Acting Tragedy in Twentieth-Century Greece: The Case of Electra by Sophocles

Antoniou, Michaela. 2011. Acting Tragedy in Twentieth-Century Greece: The Case of Electra by Sophocles. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text ( Acting Tragedy in Twentieth-Century Greece: The Case of Electra by Sophocles. )
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Abstract or Description

This thesis discusses the acting techniques employed by actors for tragedy of the Greek stage during the twentieth century. It argues that there were two main acting schools – ‘school’ here meaning an established unified style of acting shared by a group of actors and directors. The first, starting with the 1936 production of Electra by Sophocles directed by Dimitris Rontiris’s at the National Theatre of Greece and running through roughly to the late 1970s, developed from a vocal/rhetorical/text-based approach. The second, established by Karolos Koun’s Art Theatre in 1942 and which can be said to have ended with his death in 1987, was based on a bodily/physical one. The thesis examines the ways in which these two schools combined and influenced acting, creating new tendencies in the last three decades of the twentieth century.

The focus here is on tragedy because this genre is presented on the Greek stage regularly, and, therefore, it is an eloquent example of the evolution of acting in Greece. Sophocles’s Electra has been chosen as a case study not only because the play was frequently staged throughout the twentieth century, but primarily because it was acted and directed by important actors and directors who occupied quite different positions within the Greek theatre field. Thus it is a play that provides the most potent example of the development of the acting schools in question.

This thesis is an empirical study using Greek actors and directors as its primary source. In giving them a strong voice, it follows their creative process and their perception of their roles and productions. At the same time, it provides a historical context for understanding the conditions of Greek theatre life and their impact on Greek actors and their work.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)



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Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2012 13:16

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 08:24


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