Patsas, Giorgos. Costumes, Stage Designs. Athens: Ergo, 1995.
This 176-page illustrated book is a bilingual (English/Greek) edition which is dedicated to the work of the costume designer and set designer Giorgos Patsas. It includes the following: a list of the costumes and set designs that Patsas designed for various productions from 1981 to 1994 which were exhibited at the 1995 Prague Quadrennial Exhibition; a comprehensive list of Patsas's works from 1965 to 1994; and a retrospection of his professional activities from 1972 to 1994. Patsas made his professional debut in 1968. Since then, he has designed the sets and costumes for nearly 300 plays, seven films, and two historical series filmed for the National Television of Greece.
Petsalas, Anastasios. "The Cypriot Theatre in Great Britain." To Yofiri: Journal of Modern Greek Studies 12 (1992):50-61.
Petsalas provides a brief record of Greek-Cypriot community theater companies in England and their productions--from the amateur ones (e.g., the Greek Orthodox Christian Church Schools) to the semi-professional ones (e.g., the Prometheus Theatre Company in Oxford). He begins with the pioneering Koromilas Theatre Company that was founded by George Birbas in Liverpool in the early 1920s. He continues with the Theatre Company of the Students of St. Sophia School in Bayswater (West London) that was founded by Archimandrite Ilarion Vasdekas in 1922. Petsalas believes that the repertory of the early Greek-Cypriot community theater companies in England was influenced by the colonial politics of the day as well as by the rich theatrical tradition on the island of Cyprus from 1900 to 1962. Contributing to the theatrical culture of England were about a dozen Greek-Cypriot community theater companies such as the Camden Théatro Téchnis and the Cypriot Artists Union, which performed at the Scala Theatre, the King George's Hall, and the Palace Theatre (West End) from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. During the 1963-1984 period, the Camden Théatro Téchnis produced Greek and Greek-Cypriot plays in Greek, in Greek-Cypriot, and in English translation. Among the playwrights who saw their plays produced by these ethnic community theater companies were Stavros Lillitos, George Evgeniou, Christos Araclides, Nick Axarlis, Eve Adam, Martha Demetriou, Peter Polycarpou, and Yannis Grivas.
Philippides, Dia. "Literary Detection in the Erotokritos and The Sacrifice of Abraham." Literary and Linguistic Computing 3/1 (1988):1-11.
Philippides argues that rhyme is an important stylistic feature in the composition of the two texts, and that her study yielded new statistical data about the style of their author(s). She analyzes the phonology and morphology of the two texts, providing additional data for the renewed comparison of the two works regarding the date and nature of their (common) authorship. Philippides shows how rhyme is adapted to the internal structure of both works.
Philippides, Dia. "Rhyming Patterns in the Erotokritos and The Sacrifice of Abraham: A Preliminary Investigation." Cretan Studies 1 (1988):205-216.
As a first step toward a fuller linguistic and stylistic analysis of The Sacrifice of Abraham, Philippides published a concordance of the play. She now reevaluates opinions on the play's authorship and date of writing by comparing its stylistic features (especially rhyme) to those in the text of Erotokritos. The comparative analysis is based on phonological and morphological criteria. She also links the repetition of some lexical patterns in the rhyme to the dramatic content of the play. Philippides concludes that the differences in frequency of the rhymes between the two texts could be due to differences in the subject matter. The analysis does not preclude the hypotheses: (a) that the two texts have the same author, or (b) that the richer rhyme of Erotokritos proves that it was composed after The Sacrifice of Abraham. Besides rhyme, additional stylistic features (meter, word frequencies, variant forms, patterns of phrasing) also need to be studied before any conclusions can be reached. An earlier version of these ideas appears in Dia Philippides and J. Frangiovini, "Patterns in the Rhyming Couplets of Cretan Renaissance Drama: The Case of The Sacrifice of Abraham." In Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference of the Association of Literary and Linguistic Computing, 153-168. Norwich: University of East Anglia, 1-4 April 1986.
Politis, Linos. A History of Modern Greek Literature. Translated by Robert Liddell. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973.
Politis devotes 338 pages to poems, novels, and short stories but only 17 pages to plays (54-59, 62-64, 147-149, 177-178, 214-220, 222-223, 225-226, 263-267). He presents an uneven, reductive, highly selective, and occasionally misleading account of modern Greek drama. He highlights plays and playwrights in the general context of modern Greek literature; yet he spends more time on late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Cretan drama than on any other period of Greek drama in the eighteenth, nineteenth, or twentieth centuries.
Politis, Linos. "The Theater in Crete During the Time of the Renaissance." In The Modern Greek Theater: A Concise History, translated by Lucille Vassardaki, xiv-xxii. Athens: Difros, 1957.
Politis discusses eight plays that were written between 1600 and 1669--three tragedies: Erophili, King Rodolinos, and Zeno; three comedies: Katzourbos, Stathis, and Fortunatos; a pastoral tragicomedy: Gyparis; and a religious drama: The Sacrifice of Abraham. Politis briefly summarizes the textual history of these plays and compares them to their Italian models.
Poulakidas, Andreas. "The Operatic Aspects of Kazantzakis' Broken Souls." Folia Neohellenica 5 (1983):157-173.
Poulakidas argues that Kazantzakis's novel Spasmenes psuches (1908) can be divided into four operatic arias (Triomfale, Vibrato, Fouette, Marche Fenebre) because it observes the five elements that Lehman Engel prescribes for an opera: feeling, subplot, romance, particularization of characters and situations, and comedy. The story begins at the grave of Adamantios Koraës in Paris on March 25 and focuses on four characters, Orestes, Nora, Chrisoula, and Gorgias Progonopliktos. Orestes, a 25 year old student, is modeled after Aeschylus's tragic hero; Gorgias is an unemployed expert on Sophocles's tragedies; Nora, a liberated woman, reflects the dark Dionysian forces as described by Euripides; and Chrysoula embodies the Christian virtues of self-sacrifice and pure love. Poulakidas concludes that Manolis Kalomiris must have detected the operatic elements in Kazantzakis's early novels and plays because he turned The Sacrifice (renamed The Masterbuilder) into a "musical tragedy" in 1916.
Puchner, Walter. "Scenic Space in Cretan Theater." Mantatophoros 21 (1983):43-57.
Puchner examines several sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Cretan playtexts such as Erophili, King Rodolinos, Fortunatos, Katzourbos, Panoria, and The Sacrifice of Abraham. Based on an alleged similar theatrical activity in Ragusa, Sicily, he tries to show how plays were staged on the island of Crete. By analogy to the practices of the Academy of the Stravaganti and the Vivi, he assumes that they were staged in an upper-class environment during important social events. However, there seems to have been a public, popular theater, such as that in Handakas until 1660, that may invalidate current assumptions about scenic space in Crete. He concludes that most Cretan playtexts required a conventional simple set design--a Serlio-type of set with multi-local possibilities. The comic playtexts required panoramic views; the intermedia required either a pastoral or a war setting; and the religious dramas probably had their own staging conventions.
Puchner, Walter. "Tragedy." In Literature and Society in Renaissance Crete, 129-158. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Puchner surveys three five-act tragedies that range in style from late Renaissance to Jesuit baroque. These are Georgios Chortatzis's Erofili (ca. 1590), Ioannis Andreas Troilos's King Rodolinos (1647), and an anonymous dramatist's Zeno (1631). Puchner provides fundamental historical information for each tragedy, including a plot summary, a plot analysis, a metrical analysis, and, when applicable, a production record. Erofili (3205 verses), the most frequently published and performed of the three, is fashioned after Giraldi Cinthio's tragedy Orbecche (1547) and Torquato Tasso's tragedy Il re Torrismondo (1587). Erofili uses character psychology, dramatic action, and theatrical language more effectively than its models. It also bridges literary and oral culture in modern Greece. King Rodolinos (3230 verses) is modeled after Torquato Tasso's Il re Torrismondo. However, it moves dramatic action from Northern Europe to Northern Africa, while it drops ten scenes from the last three acts of its model, and focuses on the main character. It was probably never performed. Zeno (2195 verses) is a historical tragedy about the Byzantine Emperor Zeno (474-491). It was modeled after a tragedy by the same title written in Latin by the English Jesuit Joseph Simon (1594-1671) in Rome. Zeno and his cousin Longinos perpetrate many crimes in order to gain and secure power. When the wheel of Fortune turns, Longinos is fatally wounded by his victims' ghosts, and Zeno is walled into his grave alive. Spectacle, not language, is the strongest element in this tragedy. It was performed in Zakynthos in 1683, and it connects the seventeenth-century Cretan drama with the eighteenth-century Heptanesian drama of Petros Katsaitis. Puchner mentions, but does not discuss, Francesco Bozza's tragedy Fedra (1578), which was written in Italian.
Raizis, Byron. "Kazantzakis' Ur-Odysseus, Homer, and Gerhart Hauptmann." The Journal of Modern Literature 2/2 (1971-1972):199-214.
Raizis departs from Prevelakis's claim that Kazantzakis was influenced by Hauptmann when he wrote his play Odysseus (1928). Raizis compares Kazantzakis's play with Hauptmann's The Bow of Odysseus (1914). Both playwrights borrow material from Homer's account in the last books of the Odyssey. However, Hauptmann selects only what can be treated in a rational, realistic manner. His characters are psychological entities with realistic motives. Kazantzakis gives an allegorical interpretation of Homer's story. He injects Bergson's and Nietzsche's ideas into the Homeric situation. Raizis concludes that the influence of Hauptmann helped Kazantzakis improve the make-believe aspect of his play, but that Kazantzakis freely created his two-dimensional Ur-Odysseus.
Rexine, John. "The Karagiozis Heroic Performance in Greek Shadow Theatre. Text by Linda S. Myrsiades. Translation by Kostas Myrsiades. Hanover, New Hampshire and London: University Press of New England, 1988." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 15/1-2 (1988):114-117.
In this book review, Rexine points out that this joint effort provides, for the first time in English, the texts of two Karagiozis plays (Kostas Manos's Katsantonis and Markos Ksanthos's The Seven Beasts and Karaghiozis). The book has four parts that, in succession, provide a discussion about the Turkish origins of Karaghiozis, a translation of the two plays, with endnotes, an analysis of the two plays and their variant sources, and an appendix with information about the characters. Rexine acknowledges that this study reinforces the view that, despite the Turkish origin of Karagöz, Karaghiozis is an integral part of the Greek folk tradition. He also notes that Linda Myrsiades is sympathetic to Yannis Kiurtsakis, who thinks that Karaghiozis represents the coexistence of continuity and discontinuity, heroism and anti-heroism, past and present. Rexine concludes that this study is a rich source of information for the English-speaking scholar.
Rondiris, Dimitrios. "The Greek Tragedy Electra: Chorus as Theater." In Theater: The Search for Style, edited by John Mitchell, 177-196. Midland, Michigan: Northwood Institute Press, 1982.
Rondiris, who studied drama under Max Reinhardt, explains how he developed an operatic style of presentation for the revival of classical Greek tragedy in the 1930s. As Director General of the National Theater of Greece, he founded the Classical Greek Theater Festival in Athens with a production of Sophocles's Electra in 1936, and the Classical Greek Theater Festival at Epidaurus with a production of Euripides's Hippolytus in 1954. Rondiris uses Electra as an example to highlight his directorial approach to the choreography and orchestration of voice, diction, movement, and acting for the chorus as he freely borrows ideas from the entire Greek tradition--classical and Byzantine alike. Rondiris's approach has influenced not only the style of presentation of revived classical Greek tragedies, but of modern Greek tragedies as well.
Sideris, Giannis. The Modern Greek Theater: A Concise History. Translated by Lucille Vassardaki. Athens: Difros, 1957.
This book, aside from Sideris's illustrated historical survey from 1757 to 1957, contains two articles: Emil Hourmouzios's "The Ancient Drama in Our Time" (i-xiii) and Linos Politis's "The Theater in Crete during the Time of the Renaissance" (xiv-xxii). Sideris highlights the theater of the Greek Enlightenment, the theater of the Ionian Islands, and the theater of Athens, which had its first permanent resident theater company in the newly built Theater of Athens (alias Boukouras Theater) in 1862. He marks a theatrical awakening with the new companies and buildings in the 1880s. He mentions the appearance of the New Stage Company and the Royal Theater Company in 1901, the revival of classical Greek drama at the Theater of Delphi (1927), the Theater of Herod Atticus (1936), and the Theater of Epidaurus (1954); the establishment of the Free Stage (1929) and the National Theater of Greece (1932). He concludes with the theatrical activity in postwar Greece and a list of theatrical organizations in the 1950s.
Sideris, Giannis. "The Playwrights of the Modern Greek Theater." Thespis 2-3 (1965):10-43.
Sideris surveys popular Greek playwrights and mentions their most popular plays. The article reads like an illustrated telephone directory that follows a questionable chronological order rather than an alphabetical one. Sideris gives the dates of birth and death for each playwright. He starts with Timoleon (1818) by Ioannis Zambelios (1787-1856), goes back to the plays of seventeenth-century Cretan playwrights, and ends with Villa of Orgies (1963) by Gerasimos Stavrou. He also mentions two outstanding Greek actors and one actress: Vasilis Argyropoulos (1894-1953), Evangelos Pantopoulos (1860-1913), and Marika Kotopouli (1887-1954).
Solomos, Alexis. The Living Aristophanes. Translated by Alexis Solomos and Marvin Felheim. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1974.
The introductory chapter, "The Theater of Aristophanes Today" (1-11), and the concluding chapter, "The Posterity of Aristophanes" (244-276), explain why Aristophanes has been a major influence on modern Greek playwrights. Solomos raises the question of how Aristophanes's comedies should be meaningfully revived for modern Greek audiences, suggesting that modern Greek dances should substitute for ancient Greek dances (e.g., chasapikos ). He also shows how Aristophanes's comedies were interpreted and revived on modern Greek stages by directors, such as himself, who frequently produced modern Greek comedies in the same spirit. Solomos sees the intoxication, impropriety, and sexuality of Aristophanic comedy in the context of Kazantzakis, Bergson, Chaplin, Disney, Karaghiozis, and the music hall tradition, or in the context of topics such as "war," "justice," and "feminism."
Spatharis, Sotiris. Behind the White Screen. Translated by Mario Rinvolucri and Leslie Finer. New York: Red Dust, 1976.
This book is divided into two parts: The first part (7-91) is a translation of the memoirs of the Karaghiozis puppeteer Sotiris Spatharis, who first published them in Greek in Athens in 1960. The second part is a translation of Spatharis's anecdotal remarks on the history and the art of the Karaghiozis shadow theater. This part has the following sections: an account of the arrival of the Karaghiozis shadow theater in Greece, a list of the Karaghiozis puppeteers, a list of the main characters in the Karaghiozis shadow theater, an account of how the shadow theater figures are made, an explanation on the "hinges" that turn a figure (about-face) on the screen, a description of the stage and screen of the Karaghiozis shadow theater, a long note on the singers who accompanied the performances of the Karaghiozis shadow theater, and a retelling of several jokes by Karaghiozis puppeteers.
Stavrakopoulou, Anna. "Linda S. Myrsiades and Kostas Myrsiades. Karagiozis: Culture and Comedy in Greek Puppet Theatre. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1992." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 11/1 (1993):179-183.
In this book review, Stavrakopoulou points to the interdisciplinary scope of this study and to "some alarming misunderstandings" that appear in the text, undermining its validity. In the first part of the book, which is dedicated to the life and art of puppeteer Yorgos Haridimos, the authors deal with cultural issues that determine the "making" of a puppeteer and his type of performance. Stavrakopoulou notes that, in the book, the female characters of the Karaghiozis shadow theater are polarized between the old shrew and the young virgin. The second part of the book transcribes a performance of Karagiozis [as] Baker by Haridimos in a meticulous and complete way that includes the responses of the audience. But Stavrakopoulou is disturbed because, in her opinion, the authors did not recognize the contribution of such scholars as Yannis Kiourtsakis and Mario Rinvolucri to the study of Karaghiozis.
Stavrakopoulou, Anna. "Stathis Damianakos, editor. Theatro skiôn, paradosê kai neôterikotêta . Athens: Plethron, 1989." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 13/1 (1995):139-141.
In this book review, Stavrakopoulou praises the editor for fostering a universalist (instead of a nationalist) approach to a topic of interest to students of Greek culture and theater. The book contains the editor's introduction, and 21 articles. The articles appear in three sections discussing the Asian (Thai, Indian, and Javanese) sources of the shadow theater; the Mediterranean (Turkish and Greek) variants of the shadow theater; and the practice and values of the shadow theater from a psychological, semiological, and postmodern perspective. Stavrakopoulou claims that, some thirty years ago, Greek and other European scholars were reluctant to acknowledge the Far East origin of the Greek shadow theater. All the articles touch upon such topics as training, production techniques, performative techniques, improvisation, and thematic similarity. Stavrakopoulou sees this book as a sequel to the 1963 issue of Theatro that was dedicated to the Greek shadow theater.
Terzakis, Angelos. Homage to the Tragic Muse. Translated by Athan Anagnostopoulos. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978.
This book is a subjective and largely undocumented account that illustrates Terzakis's own understanding of tragedy as he discusses several tragedies such as Oedipus Rex, Hippolytus, Dr. Faustus, Antony and Cleopatra, and Romeo and Juliet. It gives a clear description of Terzakis's existential concept of tragedy as demonstrated by the plays he wrote after World War II. Terzakis argues that a tragedy does not provide the answer to the mystery of existence, but rather presents a coherent structure whose verity results from the internal tensions of the dramatic utterance. Tragedy arises from the opposition between human conscience and the world "order" wherever and whenever they collide. His criterion for tragedy rests upon the tragic hero, whose youthful, pioneering spirit pushes him or her to challenge the established order of things.
Terzakis, Angelos. "Contemporary Theater in Greece." Thespis 6 (1972):32-33.
Terzakis makes a very general statement about how the Greek people have always loved the theater. He briefly mentions seventeenth-century Greek drama on the island of Crete and nineteenth-century Greek drama on the mainland. He focuses on the debate between theater artists and scholars on the "appropriate" performance style: (a) for reviving classical drama, (b) for portraying modern Greek society on stage, and (c) for distinguishing a genuine modern Greek drama from its European counterparts. He praises the artistic individualism of the modern Greeks and asserts that Greek theater artists have produced an "incredible" amount of work since 1830.
Terzakis, Angelos. "Matesis' Vassilikos: The First Drama of Ideas." In Modern Greek Writers: Solomos, Calvos, Matesis, Palamas, Cavafy, Kazantzakis, Seferis, Elytis, edited by Edmund Keeley and Peter Bien, 93-107. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1972.
Terzakis argues that Matesis's Vassilikos is an artistically and ideologically precocious play for both Greek and European dramatic literature. It was written by an enlightened aristocrat, and it is a social drama that deals with the problems facing the aristocracy in a changing world. Matesis, who was four years younger than Dionysios Solomos, was a member of Solomos's coterie. Vassilikos was written on the island of Zakynthos, which was a British protectorate, whereas mainland Greece had just been liberated from Ottoman rule. The play was written in 1830, the very year that French Romanticism made its debut on the stage with Victor Hugo's Hernani. In Terzakis's opinion, the Greek play is superior to the French play. Hernani is a poor melodrama with pompous dialogue written in excellent verse. Vassilikos is a realistic drama with simple, direct dialogue, written with a sense of immediacy. If Greek, not French, had been the fashionable language in 1830, Vassilikos, not Hernani, would have been the accomplishment of European theater.
Terzakis, Angelos, George Theotokas, Alekos Lidorikis, Notis Pergialis, Sotiris Patatzis, Vangelis Goufas, and Iakovos Kambanellis. "The Modern Greek Playwrights and Their Problems." Thespis 2-3 (1965): 45-50.
This article identifies the following problems: (1) How to modernize Greek drama by internationalizing its themes about man's relationship to his destiny (Terzakis), (2) how to secure artistic and financial progress for Greek playwrights without submitting to the anxieties of the economically developed cultures (Theotokas), (3) how to sell a play as "commercial enough" to a producer and how to withstand rewriting it to satisfy directors and leading actors (Lidorikis), (4) how to keep modern Greek theater alive against the elitist, decadent trends that undermine dialogue, characterization, and fourth-wall illusion by bringing actors and spectators "into a revolting intimacy" (Patatzis), (5) how to stop the overwhelming production of translated foreign plays, the irresponsible reviews of theater critics, the star-system, the pandering to the vulgar tastes of the public, and the censorship of socially conscious plays (Pergialis), (6) how to take Greek drama beyond the narrow psychological cases of Tennessee Williams and the social symbolism of Bertolt Brecht (Goufas), (7) how to discover and render the "unique" characteristics of the contemporary Greeks (Kambanellis).
Theodorakis, Mikis. Music and Theater. Translated by George Giannaris. Athens: Efstathiadis, 1983.
This book contains Theodorakis's artistic credo (15-62), a translation of his musical tragedy The Ballad of the Dead Brother (63-130), a translation of his dramatic fantasy Exodus (131-147), the music to the songs of The Ballad of the Dead Brother with the lyrics in Greek and in transliteration (149-168), and Giannaris's essay on Theodorakis's approaches to incidental music for classical Greek drama (169-178). The book presents Theodorakis's most articulate statements on theater and music in the 1960s. Theodorakis started writing for the musical revue before he ventured to write music for classical Greek plays such as Euripides's The Phoenician Women (1960) and for plays such as Vasilis Rotas's translation of Brendan Behan's The Hostage (1962). Theodorakis, like the classical Greek playwrights who wrote the music to their own plays, strove for a unity between drama and music.
Trilling, Ossia. "Away with Us to Athens: A Bird's Eye View of the Greek Theater Today." Theater World 56/424 (1960):32-33, 41-42.
This illustrated article mentions that in 1960 Greece had nine schools of drama with three-year curricula and nineteen theaters, two of which were state-subsidized--i.e., the National Theater of Greece and the National Opera of Greece, absorbing, annually, £131,000 and £95,000, respectively. It mentions the following productions of modern Greek plays: Sklavos's Kassiane, an opera about the love of Emperor Theophilos for a ninth-century poetess, hymnographer and nun; Kambanellis's "social realist" play Yard of Wonders; Kasonas's sentimental Trees Die Upright (Diamantopoulos); Skouloudis's The Dreyfus Affair (Myrat), and Psathas's comedy Company of Miracles (Horn). It reports that private theaters in Greece get interest-free loans but pay high admission tax (25% for plays and 40% for musicals), that actors have free pension funds and health insurance, and that Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece, had no permanent theater in 1960.
Valamvanos, George. " Athenaïki epitheoresi --The Athenian Review, by Thodoros Hatzipantazis and Lila Maraka. Athens: Ermis, 1977." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 6/1 (1979):109-113.
Valamvanos reviews this well-documented, three-volume book on the Athenian revue. Two of the volumes include seminal "texts" of annual revues such as A Bit of Everything (1894), Cinema (1908), Panathenaia (1911), and Ksifir Faler (1916). The third volume gives a disappointing analysis but insightful footnotes. The Greek quest for European models, which encouraged the production of many foreign plays, was responsible, according to Valamvanos, for the production of only 384 original modern Greek plays in Athens from 1800 to 1908. The "central" and the "regional" Athenian revues, which were modeled after a French prototype, satirized the Athenian sociopolitical environment between 1907 and 1922, but were occasionally subjected to government censorship. Despite the lack of any definitive "texts," most revues follow a similar pattern. They have a three-act structure that is unified by the presence of an actor who appears throughout the play. Each act has several scenes (or numbers) interspersed with songs, music, dance, and spectacle.
Valamvanos, George. " Theatro sta bouna --Theater in the Mountains, by George Kotzioulas. Athens: Themelio, 1976." Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 5/4 (1979):91-93.
Valamvanos reviews this book which contains 14 plays by Yorgos Kotzioulas and his essay on the production record of his traveling theater company--perhaps the best example of ideologically committed theater in Greece in the 1940s. Valamvanos discusses Cinderfella, The Party Representative, The Forest Ranger, The Policeman, The Sufferings of the Jews, Women of Epirus, and Wake Up, Slave. The plays follow the following formula: the villagers, at first, mistrust the communist partisans; then they begin to trust them because of a benevolent act; finally, they realize that without them they have no hopes for survival, freedom, or equality. The plays' message is twofold: repel the Nazis and change the social structure. In conclusion, these agit-prop plays are one-dimensional, employing the same antics and dialogue as the Greek shadow theater.
Vallianos, Pericles. "Homage to the Tragic Muse by Angelos Terzakis." Translated by Athan Anagnostopoulos. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978. Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora 6/1 (1979):97-102.
Vallianos writes a favorable book review of Athan Anagnostopoulos's translation of Terzakis's subjective, undocumented discussion. He focuses on Terzakis's concept of tragedy, which places the tragic conflict beyond the range of rational discourse. The substance of the tragic conflict is a confrontation between the ineffable world and the human will, which defies it. Although the destruction of the individual rebel is "preordained," tragedy presents the problem, not the solution, of freedom. Vallianos reviews Terzakis's analyses of Sophocles's Oedipus Rex, Marlow's Dr. Faustus (which Terzakis considers the first genuine tragedy of the Christian world), and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, concluding that, for Terzakis, tragedy is an aesthetic rendition of the conflict over human freedom whose purpose remains a sealed mystery to human intelligence. In a psychological rather than a physiological sense, the tragic age is the age of youth, which challenges its limits and is crushed.
Van Dyck, Karen. "Linda Myrsiades, The Karagiozis Heroic Performance in Greek Shadow Theatre. Text by Linda S. Myrsiades, translation by Kostas Myrsiades. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 1988." Journal of Modern Greek Studies 11/1 (1993):178-179.
Van Dyck welcomes this joint effort to inform the English-speaking public about the tradition of the Greek shadow theater. The book, which is organized into three chapters and three appendices, places the Karaghiozis performances in their historical contexts and presents English translations of two Karaghiozis texts, The Hero Katsantonis and The Seven Beasts and Karagiozis. The various appendices sketch out the main Karaghiozis characters, the mechanics of the "stage," and the publishing history of the plays. Van Dyck concludes that this pioneering book falls short of its aspiration to speak meaningfully to both scholarly readers and lay readers. The authors' scholarly efforts involve a great deal of summarizing of the work of other scholars with very little analysis or new insight. Their attempt to simplify (popularize) their topic undermines their scholarly pretentions and is, in turn, undermined by detailed chronologies.
Velimirovic , Milos. "Liturgical Drama in Byzantium and Russia." Dumbarton Oak Papers 16 (1962):349-385.
Velimirovi^c discusses references by Ignatius of Smolensk (1389), Bertrandon de la Broquiere (1432), and Symeon of Thessaloniki (Dialogus contra Haereses) about the performance of the liturgical drama Three Children in the Furnace. He suggests that the liturgical drama and its practice are older than the first recorded date in the fourteenth century. He also compares four extant manuscripts of the play: MS 2406 (A.D. 1453 ) in the National Library of Greece; MS 1120 (A.D. 1458) in the Iviron Monastery on Mt. Athos, Greece; MS 1527 (sixteenth century) of Mt. Sinai in microfilm in the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; and MS^165 (seventeenth century) in the Lavra Monastery on Mt. Athos, Greece. All four manuscripts contain musical notations. The staging directions for the children are identical in MS 2406, MS 1120, and MS^165. He concludes that in the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches liturgical plays were performed inside the churches.
Vincent, Alfred. "Comedy." In Literature and Society in Renaissance Crete, edited by David Holton, 103-128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Vincent introduces three five-act urban comedies that were written in Greek during the Venetian period. These are Georgios Hortatsis's Katzourbos (or Katzarapos); an anonymous dramatist's Stathis, and Markos Antonios Foskolos's Fortounatos (ca. 1655). Vincent provides plot summaries for each comedy, discusses their relation to earlier neoclassical Italian comedies, and explores parallels between their dramatic "world" and the "real" world in Crete as illustrated in historical documents. He mentions the Venetian actor Antonio da Molino, who visited Crete in the sixteenth century, and the seventeenth-century testimony of Giovanni Papadopoli, who witnessed theatrical performances during Carnival. The three comedies share all the basic features of the Italian literary comedy (commedia erudita) as developed by Ariosto, Macchiavelli, Aretino, and Bibbiena. Their action covers less than a day, it is set in Kastro at a time close to the date of writing, the protagonists belong to the urban "middle classes," the happy ending is precipitated by the discovery of a character's long-lost child, and the last act ends in a brief address to the audience by one of the characters. Stathis as preserved in manuscript has only three acts because it was "edited" at some point during its transmission. The use of verse in Greek comedies marks a break with Italian practice, which had introduced prose since the early sixteenth century. Vincent concludes that the attitudes on social and political issues conveyed by these three comedies were benign and did not offend either the prosperous urban classes or the Venetian administration.
Vincent, Alfred. "A Manuscript of Chortatses' Erophile in Birmingham." University of Birmingham Historical Journal 12/2 (1970):261-267.
The Library of the University of Birmingham acquired a manuscript of Georgios Hortatsis's tragedy Erophile (ca. 1599) that was auctioned at Sotheby's on 15 June 1970. Matthaios Kigalas, who edited the first printed edition of this tragedy in 1637, mentioned a manuscript allegedly written in Hortatsis's own hand. The Birmingham manuscript is written in the Italian alphabet. Two other manuscripts known to have survived are the one in the library of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece in Athens (ms. Th 62 ) and the one in the National Library of Munich (ms. graec. 590). Ambrose Gradenigos, who edited the 1676 edition of this tragedy, provided a better text because he reportedly preserved the play's "natural Cretan language," and restored the text to the form in which Hortatsis wrote it. Vincent concludes that its title, dedication, list of characters, and intermedia were added later. Vincent discerns three different handwritings, and is able to identify one of them. It belongs to playwright Marcos Antonios Foscolos (ca. 1597-1662), who wrote the comedy Fortunatos (1655). This comedy survived in a manuscript written by Foscolos himself. It is owned by the Marcian Library in Venice.
V., S. "Review of Three Cretan Plays: The Sacrifice of Abraham, Erophile and Gyparis, translated by F. H. Marshall, with an introduction by John Mavrogordato. Oxford University Press, 1929." Journal of Hellenic Studies 50 (1930):369.
S. V. gives a very brief, condescending review of Marshall's translations and of Mavrogordato's introduction. According to S. V., the introduction largely consists of a summary of the "miracle play," the "tragedy of blood," and of the "pastoral drama." S. V. argues that these plays constitute outstanding achievements of early seventeenth-century Greek literature and are not adaptations of Italian plays. S. V. mentions that The Sacrifice of Abraham was successfully performed in Greece and Holland in the late 1920s, and observes that Marshall, who translated the "political verse" of the Greek plays into the English "fourteener, a rather refractory metre," did not succeed in keeping it consistently under control.
Wace, A. J. B. "Mumming Plays in the Southern Balkans." The Annual of the British School at Athens 19 (1912-1913):248-265.
Wace argues that mumming plays were shared by Greeks, Bulgarians, Vlachs, Albanians, and Gypsies. Wace describes mumming performances in Thessaly and Macedonia during the holiday of Epiphany (the 6th of January) from 1910 to 1912. He mentions towns such as Agyia (Mt. Ossa), Peparethos (Skopelos), Zangarada (Mt. Pelion), Kozani, and several villages (Mt. Pindos). At Briaza, a mummer play involved a bride, a bridegroom, an Arab, a doctor, and a Karaghiozou. This performance was repeated during Carnival Day. In Grevena, the clergy demanded that the mumming play be transferred from Epiphany Day to Carnival Day. Wace concludes that mumming plays support the premise of the Dionysiac origin of classical Greek drama, especially if one compares the ancient Greek satyrs to the modern Greek kallikantzaroi and if one recalls that Dionysus arrived in Athens from the north, where the mumming plays are not exclusively Greek.
Wace, A. J. B. "North Greek Festivals and the Worship of Dionysos." The Annual of the British School at Athens 16 (1909-1910):232-253.
Wace observed several mumming performances in Thessaly and Southern Macedonia on the eve of Epiphany Day from 1906 to 1909. At sunset, groups of twelve boys would form eight-member choruses (divided into two four-member semi-choruses) with four actors who impersonated four stock characters: a bride, a bridegroom, an Arab (in a black mask of goatskin or a pumpkin shell, a beard of goat's hair, a sheepskin cloak, and a tail), and a doctor. The boys performed in the front yard of the houses. The choruses in a semi-circle sang " Sêmeron ta phôta " to the host family, and the actors, in the center, performed a simple play: The Arab steals a kiss from the bride. The bridegroom quarrels with the Arab. The Arab kills the bridegroom. The bride mourns the bridegroom and fetches the doctor. The doctor brings the bridegroom back to life with a miraculous medicine. The bridegroom gets up and makes love to the bride. If the host family failed to treat the group with a gift (money or food), the boys "tricked" the family by stealing chickens or by cutting the family's vine stems or by singing a "curse." This illustrated article ends by observing that European influence, Greek education, and the police (who punish chicken theft) have lessened the practice of these carnival plays of death and resurrection.
Wellesz, Egon. "The Nativity Drama of the Byzantine Church." Journal of Roman Studies 37 (1947):145-151.
A large number of monostrophic hymns ( troparia ) in Eastern Orthodox Churches originally followed a verse ( stichos ) from a psalm or canticle. Wellesz argues that their connection with the content of the verse was loosened as hymnography developed and their number increased. The words and melodies of these verses, which were intended for singing, were blended together. The highest achievements of this technique are the hymns for Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, which have a distinct dramatic element. This dramatic element is so well developed that a kind of liturgical drama can be detected. After comparing five manuscripts, Wellesz concludes that the words and the melodies of the Nativity cycle remained unaltered from the tenth to the thirteenth century. Wellesz does not venture to reconstruct the original form of the Byzantine Nativity play, but surveys twelve tropária composed or adapted by Sophronius for Christmas Eve in order to show how the fully developed form of the Nativity drama unfolded itself to the congregation of the ninth century.
Wellesz, Egon. "The Theatre" and "The Pantomime." In A History of Byzantine Music and Hymnography, 2nd revised edition, 85-87, 87-88. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961.
Wellesz mentions the sixty second canon of the Concilium in Trullo, which prohibits the masks of Aristophanic comedies, satyr plays, and Euripidean tragedies. The Byzantine Empire of the sixth century inherited from Rome seven different kinds of light comedy (palliata, togata, Attelana, tabernalia, Rhinthonics, phanipedaria, mimic comedies), and the pantomime. The Christian Church, however, suppressed these "pagan" pastimes because they allegedly ridiculed the Christian religion. According to Libanius's essay Oratorio pro saltatoribus (94-98), pantomimes were performed in the following way: a poem was sung and an actor expounded its meaning through a mimic dance. Mimic dancers such as Xenophon could perform a complete tragedy such as Euripides's The Bacchae. Wellesz concludes that the mimic dancers ( tragôidoi ) were very popular with Byzantine audiences during the Empire despite the discriminatory social policies of the Christian Church.
Whitman, Cedric. "Appendix: Karaghiozes and Aristophanic Comedy." In Aristophanes and the Comic Hero, 281-293. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964.
Whitman questions the strained, chauvinistic assumptions of scholars such as Costas Biris and Giulio Caimi who trace the origin of the Karaghiozis shadow theater to the Old Attic comedy on the grounds of similarities that cannot be validated historically. Whitman raises two questions: Why and how did the Turkish Karagöz, who seems to be the most direct parent of the Greek Karaghiozis, become, scarcely a generation after the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, a naturalized Greek struggling for survival under Turkish rule? What determined the transformation of the Turkish Karagöz into the Greek Karaghiozis, who is strangely reminiscent of Aristophanic characters? Whitman discusses the contribution of Mimaros (Dimitrios Sardounis), who began this transformation by introducing new themes and Greek stock characters. He also discusses the image of the oppressed but resilient "little self," which makes both Karaghiozis and the Aristophanic characters stand as national or individual survival symbols. He finally links Karaghiozis's ponêria, anaideia, and alazoneia with the Byzantine hymns celebrating military triumphs ( apelatika ) and the Zakynthian homilies. Whitman concludes that the similarities between Karaghiozis and the Aristophanic comedies are due to a revival rather than to a survival of a certain kind of comic spirit that can be discerned in the plays of Gouzelis, Rousmelis, and Vizantios.
Wilson, Colin. "The Greatness of Nikos Kazantzakis." The Minnesota Review 8/2 (1968):159-180.
Wilson claimed in The Outsider (1956) that the day of the "men of genius" who felt stifled by society was over. Years later, he discovered that Kazantzakis, another "outsider," was still alive when his--Wilson's--book was published. For Wilson, man has reached a point in his evolution where he experiences the choice to transform himself. Unlike Sartre and Camus, Kazantzakis tackled this issue of freedom with "Promethean" rigor. Following the anti-Christian ideas of Nietzsche and Marx, Kazantzakis ceased to regard man as a servant of God and he raised man to the status of God's co-worker. For Kazantzakis, God would die without man's creative efforts. Man becomes the savior of God through the godlike act of creation. In the context of these ideas, Wilson briefly mentions four of Kazantzakis's plays: The Master Mason (1908), Lidio-Lidia (1936), Othello Returns (1937), and Christopher Columbus (1949). Kazantzakis's existential man is indestructible because, like Sisyphus, he insists on pushing the rock uphill or, like Prometheus, he re-creates himself.
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