultural content.  2) A sound revival of ancient drama requires, above all, a close reading of the text and its formal attributes. The stage cannot be used as the topos to fill in with the sounds of the director's tricks and vanity.  Nor can it be used as an alibi for a tentative show of smartness.  3)  The non verbal channels that Greek and foreign practitioners use so extensively is nothing more than too much showing that tells very little; it is an index to our indifference to meaning that allows technique to triumph over imagination.  And if technique is everything and if telling impossible, why do the classics at all, whose primary goal is to address the mind rather than the eye?  4)  Blindly to follow foreign models is like saying that there is a lack of auto-reflection from within.  The challenge to contemporary Greeks is to derive principles of theatrical practice primarily from the Greek tradition itself as defined in the idiom of 2500 years of dramatic history and also in the idiom which constitutes the language of modern Greece.  Only an in depth investigation of the fundamental manifestations (synchronic and diachronic) of Greek folk and religious culture can lead to a sound aesthetic for the revival of ancient drama and to a more constructive incorporation of international scholarship.  And 5) last, but not least, it is the responsibility of the  State, as Prof. Andronikos says, to put an end to the vandalization of the classics by refusing to sponsor people who "shamelessly" torture with their "insane alchemies" the "unfortunate body" of Greece's most precious legacy which, unlike other cultural icons ( the Parthenon, for example), is left totally unprotected and thus an easy prey in the hands of various experts (Andronikos 27.8.1989: 54).  We want people "who have vision, an opinion and a thesis," Georgousopoulos asserts; "not people who resort to superfluities to cover the nakedness within" (Georgousopoulos 20.7.1987: 23). In this way, as Angelos Terzakis once wrote, echoing Matthew Arnold, "charlatanism shall have no entrance" (Terzakis 6.4.1954).
V: Thus far I have barely outlined a sizable body of criticism. I have ignored vital distinctions: for instance I have said nothing about the contribution of contemporary critics and practitioners to our better understanding of ancient drama.  I have deliberately placed by emphasis on the readings of mainstream critics simply because they are the ones who, through their access to academia, course syllabi, literary anthologies, publishing houses, newspapers, radio and television programs, the national drama schools and the various festivals and committees, directly affect the people's assumptions about what kind of person can be a literary genius, what the role of the director vis-a-vis the classical text could be, what kinds of subjects great dramatic literature can discuss, their notions of who can be a hero and who cannot, notions of what constitutes significant activity or a significant issue and so on.  At the same time however, it would be very difficult to argue that any logos can be so absolute as to cover the whole spectrum of cultural activity in any country, and it is certainly not the case in contemporary Greece.  Admittedly, there has been, in the last few years, an increasing interest in the social context of ancient art by younger scholars (especially Greek-Americans) and artists familiar with international trends and the whole debate over the revival of the classics (Patsalidis 1989: 68-78).  There is of course little agreement as to what precisely might constitute this radical shift of perspectives.  But the mere emergence of this issue -- or, better, of this new framework for asking questions about the revival of ancient drama, its modes, and its possible manifestations -- confronts Greek critics and artists with a major and puzzling cultural phenomenon that they will soon have to deal with.  After all, the intercultural reality of the European Common Market does not leave much choice.  These performances from Europe and the rest of the world, as Varopoulou remarks, should be a signal for everyone to stop and think about what "revival" means and where ancient drama is heading (Varopoulou 27.3.1988: 60).
As I have argued elsewhere, mainstream Greek criticism and practice have reached a point where they must discuss the revival of the classics in their homeland more systematically and on different grounds (Patsalidis 1989:68-70).  This not to say that the prevailing formalist, text-oriented approaches, with their emphasis upon the internal attributes of the artwork (style, rules, conventions, thematics, semiotic codes, intertextuality) should be dismissed, unless of course one wishes to deny all value for formal interpretations.  Nor is to say that the overall judgments and fears of Greek critics and many practitioners are totally baseless.  We are, indeed, disturbed by the crude commercializing of the classics and the gradual and unchecked penetration of culture by the ethos of the market, as we are all concerned about the cheap experimentation of many self-proclaimed conquistadors of ancient drama.  After all, not all experiments have been successful, nor have they been truly imaginative.  Yet, the point I try to make here is that thinking of classical theatre and the possibilities of its revival solely in terms of Aristotle's poetics, or in terms of its "Greekness", its eternal verity, its unmediated spirit and its aesthetic closure is not enough.  What I sense is needed now is a critique of issues, of values and of social conditions that shape stage discourse, in other words, an opening up to influences and new areas of practical and critical interest (history, anthropology, ideology, interculturalism) that would not only furnish new directions about how to approach the sacred status of the past but would also help define its present utility and its present position vis-a-vis mass culture.  Whether we like it or not we cannot insulate "true" art from the market in order to resist its commercialization, in the same way that we cannot ignore the fact that ancient drama, like all drama, is, among other things, a product directly related to more collective forms of mentality and to systems of power that determine/d its significance.  From my perspective this means that to successfully mediate between ancient art and the public as a whole we must first find a way to interrogate and investigate our materials (content, stylistic and linguistic practices, racial and gender relations) and then proceed to find analogies in our systems of power and performance.  And this is what Yiannis Kakleas attempted to do with his "heavy metal" version of Aristophanes' Frogs (1990). Instead of providing us with the standard "folk version" of the play with its shadow theatre and commedia dell'arte techniques, Kakleas used the text in order to criticize the state of affairs of our rapidly decaying urban civilization.  To do so he contextualized its aesthetics and ideology in a specifically intercultural experience where Dionysus was played as a stoned punk, Hercules as a ridiculous beach boy, the doorkeeper Aeacus as a paraplegic punk in a wheelchair, and the chorus of Frogs and Muses as Vampires and Amazons in leather pants, high heeled boots and chains dangling around their necks.  For their playing area he devised a claustrophobic environment that resembled a devastated German military headquarters at the end of the second world war and a deserted Castle of Count Dracula.  For two hours the spectators were mercilessly "bombarded" by images, sounds and improbable forms coming directly from the world of video clips, soap operas, horror films, rock music and the underground drug culture.  And if the curtain calls are any evidence of a successful performance, then there is no doubt that Kakleas' reading reached his audience.  By localizing his text in time and place, through carefully selected spatial and audio-visual analogies, Kakleas immersed it in a sociological matrix that domesticated it and thus made it more accessible to the contemporary spectator.
If seeing a familiar play in a familiar code is an exercise in recognition, then seeing a familiar play in an unfamiliar code is an exercise in cultural transformation.  And that is the case of Thodoros Terzopoulos' production of Euripides' Bacchae (1986).  Terzopoulos, known for his adventurous projects and his fascination with such Eastern forms as Bunkaru and Kabuki, took Euripides' text and opened it up to a non-Western culture (the Japanese), in order to celebrate its inherent theatricality and at the same time experiment with the possibilities of a sex-free, age-free and race-free theatre.  Clearly the Bacchae's delirium perfectly fit his purpose.  With a small cast of five actors and actresses Terzopoulos wove an elliptical stage syntax (a mixture of ancient and modern Greek, of Western and Eastern codes), full of unexpected connections and points of view, whose ultimate goal was to convey the ecstasy of stage transformation. To do away with the text's complete sentence, complete plot and complete character --all the hallmarks of the rage for closure-- Terzopoulos refracted each speech through a multi-vocal, multi-cultural prism that defeated any attempt to identify a coherent, unified speaker.  The result was a pluralistic subject that could not be reduced to representing either male or female.  And why not, say the critics echoing the director.  Don't we all live in a fragmented world where everybody craves for power and ecstasy? There are so many opposite perspectives from which one can view the same event.  We can no longer share a consensus of assumptions to evaluate a situation.  Dionysus is in everybody. And so is Pentheas.  Victimizer and victimized share the same ecriture.
Short of a panoramic interpretation of ancient cultural history, what these and other recent efforts offer* is precisely this kind of anxiety to move on, to explore new things in the light of new configurations in the world of new markets, new theories and new technologies.  What permeates their work is the feeling that what the classics convey, among other things, is not just an aesthetic but also an ideology that defines and extends its authority or power over others (including art).  With this hypothesis as their point of departure they re-situate their text in the sociocultural sites of its production, in order to understand how this text was produced in its unique historical specificity, and then proceed to relocate its analogical significance in our own socio-cultural milieu.
VI.:  This analysis could greatly be expanded, but these suggestions must suffice.  In this essay I have not spoken of changes in the form and tone of dramatic revivals through fifteen years of rather turbulent history.  Furthermore, I have not spoken of the impact of the political situation on these attempts.  What I hope I have accomplished, nonetheless, is to have given concrete enough form to the fears of some of our best known critics about the fate of ancient drama in  a fast changing Greek reality.  What expression these fears take in the future, when the issues raised by the intense theoretical and practical debate that is going on now in Europe and the U.S can no longer be ignored or marginalized, remains to be seen.  For the time being I sense, at least in the best practical and theoretical work, the groundwork for future readings.


Wikipedia gives us this definition of exile: to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country), while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return. Although most commonly used to describe an individual situation, the term is also used for groups (especially ethnic or national groups), or for an entire government. 
Terms such as diaspora and refugee describe group exile, both voluntary and forced, and government in exile describes a government of a country that has been forced to relocate and argue its legitimacy from outside that country. Exile can also be a self-imposed departure from one's homeland. Self-exile is often depicted as a form of protest by the person that claims it to avoid persecution or legal matters (such as tax or criminal allegations), an act of shame or repentance, or isolating oneself to be able to devote time to a particular objective.

Human history is full of exiles and so is theatre. Hamlet and Lear in Shakespeare, Karl Moor in Schiller’s Robbers, Grusha in Brecht’s the Caucasian Chalk Circle, the Armenian immigrant family in Kalinoski’s Beast on the Moon, the old lady in Durrenmatt’s Visit, not to mention the numerous examples we get from the classics (Medea, Oedipus, Iphighenia, among others). To understand the popularity of this idea in ancient Greek drama, one has to understand the importance of belonging, of having a place to call your own.[2] As Boedeker & Raaflaub tell us, some of the mythical material used, “focusing on Athenians’ selfless dedication to helping the oppressed and saving their fellow Hellenes from barbarian onslaught or tyrannical injustice … formed an essential component of Athens; self-presentation and imperial ideology. Further, these same themes … also served as serious arguments in foreign policy debates and diplomatic exchanges” (2005: 114).


Myth was a recognizable medium that helped Athenians shape their identity and strengthen their sense of space. To be forced to leave the city-state (the home) and be exposed without the protection of government (laws), friends and family, was seen as a fate worse than death; an idea beautifully dramatized by Aeschylus in The Suppliants, the oldest extant text in drama history (possibly 463 B.C), the first part of an incomplete trilogy (the other two parts being Aegyptii and Danaides), and the first play ever written that deals with the issue of international justice, an issue inspired by the great social changes taking place in Athens, where political powers shifted from the traditional Areopagus Council to the Council of 500, the assembly and the law courts, “that is, to bodies that represented the demos as a whole. Subsequent reforms further facilitated popular participation in politics, and simultaneously made citizenship more exclusive” (Boedeker & Raaflaub 2005: 115).

The play tells us the story of the fifty virginal Danaids who, to avoid marrying against their wishes, flee Egypt and seek refuge in Argos, the homeland of their ancestress Io, where they ask for king Pelasgus' protection.[3] Confronted by the unexpected geographical (re)location of the daughters of Danaus ―who will later on succeed him as king of Argos― the king hesitates, for he knows that if Argos gives them sanctuary, the sons of Aegyptus and all their followers will attack the city and then his fellow citizens will tell him that he "destroyed Argos for the sake of foreigners" (l. 402). Thus, a seemingly simple refugee case, turns out to be a very complicated ethical, political and military matter. Aeschylus is obviously concerned about the exercise of power: Where does it reside? In law, in the people, in mutual accord, in sweet persuasion [petho], in domination, brutal violence, in marriage (Vernant 1981: 15)? To what extent are the people's comments true when they tell their King (their anax) that he is "the State," the "unquestioned ruler" that fears "no vote" (l. 72-4)? What is the role of reason in decision-taking and in ruling?

Issues of nationality, religion, body politics, love and sexuality, society and individual decision are all inextricably interwoven. For example, the women's decision to run away may be an affair of the family, but, as it turns out, the state also becomes involved. By offering them sanctuary, Pelasgus brings them inside the polis, just as marriage brings them inside their husband's house. As the husbands take on the role of guardians, the King and his citizens are expected to guarantee the Danaids' protection (Zeitlin 1996: 136-42), which is more easily said than done. The Danaids, on their part, know very well their rights and the strength of their position. They claim four things to convince the king to grant them political asylum. a) The aspiring grooms are crude and voluptuous (they characterize their behavior as “hubris,” l. 30, 89, 104), b) they do not want to get married against their will (they wish to maintain their freedom, l. 227-8), c) being descendants of the Argive Io, gives them the right to ask for protection and d) being under the protection of Zeus Hikesios, they are entitled to an asylum.


The Danaids are so obsessed by their struggle that they appear to have “no clear idea of political responsibility,” as Burian soundly observes (2007: 206). What makes things more complicated is that their views about political power are radically different from those they encounter in Argos. They think that Pelasgus’ power is lacking only compared to Zeus. Line 425 makes it very clear: “O you who hold all the power in this land”. With this in mind, it is only natural that they expect him to behave autocratically, like any eastern monarch. “You are the state, you are the people” (l. 170), they tell him, also reminding him that he can rule “by the sole vote of his will” (l. 327). His hesitation is beyond their comprehension. “…I am at a loss, and fear seizes my heart” (l. 329), the King confesses, thus revealing a mentality totally different to that of the suppliants. As a statesman he has to examine all possibilities and then try and reconcile two seemingly irreconcilable claims. The first is the demand of the suppliants and the other the safety of the citizens. The wrong decision could turn people against him, accusing him of destroying the city to honor some foreigners. "What can I do?," he wonders, "I fear either to act, or not to act" (l. 379). He understands the gravity of the situation. He does not know whether to honor the right of sanctuary even at the cost of war, or to reject his suppliants and see the altars of his gods polluted with their blood. In other words, the dramatic weight here does not fall on the achievement of protection, as Burian rightly argues, but rather on the way in which the tragic choice is made (2007: 206). To this end the King has to clarify a number of pressing political and diplomatic issues (Bakonicola 1994,2004).

a) Are these women really relatives of the people of Argos? And if yes, can they prove it? For if they prove it the rejection of their plea becomes all the more difficult. The Argives wouldn’t refuse to protect their kins who are on the run. That would be twice as immoral (refusing asylum to a suppliant who also happens to be a relative).

b) Is the aversion they feel for this marriage in accordance with human nature? That is, do they object to the sons of Aegyptus in particular or do they reject sexuality and marriage altogether (an unnatural objection to men and marriage)?

c) Is their flight from Egypt connected to any unlawful act? Did they do something wrong from which they are running away? For if yes, granting asylum would be a wrong decision.

d) According to Egyptian laws, do the Aegyptiates, as their closest kins, have these women under their legal custody? In such a case, no city can provide them shelter.

e) If granting an asylum is against inter-state relations (Egypt/Greece), shouldn’t the king take into consideration the unwelcome consequences of such a decision? Who can say that the Egyptians will not take their revenge? In brief, does the protection of these women carry too much price for the Argives (war with immense casualties)?

The pressure they put on him turns an otherwise “proud autocrat to a constitutional monarch” (Burian 2007: 204). From “assertions of almost unlimited power there is a progression “to a recognition of the limitations on its exercise,” Burian states (2007: 203). As a king he may have the power, yet he is unwilling to exercise it without popular consent. It is the first time ever that there is any reference to a "popular government," to people as the rulers of the polis. The principle behind it is that those affected by the decision should also decide on what is to be done:[4] “If the city as a whole is defiled, let the people work out a cure together” (l. 365-66). And the community gets involved and unanimously decides in favour of the suppliants (l. 605-24). The asylum establishes holy bonds between the benefactor and the suppliant. It binds both sides for generations to come.

It is apparent that nothing in the way Aeschylus treated the myth is morally or ethically one-sided, even within the limits of a play. His concern touches upon issues of cultural, religious and ethical values, of gender roles, sexual instincts, natural laws. He talks about principles of justice, practices, rights and obligations of the suppliants, respect of human life. The issue of cultural kinship is developed in the play according to codes shared by all sides (Bakonicola 1994: 36) and not only just by those who are in power. Anyone affected by his decision has a say in the procedure (l. 336-67, 483-85).


This issue raised with such finesse by Aeschylus’ text, is one of the most serious statements about a common feeling of justice and also about humanism in the field of political ethos in ancient times. Pelasgus’ hesitation is not a sign of weakness but “rather of swift and lucid comprehension of the need to decide between dreadful evils” (Burian 2007: 205). His dilemma is the dilemma of a statesman. As Boedeker and Raaflaub observe, “in a time of rapid and fundamental social and economic change, when distinctions between citizens and non-citizens became blurred in many spheres, it seemed all the more important to emphasize the citizens’ share in political power, government, and responsibility” (2005: 116).

The poet in this way made the spectators conscious of their civic responsibility. He updated the myth in order to bring it closer to the people, to make it their own. An idea that still attracts many contemporary writers, who appropriate the myth in order to discuss one of the major issues of our times: immigration and uprootedness. Charles Mee is one of them. He wrote Big Love (2000) in order to dramatize the correlations between the Aeschylean plot and current social and poltical issues (Hopkins & Orr 2005: 16-7), that is to comment on what is happening today, 2500 years later, regarding the plight of international refugees, the problem of political asylum, the problem of violence, gender relations, selfhood and otherness and, of course, love. To do so, he explores and exploits the work's textuality, constructedness, and arbitrariness. Mee brings to us male and female selfhoods with their cultural, ethnic and gendered characteristics that predetermine their subject positions within discourse. Culture always turns out to be much bigger than them.

Big Love is a play written by a playwright who believes that, although we are made up of heterogeneous codes, we can still strive for an autonomy of a classically liberal kind that would help downplay the seemingly irreconcilable differences of identity between individuals (and nations) and help build a sense of (universal) community without exiles and locals.

Bibliography

Aeschylus. The Suppliants. Trans. Philip Vellacott. London: Penguin Books,1961.Bakonicola, Chara.

Stignes tes Ellinikis Tragodias. Vol. I. Athens: Kardamitsas, 1994.

Bakonicola, Chara. Stignes tes Ellinikis Tragodias. Vol. II. Athens: Kardamitsas, 2004.

Boedeker, Deborah and Kurt Raaflaub. “Tragedy and the City.” A Companion to

Tragedy. Eds. Rebecca Bushnell. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. 109-127.

Burian, Peter. “Pelasgus and Politics in Aeschylus’ Danaid Trilogy.” Aeschylus. Ed.

Michael Lloyd. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005: 199-210.

Hopkins, D. J. & Shelley Orr. "It's a Nightmare Really: The Radical Appropriations of

Charles L. Mee." Theatreforum 18 (2001): 12-9.

Kitto, H. D. F. Greek Tragedy. New York: Doubleday, 1954.

Mee, Charles. Big Love. In: Humana Festival. Eds. Michael Bigelow Dixon and Amy

Wagener. New Hampshire: A Smith and Kraus Book, 2000. 219-90.

Vernant, J. P. and & P. Vidal-Naquet. Tragedy and Myth in Ancient Greece. Trans. J.

Lloyd. Atlantic Highlands, N.J. 1981.

Zeitlin, Froma. Playing the Other: Gender and Society in Classical Greek Literature.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.



[2] Patris , patriotis , gis , gaea, polis, and asty, are just some of the words that directly or indirectly refer to the idea of home soil, homeland, motherland etc. and its importance in these classical works..


[3] Given the fact that local people generally hesitated to welcome foreigners, the suppliants had to follow certain steps dictated by a ritualistic typology. For example, the first place they approached when entering a foreign city-state was the altar. They would sit on it or just stand by it or they would simply enter the temple for there they felt more secure, since they were placing themselves and their plea under the protection of the god (usually Zeus: Xenios, Savior etc) (Bakonicola 2004: 96-97). They were also carrying small tree branches as well as ribbons, to decorate the altar or sometimes crown the head of the local ruler whom they approached with great respect and humility. The custom was to touch his beard or, kneeling in front of him, gently touch his right hand and knee. Further, and according to inter-state custom, they had to have the sponsorship of a protector (proxenos), that is someone coming from the same city as they did but now living in the host city. If such a person was not available they had to have a messenger whose job would be to set forth their case to the ruler.

In the world of tragedy, every human appeal accompanied by invocations to the gods was seriously examined and never rejected in advance. Yet, seeking for shelter was not only a religious matter but also a moral one. The political refugee/exile had on his side Zeus Hikesios (“Lord of Suppliants”), a god interested in the people who were exiled or on the run. He was also protected by the institution of filoxenia (hospitality), which presupposed mutual respect between the host and the visitor. It operated as a kind of moral bond. However, the whole procedure was a very serious and complicated test that frequently involved issues of public international law, individual rights etc. The dilemma rulers faced was to rightly choose between their religious duty and their duty towards the city and its citizens. That is, they protected the foreigners but at the same time they had to protect the host city, which means that providing an asylum was not an unconditional act.

[4] We are not to suppose, of course, Kitto argues, "that any and every decision has to be ratified by the Argive assembly [....] This decision is so serious and so unusual that the people, traditionally quick to blame (l. 485), would have every reason to disobey. Pelasgus is the Homeric King who knows how far he should go. The reference to the people is a means of emphasizing the seriousness of the dilemma" (10-1).

I:  "I do not think there is any other country in the world," Thodoros Kritikos, the university professor and drama reviewer, has recently pointed out, " that honors the classics with so many and also such miserable productions as [Greece]. ...In our country the daily and friendly communion with the leading writers of ...theatre has familiarized us so much with them that we call them by their first name and pat them on the back" (Kritikos 16.4.1987: 152).  Kritikos obviously exaggerates.  Yet his comments, with their characteristic spleen, provide a direct entry into the concerns of this paper.

I:  "I do not think there is any other country in the world," Thodoros Kritikos, the university professor and drama reviewer, has recently pointed out, " that honors the classics with so many and also such miserable productions as [Greece]. ...In our country the daily and friendly communion with the leading writers of ...theatre has familiarized us so much with them that we call them by their first name and pat them on the back" (Kritikos 16.4.1987: 152).  Kritikos obviously exaggerates.  Yet his comments, with their characteristic spleen, provide a direct entry into the concerns of this paper.
It is true that in the last fifteen years there have been more revivals of ancient Greek drama than in any comparable period of our history, and yet, quality aside, no age has been less sure about what a "proper" revival of ancient drama, and particularly tragedy, is.  Seldom has the theatre-goer been burdened by so many competing claims.  The positions taken by practitioners and critics have thrown the genre into a flurry of controversy that serves only to generate further questions that call forth still more manifestoes.  Practitioners, for their part, argue that the Greek classical heritage has run its logocentric course and that we must re-examine the appropriateness of traditional dramatic forms to our contemporary experience (Doufexis 12.4.88: 20).  We can no longer act, they say, as if time has done no more than cover the text with "layers of dust" which one cleans up so as to make it respectable again. Nor can we enclose ourselves within the privilege of a highly civilized minority and make privileged isolation thematic.  We have to find a way of mediating between theatrical culture and the public as a whole, which means approaching classical drama within a broader and everchanging cultural system.
Although contemporary Greek critics cannot be grouped under any one heading, either aesthetically or professionally -- some teach in universities, others write poetry, others translate or work for the radio or review other arts as well, and others come from different ideological camps or belong to different generations --they appear relatively cohesive when the subject under discussion is ancient drama and its revival.  While they generally agree that ancient drama is not an elitist art and that it should be carefully revived to accommodate, among other things, the tensions and contradictions of our postmodern times, they disagree with the way Greek and foreign artists have, thus far, pursued their goal.  The overwhelming feeling seems to be that the source of evil that plagues the productions of ancient drama in contemporary Greece is crude commercialization, the ascendancy of the director and the other practitioners to a superstar status and the hasty appropriation of foreign models.
II:  Since 1974, critics claim, when real money and indiscriminate institutional funding appeared in the field, ancient drama has been perceived both by Greek society and by many of its artists, mostly as a means for individuals to gain success as opposed to an end in and for itself.  Very few of its devotees, critics charge, have really bothered to devote their lives to this theatre.  Most of them show up in the summer, when the regular season is over, and mount "cute" artifacts devised for mass consumption, meant to offer instant satisfaction of the most superficial aesthetic needs or whims of a wide public. Those involved in the revival of ancient drama, Greek critics maintain, suffer from an "omnivorous theatrical syndrome"that "surpasses every bacchic irresponsibility" (Frangopoulos 1988:575).  "They want to grasp everything and respect nothing," Georgousopoulos, the most influential critic of the country, angrily contends: "They have gone berserk ...They have courage that cannot be distinguished from audacity" (Georgousopoulos 7.7.1986:27). How far can a practitioner go, critics wonder, without sacrificing the integrity of the text? How far is not too far?  Artists should be reminded, maintains Lygizos, a critic whose distaste for modern revivals has remained consistent through the years, that they are "the vehicles (organum) for the transmission of the meanings and messages of the author.  The author legislates and the artist interprets."  And if  he is an ingenious interpreter, he will probably equal the original vision, but never surpass it.  No one can touch, he contends, "the deepest essence of tragedy; only the form can be re-interpreted" (Lygizos 1984:10).  The classics, the argument goes, for better or worse, gave us with their work a final version of their understanding of the world and its myths. Whoever questions this understanding has to propose another one in a different form; but whoever undermines it is "dishonest" (Georgousopoulos 30.6.1986:25).  After all, Prof. Kritikos contends, "classical plays are not knickers to be stretched or shrunk indefinitely, depending on the size of the leg" or the size of the market.  They are by-products of a particular epoch, a particular artistic use.  "They are sensitive organisms that fall apart if you exercise violence on them" (Kritikos 15.8.2986:102).  Directors have to learn, critics assert, to look at the classical text as an organic whole, complete within itself and with each part related to every other.  Their guiding principle must be the voice (phone) of the first creator (rather than the voice of the box office or of instantaneous fame), for it is there that the deepest meaning of the text lies.  His word is all we have, and that we must treasure in both our translations and in our productions (Andronikos 27.8.1989:54).
Without rejecting performance or relegating it to a minor status, critics warn against the replacement of the proto-text by either alien or external elements.  All ideas, forms and values are not necessarily wrong, the argument goes, because we have learned them from our predecessors.  Isn't the reality, Lignadis wonders, of, say The Persians or Bacchae similar to ours?  How much do we differ from their ideas of siege, famine, genocide, the fate of the defeated?  Ancient discourse, the same critic argues, has perfected itself to the point that it has become and a "living organism" (the Aristotelian zoon).  We cannot develop indiscriminately any point of view only to show our freedom from all constraints.  In our writing and in our reading, the critic concludes, we are bound to encounter an archival network that governs (or should govern) to a large degree, our practice. After all, we are Greeks and we partake of our tradition (Lignadis 1988: 185-190).  That does not mean, of course, the advocates of valid interpretations argue, that we must be "faithful" to the degree of using performance merely as translation of the playscript to the stage.  Classical plays, like words in a poem, do not "translate" in a one-to-one relationship of reference.  In order to function, artists must carefully "retranslate" them into  the new idiom, renaming principles of practice where appropriate, but especially naming indigenous principles of practice -- based on language, temperament, local rhythms and traditions -- applying those to explicate their practice.  But whatever mise-en-scene practitioners devise for the needs of their production, they have to make sure, critics warn, that they do justice to the essence of tragedy, which is to bring us face to face with the depths of human pain, the "signified already there" out of which human life molds itself.  Eliminating the "tyranny" of this truth, is like eliminating everything the text stands for.  It is like using the set without its foundations.  By actively invading the autonomy of the text, its visual concepts, its inner rhythms, its emotional tensions and structural arrangements, by a new and insubordinate commentary that puts in question all the attributes of dramatic meaning, we not only deceive the public that goes to see a classical play, but we also stretch the text beyond its limits.  We give the impression that classical playwriting is faulty in its perception of life and theatre and that one can do anything with it.  This deconstructive practice, critics maintain, might occasionally produce good theatre, but not necessarily tragedy.  The production will be a departure from the original, in which case we have a new play that should be interpreted differently.   
III: What puzzles and frequently enrages Greek critics is the ease with which Greek practitioners imitate theatrical models developed by various cultures as diverse as the Japanese, the American, the German or the French.  Instead of turning to Greek culture for inspiration, artists sell out their legacy in order to copy models that are most of the time inappropriate.  In fact, critics charge, Greek artists have committed "adultery" so many times that they have forgotten where their own bed is: they have forgotten, as the director Solomos put the case, that it is their "duty" to open the foreigners' eyes "instead of  losing ours in order to copy them."  As long as "we copy foreign artists," the same director asserts, "we will continue to exhibit our culture in the front window of our tourist shop... .  We do not love our field.  We love easy profit.  We import ideas, innovations and impressions which we cover with a layer of shadow theatre and oriental music and sell them as products made in Greece.  And this is no different from exposing the country to international ridicule" (Solomos 1986: 20,18).
A still prevailing view among local critics is that of ancient drama as mainly a "Greek affair".  Their contention is that ancient art cannot be easily transported, let alone absorbed, into the international dramatic repertoire.  Only the technique travels; tradition stays within its own country.  And that explains, according to them, why foreign practitioners are more daring with their transcultural experiments than their Greek counterparts.  After all, for non-Greeks ancient drama is a neutral ground that they take for granted.  Whenever they resort to it, it is simply for practical reasons.  They are hardly interested in preserving any continuities or unities.  Nor are they interested in preserving anything Greek in it.  Greece is but a memory, a mask, a pretext for something else.  Their major concern is how to increase the readability of the plays, how to give them a certain notion of "hominess" and thus enable their spectators to flesh out the old structures by a series of formal rules that derive from their native experience  (Varopoulou 22.5.1988:60).
So to find the "code" of Greek theatre, Georgousopoulos declares, "one should risk a dive into the innermost layers of its tradition," rather than seek refuge to either principles of impressionism or principle of undigested interculturalism.  The confrontation of dramatic text and performance should not be the haphazard and thoughtless assembly of heterogeneous material in the name of modernization, but a carefully considered system of "colossal analogies and associations" that will lead to a fresh and synthetic reading of the old text, a reading based as much as possible on the peculiarities and continuities of Greek culture and its received patterns (Georgousopoulos 1984:188; also 8.8.1989:23).  Where else can Greek artists find, the same critic wonders, better material for the revival of tragedy than in the Greek Orthodox Church, the only topos that still resembles, with its semi-choruses, its exits and entrances, its divine drama and its crowd of participating (and not judging) onlookers, the workings of the old theatre?  If this tradition is not enough, he concludes, for a sound revival of ancient tragedy, then "we better give up our efforts and continue concocting our beautiful performance post cards" (Georgousopoulos 1984:28).  The pseudo imitations of foreign models, be it Kabuki techniques, Brechtian techniques or Hollywood spectacular effects, critics claim, "distort the foundations of the poetics of Greek drama" (Lygizos 1984:18 19).  Just like soda water, they help our digestion, and the tourists' digestion after a gargantual meal at a local taverna.
IV: This rage that characterizes the ideas of Greek critics, although farfetched sometimes,  is to a certain extent understandable.  After all, contemporary practice has defied many accepted premises of what we have come to expect from the revival of ancient drama, premises derived primarily from the conventions of a long logocentric tradition, that have so come to dominate our view of ancient stage that it is still difficult for critics to endorse strategies that question long tested values and codes. This paradigm as regards the recent revivals of ancient drama could be summarized as follows:  1) Classical drama is a treasure house of experience, if not form, that can still inspire our contemporary life.  It contains elements of truth about human life that should be respected at all cost.  It cannot be treated as a container into which anyone can pour his/her precious cultural content.  2) A sound revival of ancient drama requires, above all, a close reading of the text and its formal attributes. The stage cannot be used as the topos to fill in with the sounds of the director's tricks and vanity.  Nor can it be used as an alibi for a tentative show of smartness.  3)  The non verbal channels that Greek and foreign practitioners use so extensively is nothing more than too much showing that tells very little; it is an index to our indifference to meaning that allows technique to triumph over imagination.  And if technique is everything and if telling impossible, why do the classics at all, whose primary goal is to address the mind rather than the eye?  4)  Blindly to follow foreign models is like saying that there is a lack of auto-reflection from within.  The challenge to contemporary Greeks is to derive principles of theatrical practice primarily from the Greek tradition itself as defined in the idiom of 2500 years of dramatic history and also in the idiom which constitutes the language of modern Greece.  Only an in depth investigation of the fundamental manifestations (synchronic and diachronic) of Greek folk and religious culture can lead to a sound aesthetic for the revival of ancient drama and to a more constructive incorporation of international scholarship.  And 5) last, but not least, it is the responsibility of the  State, as Prof. Andronikos says, to put an end to the vandalization of the classics by refusing to sponsor people who "shamelessly" torture with their "insane alchemies" the "unfortunate body" of Greece's most precious legacy which, unlike other cultural icons ( the Parthenon, for example), is left totally unprotected and thus an easy prey in the hands of various experts (Andronikos 27.8.1989: 54).  We want people "who have vision, an opinion and a thesis," Georgousopoulos asserts; "not people who resort to superfluities to cover the nakedness within" (Georgousopoulos 20.7.1987: 23). In this way, as Angelos Terzakis once wrote, echoing Matthew Arnold, "charlatanism shall have no entrance" (Terzakis 6.4.1954).
V: Thus far I have barely outlined a sizable body of criticism. I have ignored vital distinctions: for instance I have said nothing about the contribution of contemporary critics and practitioners to our better understanding of ancient drama.  I have deliberately placed by emphasis on the readings of mainstream critics simply because they are the ones who, through their access to academia, course syllabi, literary anthologies, publishing houses, newspapers, radio and television programs, the national drama schools and the various festivals and committees, directly affect the people's assumptions about what kind of person can be a literary genius, what the role of the director vis-a-vis the classical text could be, what kinds of subjects great dramatic literature can discuss, their notions of who can be a hero and who cannot, notions of what constitutes significant activity or a significant issue and so on.  At the same time however, it would be very difficult to argue that any logos can be so absolute as to cover the whole spectrum of cultural activity in any country, and it is certainly not the case in contemporary Greece.  Admittedly, there has been, in the last few years, an increasing interest in the social context of ancient art by younger scholars (especially Greek-Americans) and artists familiar with international trends and the whole debate over the revival of the classics (Patsalidis 1989: 68-78).  There is of course little agreement as to what precisely might constitute this radical shift of perspectives.  But the mere emergence of this issue -- or, better, of this new framework for asking questions about the revival of ancient drama, its modes, and its possible manifestations -- confronts Greek critics and artists with a major and puzzling cultural phenomenon that they will soon have to deal with.  After all, the intercultural reality of the European Common Market does not leave much choice.  These performances from Europe and the rest of the world, as Varopoulou remarks, should be a signal for everyone to stop and think about what "revival" means and where ancient drama is heading (Varopoulou 27.3.1988: 60).
As I have argued elsewhere, mainstream Greek criticism and practice have reached a point where they must discuss the revival of the classics in their homeland more systematically and on different grounds (Patsalidis 1989:68-70).  This not to say that the prevailing formalist, text-oriented approaches, with their emphasis upon the internal attributes of the artwork (style, rules, conventions, thematics, semiotic codes, intertextuality) should be dismissed, unless of course one wishes to deny all value for formal interpretations.  Nor is to say that the overall judgments and fears of Greek critics and many practitioners are totally baseless.  We are, indeed, disturbed by the crude commercializing of the classics and the gradual and unchecked penetration of culture by the ethos of the market, as we are all concerned about the cheap experimentation of many self-proclaimed conquistadors of ancient drama.  After all, not all experiments have been successful, nor have they been truly imaginative.  Yet, the point I try to make here is that thinking of classical theatre and the possibilities of its revival solely in terms of Aristotle's poetics, or in terms of its "Greekness", its eternal verity, its unmediated spirit and its aesthetic closure is not enough.  What I sense is needed now is a critique of issues, of values and of social conditions that shape stage discourse, in other words, an opening up to influences and new areas of practical and critical interest (history, anthropology, ideology, interculturalism) that would not only furnish new directions about how to approach the sacred status of the past but would also help define its present utility and its present position vis-a-vis mass culture.  Whether we like it or not we cannot insulate "true" art from the market in order to resist its commercialization, in the same way that we cannot ignore the fact that ancient drama, like all drama, is, among other things, a product directly related to more collective forms of mentality and to systems of power that determine/d its significance.  From my perspective this means that to successfully mediate between ancient art and the public as a whole we must first find a way to interrogate and investigate our materials (content, stylistic and linguistic practices, racial and gender relations) and then proceed to find analogies in our systems of power and performance.  And this is what Yiannis Kakleas attempted to do with his "heavy metal" version of Aristophanes' Frogs (1990). Instead of providing us with the standard "folk version" of the play with its shadow theatre and commedia dell'arte techniques, Kakleas used the text in order to criticize the state of affairs of our rapidly decaying urban civilization.  To do so he contextualized its aesthetics and ideology in a specifically intercultural experience where Dionysus was played as a stoned punk, Hercules as a ridiculous beach boy, the doorkeeper Aeacus as a paraplegic punk in a wheelchair, and the chorus of Frogs and Muses as Vampires and Amazons in leather pants, high heeled boots and chains dangling around their necks.  For their playing area he devised a claustrophobic environment that resembled a devastated German military headquarters at the end of the second world war and a deserted Castle of Count Dracula.  For two hours the spectators were mercilessly "bombarded" by images, sounds and improbable forms coming directly from the world of video clips, soap operas, horror films, rock music and the underground drug culture.  And if the curtain calls are any evidence of a successful performance, then there is no doubt that Kakleas' reading reached his audience.  By localizing his text in time and place, through carefully selected spatial and audio-visual analogies, Kakleas immersed it in a sociological matrix that domesticated it and thus made it more accessible to the contemporary spectator.
If seeing a familiar play in a familiar code is an exercise in recognition, then seeing a familiar play in an unfamiliar code is an exercise in cultural transformation.  And that is the case of Thodoros Terzopoulos' production of Euripides' Bacchae (1986).  Terzopoulos, known for his adventurous projects and his fascination with such Eastern forms as Bunkaru and Kabuki, took Euripides' text and opened it up to a non-Western culture (the Japanese), in order to celebrate its inherent theatricality and at the same time experiment with the possibilities of a sex-free, age-free and race-free theatre.  Clearly the Bacchae's delirium perfectly fit his purpose.  With a small cast of five actors and actresses Terzopoulos wove an elliptical stage syntax (a mixture of ancient and modern Greek, of Western and Eastern codes), full of unexpected connections and points of view, whose ultimate goal was to convey the ecstasy of stage transformation. To do away with the text's complete sentence, complete plot and complete character --all the hallmarks of the rage for closure-- Terzopoulos refracted each speech through a multi-vocal, multi-cultural prism that defeated any attempt to identify a coherent, unified speaker.  The result was a pluralistic subject that could not be reduced to representing either male or female.  And why not, say the critics echoing the director.  Don't we all live in a fragmented world where everybody craves for power and ecstasy? There are so many opposite perspectives from which one can view the same event.  We can no longer share a consensus of assumptions to evaluate a situation.  Dionysus is in everybody. And so is Pentheas.  Victimizer and victimized share the same ecriture.
Short of a panoramic interpretation of ancient cultural history, what these and other recent efforts offer* is precisely this kind of anxiety to move on, to explore new things in the light of new configurations in the world of new markets, new theories and new technologies.  What permeates their work is the feeling that what the classics convey, among other things, is not just an aesthetic but also an ideology that defines and extends its authority or power over others (including art).  With this hypothesis as their point of departure they re-situate their text in the sociocultural sites of its production, in order to understand how this text was produced in its unique historical specificity, and then proceed to relocate its analogical significance in our own socio-cultural milieu.
VI.:  This analysis could greatly be expanded, but these suggestions must suffice.  In this essay I have not spoken of changes in the form and tone of dramatic revivals through fifteen years of rather turbulent history.  Furthermore, I have not spoken of the impact of the political situation on these attempts.  What I hope I have accomplished, nonetheless, is to have given concrete enough form to the fears of some of our best known critics about the fate of ancient drama in  a fast changing Greek reality.  What expression these fears take in the future, when the issues raised by the intense theoretical and practical debate that is going on now in Europe and the U.S can no longer be ignored or marginalized, remains to be seen.  For the time being I sense, at least in the best practical and theoretical work, the groundwork for future readings.





NOTE
*   I have in mind here the "irreverent" readings of Iphigenie in Aulis (Theatro Kaessarianis, 1980) and The Trojan Women (National Theatre, Epidaurus, 1983) by Stavros Doufexis, the ceremonial and highly politicized interpretations of Suppliants and Phoenician Women (Epidaurus 1979,1990) by Nicos Charalambous and The Cyprus Theatre Organization, the feminist version of Helen (1988) and Medea (1990) by Andreas Voutsinas and the State Theatre of Northern Greece, and the exciting and very promising folk version of Electra by Kostas Tsianos (Thessaliko, 1988), based on the local traditions of Thessaly.


REFERENCES CITED
Andronikos, Manolis
1989 "Yper Trayikon". To Vema  27.8.1989: 54
[In Support of the Tragedians].
Doufexis, Stavros
1988 Ta Nea   22.4.1988: 20.
Frangopoulos, Th. D.
1988 "Skepsis yia to Archeo Drama".  E Lexi 
75/76:574-77  [Thoughts About Ancient Drama].
Georgousopoulos, Kostas
1984 Kledia ke Kodikes Theatrou: Elliniko Theatro
Athens: Hestia. [Keys and Codes of Theatre: Hellenic
Theatre].
1986 "Loxi Matia sten Tragodia".  Ta Nea 30.6.1986:25
[Indirect Look at Tragedy].
1987 "Tertipia Ksypasmenou Eparchioti".  Ta Nea
8.8.1989: 23  [A Conceited Peasant's Whims].
Kritikos, Thodoros
1986 "Persians". O Tachydromos    14.8.1986:102
1987 "I Zoe Ine Ena Oneiro".  O Tachydromos 
16.4.1987:152  [Life is a Dream].
Lignadis, Tasos
1988 To Zoon ke to Teras: Poietike ke Ypokritiki
Litourgia tou Archeou Ellinikou Dramatos.
Athens: Herodotos  [The Animal and the Monster.  The
Poetics and Performance Function of Ancient Greek Theatre].

Lygizos, Mitsos
1984 "O Diasyrmos tes Tragodias". Ekkyklima 3:9-19
[The Ridicule of Tragedy].
Patsalidis, Savas
1989 "E Sychroni Theatrike Kritike sten Ellada: Enas
Antilogos".  O Polites 102 (December 1989): 65-71
[Contemporary Theatre Criticism in Greece:
A counter-argument].
Solomos, Alexis
1986 Esti Theatro ke Alla     Athens: Kedros
[This is Theatre].
Terzakis, Angelos
1954 To Vema 6.4.1954
Varopoulou, Eleni
1988 "E Phone ton Kimenon".   To Vema 27.3.1988:60
[The Voice of the Texts].
1988 "Oedipus me gospel ke Bacchae me flamenko".
To Vema 22.5.1988: 60   [Oedipus with Gospel and
Bacchae with Flamengo].
1989 "Epikinonia Epi Skines: To 23o Pagosmio Synedrio
tou Diethnous Institoutou theatrou".  To Vema  4.6.1989: 60
[Communication on Stage: The 23rd World Convention of the
International Institute of Theatre].


I:  "I do not think there is any other country in the world," Thodoros Kritikos, the university professor and drama reviewer, has recently pointed out, " that honors the classics with so many and also such miserable productions as [Greece]. ...In our country the daily and friendly communion with the leading writers of ...theatre has familiarized us so much with them that we call them by their first name and pat them on the back" (Kritikos 16.4.1987: 152).  Kritikos obviously exaggerates.  Yet his comments, with their characteristic spleen, provide a direct entry into the concerns of this paper.
It is true that in the last fifteen years there have been more revivals of ancient Greek drama than in any comparable period of our history, and yet, quality aside, no age has been less sure about what a "proper" revival of ancient drama, and particularly tragedy, is.  Seldom has the theatre-goer been burdened by so many competing claims.  The positions taken by practitioners and critics have thrown the genre into a flurry of controversy that serves only to generate further questions that call forth still more manifestoes.  Practitioners, for their part, argue that the Greek classical heritage has run its logocentric course and that we must re-examine the appropriateness of traditional dramatic forms to our contemporary experience (Doufexis 12.4.88: 20).  We can no longer act, they say, as if time has done no more than cover the text with "layers of dust" which one cleans up so as to make it respectable again. Nor can we enclose ourselves within the privilege of a highly civilized minority and make privileged isolation thematic.  We have to find a way of mediating between theatrical culture and the public as a whole, which means approaching classical drama within a broader and everchanging cultural system.
Although contemporary Greek critics cannot be grouped under any one heading, either aesthetically or professionally -- some teach in universities, others write poetry, others translate or work for the radio or review other arts as well, and others come from different ideological camps or belong to different generations --they appear relatively cohesive when the subject under discussion is ancient drama and its revival.  While they generally agree that ancient drama is not an elitist art and that it should be carefully revived to accommodate, among other things, the tensions and contradictions of our postmodern times, they disagree with the way Greek and foreign artists have, thus far, pursued their goal.  The overwhelming feeling seems to be that the source of evil that plagues the productions of ancient drama in contemporary Greece is crude commercialization, the ascendancy of the director and the other practitioners to a superstar status and the hasty appropriation of foreign models.
II:  Since 1974, critics claim, when real money and indiscriminate institutional funding appeared in the field, ancient drama has been perceived both by Greek society and by many of its artists, mostly as a means for individuals to gain success as opposed to an end in and for itself.  Very few of its devotees, critics charge, have really bothered to devote their lives to this theatre.  Most of them show up in the summer, when the regular season is over, and mount "cute" artifacts devised for mass consumption, meant to offer instant satisfaction of the most superficial aesthetic needs or whims of a wide public. Those involved in the revival of ancient drama, Greek critics maintain, suffer from an "omnivorous theatrical syndrome"that "surpasses every bacchic irresponsibility" (Frangopoulos 1988:575).  "They want to grasp everything and respect nothing," Georgousopoulos, the most influential critic of the country, angrily contends: "They have gone berserk ...They have courage that cannot be distinguished from audacity" (Georgousopoulos 7.7.1986:27). How far can a practitioner go, critics wonder, without sacrificing the integrity of the text? How far is not too far?  Artists should be reminded, maintains Lygizos, a critic whose distaste for modern revivals has remained consistent through the years, that they are "the vehicles (organum) for the transmission of the meanings and messages of the author.  The author legislates and the artist interprets."  And if  he is an ingenious interpreter, he will probably equal the original vision, but never surpass it.  No one can touch, he contends, "the deepest essence of tragedy; only the form can be re-interpreted" (Lygizos 1984:10).  The classics, the argument goes, for better or worse, gave us with their work a final version of their understanding of the world and its myths. Whoever questions this understanding has to propose another one in a different form; but whoever undermines it is "dishonest" (Georgousopoulos 30.6.1986:25).  After all, Prof. Kritikos contends, "classical plays are not knickers to be stretched or shrunk indefinitely, depending on the size of the leg" or the size of the market.  They are by-products of a particular epoch, a particular artistic use.  "They are sensitive organisms that fall apart if you exercise violence on them" (Kritikos 15.8.2986:102).  Directors have to learn, critics assert, to look at the classical text as an organic whole, complete within itself and with each part related to every other.  Their guiding principle must be the voice (phone) of the first creator (rather than the voice of the box office or of instantaneous fame), for it is there that the deepest meaning of the text lies.  His word is all we have, and that we must treasure in both our translations and in our productions (Andronikos 27.8.1989:54).
Without rejecting performance or relegating it to a minor status, critics warn against the replacement of the proto-text by either alien or external elements.  All ideas, forms and values are not necessarily wrong, the argument goes, because we have learned them from our predecessors.  Isn't the reality, Lignadis wonders, of, say The Persians or Bacchae similar to ours?  How much do we differ from their ideas of siege, famine, genocide, the fate of the defeated?  Ancient discourse, the same critic argues, has perfected itself to the point that it has become and a "living organism" (the Aristotelian zoon).  We cannot develop indiscriminately any point of view only to show our freedom from all constraints.  In our writing and in our reading, the critic concludes, we are bound to encounter an archival network that governs (or should govern) to a large degree, our practice. After all, we are Greeks and we partake of our tradition (Lignadis 1988: 185-190).  That does not mean, of course, the advocates of valid interpretations argue, that we must be "faithful" to the degree of using performance merely as translation of the playscript to the stage.  Classical plays, like words in a poem, do not "translate" in a one-to-one relationship of reference.  In order to function, artists must carefully "retranslate" them into  the new idiom, renaming principles of practice where appropriate, but especially naming indigenous principles of practice -- based on language, temperament, local rhythms and traditions -- applying those to explicate their practice.  But whatever mise-en-scene practitioners devise for the needs of their production, they have to make sure, critics warn, that they do justice to the essence of tragedy, which is to bring us face to face with the depths of human pain, the "signified already there" out of which human life molds itself.  Eliminating the "tyranny" of this truth, is like eliminating everything the text stands for.  It is like using the set without its foundations.  By actively invading the autonomy of the text, its visual concepts, its inner rhythms, its emotional tensions and structural arrangements, by a new and insubordinate commentary that puts in question all the attributes of dramatic meaning, we not only deceive the public that goes to see a classical play, but we also stretch the text beyond its limits.  We give the impression that classical playwriting is faulty in its perception of life and theatre and that one can do anything with it.  This deconstructive practice, critics maintain, might occasionally produce good theatre, but not necessarily tragedy.  The production will be a departure from the original, in which case we have a new play that should be interpreted differently.   
III: What puzzles and frequently enrages Greek critics is the ease with which Greek practitioners imitate theatrical models developed by various cultures as diverse as the Japanese, the American, the German or the French.  Instead of turning to Greek culture for inspiration, artists sell out their legacy in order to copy models that are most of the time inappropriate.  In fact, critics charge, Greek artists have committed "adultery" so many times that they have forgotten where their own bed is: they have forgotten, as the director Solomos put the case, that it is their "duty" to open the foreigners' eyes "instead of  losing ours in order to copy them."  As long as "we copy foreign artists," the same director asserts, "we will continue to exhibit our culture in the front window of our tourist shop... .  We do not love our field.  We love easy profit.  We import ideas, innovations and impressions which we cover with a layer of shadow theatre and oriental music and sell them as products made in Greece.  And this is no different from exposing the country to international ridicule" (Solomos 1986: 20,18).
A still prevailing view among local critics is that of ancient drama as mainly a "Greek affair".  Their contention is that ancient art cannot be easily transported, let alone absorbed, into the international dramatic repertoire.  Only the technique travels; tradition stays within its own country.  And that explains, according to them, why foreign practitioners are more daring with their transcultural experiments than their Greek counterparts.  After all, for non-Greeks ancient drama is a neutral ground that they take for granted.  Whenever they resort to it, it is simply for practical reasons.  They are hardly interested in preserving any continuities or unities.  Nor are they interested in preserving anything Greek in it.  Greece is but a memory, a mask, a pretext for something else.  Their major concern is how to increase the readability of the plays, how to give them a certain notion of "hominess" and thus enable their spectators to flesh out the old structures by a series of formal rules that derive from their native experience  (Varopoulou 22.5.1988:60).
So to find the "code" of Greek theatre, Georgousopoulos declares, "one should risk a dive into the innermost layers of its tradition," rather than seek refuge to either principles of impressionism or principle of undigested interculturalism.  The confrontation of dramatic text and performance should not be the haphazard and thoughtless assembly of heterogeneous material in the name of modernization, but a carefully considered system of "colossal analogies and associations" that will lead to a fresh and synthetic reading of the old text, a reading based as much as possible on the peculiarities and continuities of Greek culture and its received patterns (Georgousopoulos 1984:188; also 8.8.1989:23).  Where else can Greek artists find, the same critic wonders, better material for the revival of tragedy than in the Greek Orthodox Church, the only topos that still resembles, with its semi-choruses, its exits and entrances, its divine drama and its crowd of participating (and not judging) onlookers, the workings of the old theatre?  If this tradition is not enough, he concludes, for a sound revival of ancient tragedy, then "we better give up our efforts and continue concocting our beautiful performance post cards" (Georgousopoulos 1984:28).  The pseudo imitations of foreign models, be it Kabuki techniques, Brechtian techniques or Hollywood spectacular effects, critics claim, "distort the foundations of the poetics of Greek drama" (Lygizos 1984:18 19).  Just like soda water, they help our digestion, and the tourists' digestion after a gargantual meal at a local taverna.
IV: This rage that characterizes the ideas of Greek critics, although farfetched sometimes,  is to a certain extent understandable.  After all, contemporary practice has defied many accepted premises of what we have come to expect from the revival of ancient drama, premises derived primarily from the conventions of a long logocentric tradition, that have so come to dominate our view of ancient stage that it is still difficult for critics to endorse strategies that question long tested values and codes. This paradigm as regards the recent revivals of ancient drama could be summarized as follows:  1) Classical drama is a treasure house of experience, if not form, that can still inspire our contemporary life.  It contains elements of truth about human life that should be respected at all cost.  It cannot be treated as a container into which anyone can pour his/her precious cultural content.  2) A sound revival of ancient drama requires, above all, a close reading of the text and its formal attributes. The stage cannot be used as the topos to fill in with the sounds of the director's tricks and vanity.  Nor can it be used as an alibi for a tentative show of smartness.  3)  The non verbal channels that Greek and foreign practitioners use so extensively is nothing more than too much showing that tells very little; it is an index to our indifference to meaning that allows technique to triumph over imagination.  And if technique is everything and if telling impossible, why do the classics at all, whose primary goal is to address the mind rather than the eye?  4)  Blindly to follow foreign models is like saying that there is a lack of auto-reflection from within.  The challenge to contemporary Greeks is to derive principles of theatrical practice primarily from the Greek tradition itself as defined in the idiom of 2500 years of dramatic history and also in the idiom which constitutes the language of modern Greece.  Only an in depth investigation of the fundamental manifestations (synchronic and diachronic) of Greek folk and religious culture can lead to a sound aesthetic for the revival of ancient drama and to a more constructive incorporation of international scholarship.  And 5) last, but not least, it is the responsibility of the  State, as Prof. Andronikos says, to put an end to the vandalization of the classics by refusing to sponsor people who "shamelessly" torture with their "insane alchemies" the "unfortunate body" of Greece's most precious legacy which, unlike other cultural icons ( the Parthenon, for example), is left totally unprotected and thus an easy prey in the hands of various experts (Andronikos 27.8.1989: 54).  We want people "who have vision, an opinion and a thesis," Georgousopoulos asserts; "not people who resort to superfluities to cover the nakedness within" (Georgousopoulos 20.7.1987: 23). In this way, as Angelos Terzakis once wrote, echoing Matthew Arnold, "charlatanism shall have no entrance" (Terzakis 6.4.1954).
V: Thus far I have barely outlined a sizable body of criticism. I have ignored vital distinctions: for instance I have said nothing about the contribution of contemporary critics and practitioners to our better understanding of ancient drama.  I have deliberately placed by emphasis on the readings of mainstream critics simply because they are the ones who, through their access to academia, course syllabi, literary anthologies, publishing houses, newspapers, radio and television programs, the national drama schools and the various festivals and committees, directly affect the people's assumptions about what kind of person can be a literary genius, what the role of the director vis-a-vis the classical text could be, what kinds of subjects great dramatic literature can discuss, their notions of who can be a hero and who cannot, notions of what constitutes significant activity or a significant issue and so on.  At the same time however, it would be very difficult to argue that any logos can be so absolute as to cover the whole spectrum of cultural activity in any country, and it is certainly not the case in contemporary Greece.  Admittedly, there has been, in the last few years, an increasing interest in the social context of ancient art by younger scholars (especially Greek-Americans) and artists familiar with international trends and the whole debate over the revival of the classics (Patsalidis 1989: 68-78).  There is of course little agreement as to what precisely might constitute this radical shift of perspectives.  But the mere emergence of this issue -- or, better, of this new framework for asking questions about the revival of ancient drama, its modes, and its possible manifestations -- confronts Greek critics and artists with a major and puzzling cultural phenomenon that they will soon have to deal with.  After all, the intercultural reality of the European Common Market does not leave much choice.  These performances from Europe and the rest of the world, as Varopoulou remarks, should be a signal for everyone to stop and think about what "revival" means and where ancient drama is heading (Varopoulou 27.3.1988: 60).
As I have argued elsewhere, mainstream Greek criticism and practice have reached a point where they must discuss the revival of the classics in their homeland more systematically and on different grounds (Patsalidis 1989:68-70).  This not to say that the prevailing formalist, text-oriented approaches, with their emphasis upon the internal attributes of the artwork (style, rules, conventions, thematics, semiotic codes, intertextuality) should be dismissed, unless of course one wishes to deny all value for formal interpretations.  Nor is to say that the overall judgments and fears of Greek critics and many practitioners are totally baseless.  We are, indeed, disturbed by the crude commercializing of the classics and the gradual and unchecked penetration of culture by the ethos of the market, as we are all concerned about the cheap experimentation of many self-proclaimed conquistadors of ancient drama.  After all, not all experiments have been successful, nor have they been truly imaginative.  Yet, the point I try to make here is that thinking of classical theatre and the possibilities of its revival solely in terms of Aristotle's poetics, or in terms of its "Greekness", its eternal verity, its unmediated spirit and its aesthetic closure is not enough.  What I sense is needed now is a critique of issues, of values and of social conditions that shape stage discourse, in other words, an opening up to influences and new areas of practical and critical interest (history, anthropology, ideology, interculturalism) that would not only furnish new directions about how to approach the sacred status of the past but would also help define its present utility and its present position vis-a-vis mass culture.  Whether we like it or not we cannot insulate "true" art from the market in order to resist its commercialization, in the same way that we cannot ignore the fact that ancient drama, like all drama, is, among other things, a product directly related to more collective forms of mentality and to systems of power that determine/d its significance.  From my perspective this means that to successfully mediate between ancient art and the public as a whole we must first find a way to interrogate and investigate our materials (content, stylistic and linguistic practices, racial and gender relations) and then proceed to find analogies in our systems of power and performance.  And this is what Yiannis Kakleas attempted to do with his "heavy metal" version of Aristophanes' Frogs (1990). Instead of providing us with the standard "folk version" of the play with its shadow theatre and commedia dell'arte techniques, Kakleas used the text in order to criticize the state of affairs of our rapidly decaying urban civilization.  To do so he contextualized its aesthetics and ideology in a specifically intercultural experience where Dionysus was played as a stoned punk, Hercules as a ridiculous beach boy, the doorkeeper Aeacus as a paraplegic punk in a wheelchair, and the chorus of Frogs and Muses as Vampires and Amazons in leather pants, high heeled boots and chains dangling around their necks.  For their playing area he devised a claustrophobic environment that resembled a devastated German military headquarters at the end of the second world war and a deserted Castle of Count Dracula.  For two hours the spectators were mercilessly "bombarded" by images, sounds and improbable forms coming directly from the world of video clips, soap operas, horror films, rock music and the underground drug culture.  And if the curtain calls are any evidence of a successful performance, then there is no doubt that Kakleas' reading reached his audience.  By localizing his text in time and place, through carefully selected spatial and audio-visual analogies, Kakleas immersed it in a sociological matrix that domesticated it and thus made it more accessible to the contemporary spectator.
If seeing a familiar play in a familiar code is an exercise in recognition, then seeing a familiar play in an unfamiliar code is an exercise in cultural transformation.  And that is the case of Thodoros Terzopoulos' production of Euripides' Bacchae (1986).  Terzopoulos, known for his adventurous projects and his fascination with such Eastern forms as Bunkaru and Kabuki, took Euripides' text and opened it up to a non-Western culture (the Japanese), in order to celebrate its inherent theatricality and at the same time experiment with the possibilities of a sex-free, age-free and race-free theatre.  Clearly the Bacchae's delirium perfectly fit his purpose.  With a small cast of five actors and actresses Terzopoulos wove an elliptical stage syntax (a mixture of ancient and modern Greek, of Western and Eastern codes), full of unexpected connections and points of view, whose ultimate goal was to convey the ecstasy of stage transformation. To do away with the text's complete sentence, complete plot and complete character --all the hallmarks of the rage for closure-- Terzopoulos refracted each speech through a multi-vocal, multi-cultural prism that defeated any attempt to identify a coherent, unified speaker.  The result was a pluralistic subject that could not be reduced to representing either male or female.  And why not, say the critics echoing the director.  Don't we all live in a fragmented world where everybody craves for power and ecstasy? There are so many opposite perspectives from which one can view the same event.  We can no longer share a consensus of assumptions to evaluate a situation.  Dionysus is in everybody. And so is Pentheas.  Victimizer and victimized share the same ecriture.
Short of a panoramic interpretation of ancient cultural history, what these and other recent efforts offer* is precisely this kind of anxiety to move on, to explore new things in the light of new configurations in the world of new markets, new theories and new technologies.  What permeates their work is the feeling that what the classics convey, among other things, is not just an aesthetic but also an ideology that defines and extends its authority or power over others (including art).  With this hypothesis as their point of departure they re-situate their text in the sociocultural sites of its production, in order to understand how this text was produced in its unique historical specificity, and then proceed to relocate its analogical significance in our own socio-cultural milieu.
VI.:  This analysis could greatly be expanded, but these suggestions must suffice.  In this essay I have not spoken of changes in the form and tone of dramatic revivals through fifteen years of rather turbulent history.  Furthermore, I have not spoken of the impact of the political situation on these attempts.  What I hope I have accomplished, nonetheless, is to have given concrete enough form to the fears of some of our best known critics about the fate of ancient drama in  a fast changing Greek reality.  What expression these fears take in the future, when the issues raised by the intense theoretical and practical debate that is going on now in Europe and the U.S can no longer be ignored or marginalized, remains to be seen.  For the time being I sense, at least in the best practical and theoretical work, the groundwork for future readings.





NOTE
*   I have in mind here the "irreverent" readings of Iphigenie in Aulis (Theatro Kaessarianis, 1980) and The Trojan Women (National Theatre, Epidaurus, 1983) by Stavros Doufexis, the ceremonial and highly politicized interpretations of Suppliants and Phoenician Women (Epidaurus 1979,1990) by Nicos Charalambous and The Cyprus Theatre Organization, the feminist version of Helen (1988) and Medea (1990) by Andreas Voutsinas and the State Theatre of Northern Greece, and the exciting and very promising folk version of Electra by Kostas Tsianos (Thessaliko, 1988), based on the local traditions of Thessaly.


REFERENCES CITED
Andronikos, Manolis
1989 "Yper Trayikon". To Vema  27.8.1989: 54
[In Support of the Tragedians].
Doufexis, Stavros
1988 Ta Nea   22.4.1988: 20.
Frangopoulos, Th. D.
1988 "Skepsis yia to Archeo Drama".  E Lexi 
75/76:574-77  [Thoughts About Ancient Drama].
Georgousopoulos, Kostas
1984 Kledia ke Kodikes Theatrou: Elliniko Theatro
Athens: Hestia. [Keys and Codes of Theatre: Hellenic
Theatre].
1986 "Loxi Matia sten Tragodia".  Ta Nea 30.6.1986:25
[Indirect Look at Tragedy].
1987 "Tertipia Ksypasmenou Eparchioti".  Ta Nea
8.8.1989: 23  [A Conceited Peasant's Whims].
Kritikos, Thodoros
1986 "Persians". O Tachydromos    14.8.1986:102
1987 "I Zoe Ine Ena Oneiro".  O Tachydromos 
16.4.1987:152  [Life is a Dream].
Lignadis, Tasos
1988 To Zoon ke to Teras: Poietike ke Ypokritiki
Litourgia tou Archeou Ellinikou Dramatos.
Athens: Herodotos  [The Animal and the Monster.  The
Poetics and Performance Function of Ancient Greek Theatre].

Lygizos, Mitsos
1984 "O Diasyrmos tes Tragodias". Ekkyklima 3:9-19
[The Ridicule of Tragedy].
Patsalidis, Savas
1989 "E Sychroni Theatrike Kritike sten Ellada: Enas
Antilogos".  O Polites 102 (December 1989): 65-71
[Contemporary Theatre Criticism in Greece:
A counter-argument].
Solomos, Alexis
1986 Esti Theatro ke Alla     Athens: Kedros
[This is Theatre].
Terzakis, Angelos
1954 To Vema 6.4.1954
Varopoulou, Eleni
1988 "E Phone ton Kimenon".   To Vema 27.3.1988:60
[The Voice of the Texts].
1988 "Oedipus me gospel ke Bacchae me flamenko".
To Vema 22.5.1988: 60   [Oedipus with Gospel and
Bacchae with Flamengo].
1989 "Epikinonia Epi Skines: To 23o Pagosmio Synedrio
tou Diethnous Institoutou theatrou".  To Vema  4.6.1989: 60
[Communication on Stage: The 23rd World Convention of the
International Institute of Theatre].