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Women in Ancient Greek Drama including Roles, Influences, Audiences, and Questions and Answers



Women in Ancient Greek Drama



The word ‘tragedy’ means ‘goat song’ and comes to us from from Indo-European ‘Tragos’, ‘Goat’ and ‘wed-2’, ‘To speak’. According to The encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture goat entrails were used as a part of a Greek funeral ceremony as sops for the Greek canine of the underworld Cerberus. So the goat seems to be associated with the dead. It has also been said that the goat is quite friendly to the shepherd and so his death seems tragic. Goats are also associated with the god Dionysus.

Drama came to us from religious worship. Specifically it came from the worship of Dionysus, not Athene, not Zeus, and not Poseidon. The transition from religious worship occurred some time in the sixth century BCE. The conviction of the religion of Dionysus, that the worshipper can not only worship, but can become, can be, his god, is essentially dramatic.

Greek plays were often presented to honor the god Dionysus but mainly in Athens. They were given in the Greek month of Elaphebolion 11-13 (in March-April) for 7 to 8 hours each day. In Athens on the southwest slope of the Acropolis plays were presented on the round flag-stoned dance floor of the theater. This was the celebration of the Great Dionysia, a festival for the god Dionysus, but for men only.

In other parts of Greece festivals for the god Dionysus included women so the festival in Athens was unique, but it was also unique in that dramas were produced. The question of whether women participated in drama and what was her part is the subject of great debate. Most information has woman excluded from the theaters in Classical times. Before this the situation is fuzzy. The theater grew out of religious festivals and there is evidence that women participated in festivals where women played the part of a goddess in the Minoan Culture.

Greek Masks
Illustration to the left — Greek Masks

The distinction between what must have happened during the women’s festivals and what happened in the Great Dionysia is clarified by Plato Republic, III, 394b,

“…there is one kind of poetry and tale telling which works wholly through imitation, as you remarked, tragedy, and comedy, and another which employs the recital of the poet himself, best exemplified, I presume, in dithyramb (διθύραμβος), and there is again that which employs both, in epic poetry and in many other places.”

It was Aristotle who stated the origins of drama, Poetics, 4.1449a9ff:

Drama certainly began with improvisations–as did also Comedy; the one originating in the authors of the dithyramb(διθύραμβος), the other with those of the Phallic songs,…” Thus the thought is that drama began as recital and changed to imitation.

The Bacchae of Euripides is important because the drama actually includes Dionysus as one of the actors. It is confusing because in it one of the Maenads ((Greek: μαινάδες, Bacchae) says, Euripides, Bacchae:”From the land of Asia, having left sacred Tmolus, I am swift to perform for Bromius my sweet labor and toil easily borne, celebrating the god Bacchus.” Euripides also refers to him as a new god. But this cannot be true because of the remarkable similarities of the cult of Dionysus to the cults depicted on the artifacts from the Minoan culture. In fact the name is found among the texts of the Mycenaean culture from Crete. This is dicussed by Carl Kerenyi in his book Dionysos on page 68. Euripides does admit to a Cretan source for drama when the Maenads sing,

Hail thou, O Nurse of Zeu, O Caverned Haunt
Where fierce arms clanged to guard God's cradle rare,
For thee of old some crested Korybant
First woke in Cretan air
The wild orb of our orgies,
Our timbrel; and thy gorges
Rang with this strain; and blended Phrygian chant
And sweet keen pipes were there."

Of course the Korybantes (Greek: Κορύβαντες) were male and the Maenads that worshiped Dionysus were female. The dithyramb is a frenzied dance and one can see this in the behavior of the Korybantes. It is the Maenads in the The Bacchae that perform in this way. The connection between the dithyramb and the drama is suggested by The Bacchae, Line 296,

Cleaves to all frenzy, but beyond all else
To frenzy of prayer, Then in us verily dwells
The god himself, and speaks the thing to be.

In drama, then the god can be said to speak, and because of the divine nature of his speech the future can describe. It seems as though it is the soul of spirit of a person that is in touch with god that thus can then speak. The realm of Dionysus often given as that of wine. But it may be that it is the ability of wine to affect the spirit of man that is really important. It is certainly the spirit that is the target of drama. In The Bacchae this seems to be the case when Teiresias says, line 277

“He found the liquid shower
Hid in the grape. He rests man’s spirit dim
From grieving, when the vine exalteth him.
He giveth sleep to sink the fretful day
In cool forgetting.”

There can be no doubt, in The Bacchae that women are the primary worshipers of Dionysus. Yet in that context they are forced. In another context they behaved as Ariadne did in Homer, Iliad, Book XVIII: “Furthermore he wrought a green, like that which Daedalus once made in Knossos for lovely Ariadne. Hereon there danced youths and maidens whom all would woo, with their hands on one another’s wrists. The maidens wore robes of light linen, and the youths well woven shirts that were slightly oiled. The girls were crowned with garlands, while the young men had daggers of gold that hung by silver baldrics; sometimes they would dance deftly in a ring with merry twinkling feet, as it were a potter sitting at his work and making trial of his wheel to see whether it will run, and sometimes they would go all in line with one another, and much people was gathered joyously about the green. There was a bard also to sing to them and play his lyre, while two tumblers went about performing in the midst of them when the man struck up with his tune.” It seems significant that the story of Ariadne is a tragedy with her ultimate death and ressurection as the wife of Dionysus. In this story Dionysus can also be identified with the Minotaur and his death. The activity on the island of Naxos appears to be an orgy where Ariadne is transformed to the wife of Dionysus and the Minotaur is transformed to the god Dionysus. As far as Ariadne is concerned this is suggested by Homer in the Odyssey when he says, book XI, “Artemis killed her on the Isle of Dia at a word from Dionysos” In a sense it is a double transformation that is quite consistent both with the worship of Dionysus and the Tragedies to to celebrate this god.

In the story of the Minotaur Dionysus is associated with the sacrifice of a bull. In Athens he is more associated with the sacrifice of a goat. The word ‘tragedy’ means goat song and comes from Indo-European ‘ghaido-‘, ‘goat’ and ‘wed-2’, ‘To speak’. Even so in The Bacchae Dionysus is associated with a bull, line 923,

"And is it a Wild bull this, that walks and waits
Before me? There are horns upon thy brow!
What art thou, man or beast?  For surely now
The bull is on thee!"

The origin of Comedy is not so clear. The Greek word ‘κωμῳδός’ has been translated as ‘revel singer’ but I am not so sure. The festival of Dionysus is called an orgy not a comedy, yet the physical description is similar. Comedy seems like it may be more related to the Minoan culture than tragedy.

The theater seems to have arisen out of religious ritual. It was
the custom in Minoan Greece for a person to the dressed up to portray a god or goddess in a religious festival. Minoan art pictures a goddess surrounded by dancers who adore her that seem to depict this. The morality of later Greek classical plays supports this idea. Because a goddess was often the most important deity, women were often important participants in this ritual. It seems as though the original purpose of the theater was to help people act out how they were to behave, perhaps in the presence of a deity.

The artists of the golden age of Athens created the roles of some
of the most interesting women in the history of the theater. There were a wide variety of women portrayed. The Athenian treatment of women is very comprehensive and more so than any other treatment. The significance of the women of Greek drama for the human race is one of immortal meaning. Men like Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides are as profound as spiritual teachers
as the prophets of Israel. In addition the lyrics of these works rank among the finest poems ever written. The works grapple with a wide range of human social conditions including war, tyranny, social injustice, political corruption, the breakdown of domestic fidelity, and patriotism.

The stories that the classical Greeks told were about the peoples
who lived in Greece before and during the Trojan war. There was about a 700 year time lapse between when the people lived and when their stories were written down. The peoples and the culture had changed dramatically. The way women related to society had changed, their religion had changed, their customs had changed, their economy had changed, their warfare had changed, their politics had changed. This period was one of dynamic cultural
and political change. We are fortunate that the Greeks responded the way they did, because much of our society is based upon the foundation that they laid down.


Theater Influences

The Greeks invented western theater out of a religious procession
involving dancing. They developed the chorus and were the first to write tragedies and comedies. The physical form of the theater developed from a Greek dancing circle against a hillside for spectators. Later developments included the multilevel stage.

Shakespeare was voted man of the millenium which is a tribute to his impact. In Midsummer Night’s Dream choice. He was able
to create his own world. This is a precedent for Hollywood. Shakespeare was, in turn, influenced by the Greek Myths. He includes Theseus in this play and the fairies may have been inspired by Greek gods and goddesses. Fairies actually developed from the concept of the Fates. The ancient Minoan culture was fond of the image of the butterfly and I wonder if this was the source of our image of fairies. The image of a ring for this culture consists of ladies dancing but their heads and arms are in the form of insects. This image can be viewed at:
Click here

Shakespeare knew little Latin and much less Greek so any influence
was mostly hearsay and translation. Shakespeare did include references to Greeks in his works such a s the reference to Duke Theseus in the Midsummer Night’s Dream, but even in this work there is little reference to the Greek Pantheon. He prefers fairies and their king Oberon and Queen Titania to nymphs with Zeus and Hera. His Puck is an English version of Hermes. Of course the
form of his theater owed much to Greek drama, but it had adapted in over 2000 years to no longer be a religious exercise as it had been for the Greeks. Even so, in the Elizabethan theater women were sill not allow to perform as was the custom at the Greek festival of Dionysus.

Greek drama established the form of the theater which is still
followed today. Even movies follow the basic form and format.


Roles of Women

The roles of women in Greek drama are all roles conceived by men, because all the ancient Greek playwrights were men. And the actors were usually men, too. Of course, they turned to the women in their lives as models, because the women in the plays were frequent and important. But it seems fairly likely that women attended the theater but maybe only the hetari or courtesans. Women participated heavily in religion so it is possible they participated fully in the theater, but they were excluded from the festival where the dramas that have come down to us were performed. In the Minoan culture women were chosen to act out the role of the goddess. This would have been a dramatization and not a drama performance.

Ancient Greek theater began as a part of a festival for men only. At the festival of Dionysus Women did not act in plays and they were not supposed to be in the audience. They did have their own festivals though which could have involved similar events but they left no record of what they did. They could not go to the theater during the festival of Dionysus but they walked to their own festivals. Women were not involved in the Festival of Dionysus but they were very likely involved in their own dramatizations and imitations of goddesses.

Plato allows a different interpretation of the ancient Theater with the following quote: As to “serious” poets, the tragedians, it is said: Plato, Laws, 7.817c: Do not imagine, then, that we will ever thus lightly allow you to set up your stage beside us in the marketplace, and give permission to those imported actors of yours, with their dulcet tones and their voices louder than ours, to harangue women and children and the whole populace, and to say not the same things as we say about the same institutions, but, on the contrary, things that are, for the most part, just the opposite.” Here Plato suggests that Dramas were commonly performed outside of the Festival of Dionysus in the marketplace. It that context there would be no restriction on women as performers nor on women in the audience. He suggests that the tragedians had a portable stage which they took to different town and set up in the marketplace. It may be that plays at the Festival of Dionysus had a higher status and so were written primarily for that venue. But the Tragedians took their plays on the road to make more money.

Women did not participate in the drama that has come down to us simply because of custom. Drama was part of a festival for men involved with the worship of Dionysus. But women had their own festivals and during these they may have played the role of a goddess. This seems to have been done in the Minoan Culture. There is an important distinction between impersonation and dramatization. In a fertility festival a festival queen and king could be selected. These two could be considered as impersonating the god and goddess of fertility. They might even have participated in a sacred marriage that impersonates the union of deities. It is likely that the women in ancient Greece participated in such ceremonies. But only at the festival of Dionysus did this lead to a drama where there was text recited with action related to that text. It is easy to see how impersonation may have lead to dramatization, but it only occurred at the festival of Dionysus for men only even though the antecedents of drama were present among the women also.

Of interest is the treatment by Aristophanes of the women portrayed by Euripides. In particular in the comedy Thesmophoriazusae Aristophanes includes Euripides as a character being prosecuted by women for his supposed mistreatment.

Dama seems to have grown out of a choral presentation relating to the worship of Dionysus. Many of the ancient Greek dieties had a chorus associated with them. They are often named as follows:

  • Dionysus — Maenads, Bacchantes, or Bassarids
  • Aprhodite — Graces
  • Rhea (or Zeus) — Kouretes (or Korybantes)
  • Apollo — Muses
  • Artemis — Oceanids (CALLIMACHUS, HYMN III. TO ARTEMIS, line 13)
  • Calypso — Sirens (these fit together though they are not connected in Homer)
  • Zeus — Moirae
  • Athena –Eumenides

That these choruses actually represent worship mode of these deities is suggested by the following:

Homer, Iliad 16.182, “when his eyes had sight of her amid the singing maidens, in the dancing-floor of Artemis, huntress of the golden arrows and the echoing chase”

Homer, Iliad 18.590, “Therein furthermore the famed god of the two strong arms cunningly wrought a dancing-floor like unto that which in wide Cnosus Daedalus fashioned of old for fair-tressed Ariadne. There were youths dancing and maidens of the price of many cattle, holding their hands upon the wrists one of the other. [595] Of these the maidens were clad in fine linen, while the youths wore well-woven tunics faintly glistening with oil; and the maidens had fair chaplets, and the youths had daggers of gold hanging from silver baldrics. Now would they run round with cunning feet [600] exceeding lightly, as when a potter sitteth by his wheel that is fitted between his hands and maketh trial of it whether it will run; and now again would they run in rows toward each other. And a great company stood around the lovely dance, taking joy therein; [605] and two tumblers whirled up and down through the midst of them as leaders in the dance.”

In a number of dramas the chorus is described as being women:

  • Aeschylus, Suppliant Women
  • Euripides, Bacchae
  • Euripides, Electra
  • Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris


Women in the Audience

There were women characters in Greek plays and there do not seem to be women playwrights. Whether women performed and whether women attended is a matter of much debate. It seems unlikely that they performed in the men’s religious festival but they may have performed in a woman’s festival. There is little question that women
attended in the audience of the plays. The real question is what kind of women. Proper women probably stayed at home. It may have been that the hetaerae and women slaves were the only attendees. In the comedy Peace by Aristophanes one of the characters addresses the audience and states, “I will explain the matter to you all, children, youths, grown-ups and old men, aye, even to the decrepit dotards.” (line 50) His list seems to exclude women.

H.D.F Kitto, in is book ‘The Greeks’ makes the following comment on
p. 233.: The ancient “‘Life of Aeschylus’ tells the story that the Chorus of Furies in the ‘Eumenenides’ was so terrific that boys died of fright and women had miscarriages — a silly enough tale, but whoever first told it obviously thought that women did attend the theatre.” Minoan art plainly shows women acting as goddesses with women attendants. Since the theater rose out of religious ceremonies, it stands to reason that women participated.

An interesting discussion of this topic is at: Did the Women of Ancient Athens Attend the Theater in the Eighteenth Century? Marilyn A. Katz


Masks and Costumes in the Ancient Greek Theater

Masks were important in ancient Greek drama. In the ancient Greek theater all performers were men with their personality determined by a mask.

What masks looked like:

Ancient Greek masks were made of wood and in time they rotted away. All that are left are a few pictures or sculptures of them.

Though masks are illustrated they are not shown being worn. But personalities are imaged that could only be represented by a mask. And it seems customary for both sexes to act out the role of a deity in a religious ceremony. Notice the heads and hands of the following dancing goddesses: Minoan Ring Seal. This artifact is described as a gold ring from the tomb of Isopata, near Knossos, showing a religious scene which may represent an ecstatic ritual dance and an “epiphany” of a goddess. 1500 B.C. Herakleion Archaeological Museum. The figures seem to have the heads and hands of insects. If this is the representation of women dancing then they may well have had masks to bring about the desired effect. The masks would have represented the heads of insects. The goddesses did not wear masks, but the women who represented and portrayed them may have.

Ancient Greek masks were usually carved of a light wood, but paper mache can be used. The ancient masks included a device like a megaphone to help the actors to project their voices. Because the actors in ancient Greece spoke with the masks on the ancient Greek masks are invariably shown with an open mouth.

Costumes were used to indicate the gender, wealth, or occupation of the character. The cothornus( κόθορνος)was a high heeled boot used to make the actor taller or to swagger like a woman. The prosteridion (προστερνίδιον) was padding for the chest that helped make a male actor look like a woman. Likewise the progastridios(προγαστρίδιος) was padding for the belly. In Comedies it was common for a man actor to wear a false external penis to portray a male character. In Lysistrata the role of the nude Peace was played by a male with a sign that said ‘Peace, a nude girl’.

In the Acharnians by Aristophanes, line 418 The costumes used by Euripides are discussed.

In the Wasps by Aristophanes the chorus is outfitted with costumes of wasps. Later in the play two actors are introduced with costumes of dogs but masks in the images of famous politicians

Images of Costumes

From the Brittish Museum:


Preparing a Lesson on Greek Drama

  1. Identify the major points.
    • Greek drama was part of a religious festival for men.
    • The subjects of this drama were people and dieties of a distant,
      mythical past.
    • The content of the drama reflected the human activity of the damatists.
    • Settings were sparce Greek theaters.
    • Actors were all men with masks for personas but men and women were
  2. Tie information to course subject.
  3. Identify reinforcing activities.
    • Read some of the dramas and discuss and compare
    • Perform one of the dramas
    • Prepare a model theater
    • Prepare the masks and dress
    • Write your own dramas
  4. Prepare testable goals.


A directory of terms related to the theater:

  1. agon – ἀγών — A conflict, especially between the protagonist and antagonist in a work of literature. The part of an ancient Greek drama, especially a comedy, in which two characters engage in verbal dispute.
  2. anagnorisis – ἀναγνώρισις — a recognition-scene
  3. anapaest – ἀναπαιστ — a metrical foot, a dactyl reversed
  4. arete – potency as a fighter
  5. ate – retribution (a moral concept)
  6. coryphaeus – the chorus leader
  7. cothornus – κόθορνος – buskin, high boot with high heels. These boots might be worn to make the actor taller, or to give them a feminine swagger. They were worn mainly in the tragedies hense an association with Dionysus.
  8. dialogue – a conversational passage
  9. eccyclema – ἐκκυκλημα – a theatrical machine consisting of a platform with wheels attached which allows a set or person to be wheeled in or out. This word is from the Indo-European ‘ēik-‘, ‘to possess, be capable’; ‘ku̯el-‘, ‘to turn; wheel; neck?’ and ‘mag̑h-‘,’to fight, struggle’. Such a machine appears in Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, line 97 carrying Agathon.
  10. epiparados – the second chorus entrance
  11. epirrheme – ἐπιρρημα – that which comes afterwords, spoken by the coryphaeus after the parabasis. This word comes from Indo-European ‘epi’, ‘near, at against’ and ‘wer-6’, ‘To speak’ (wre-mn, rhema, is word)
  12. episode – a section that occurs between two choric songs (quantitative form of a play)
  13. ethe – “style”
  14. exodus – finale
  15. hamartia – error (in judgement) in general
  16. hybris – insolent assault, arrogant pride (a moral concept)
  17. hyporchema – chorus dance
  18. hypocrites — ὑποκρτής — actors, from Indo-European ‘au̯(e)-, au̯ē(i)-, u̯ē-‘, ‘to vent, blow’ and : ‘1. ku̯er-‘, ‘to do, form, make’ (one who makes a loud voice?)
  19. kommoi _ laments
  20. koros – satiety (a moral concept)
  21. mechana – ‘μᾱχᾰνά’ — a theatrical machine like a crane by which the gods etc. could appear in the air from Indo-European ‘mag̑h-‘,’to fight, struggle’. Such a machine is called for at Aristophanes Peace, line 82 and Clouds, line 185.
  22. moira – fate
  23. oblos – prosperity (a moral concept)
  24. ode – a poem intended to be sung by a chorus
  25. parados – the first chorus entrance
  26. parabasis – a choral ode addressed to the audience, esp. of comedy, and independent of the action of the play: usually following the agon and, in the earliest forms of comedy, serving often to end the play.
  27. pathos – a form of individual suffering
  28. peripeteia – a reversal of fortune
  29. progastridios -προγαστρίδιος – false paunch (worn over the belly) worn by actors in imitation of women.
  30. prosteridion – προστερνίδιον – padding for the chest (to make a man kook like a woman).
  31. physis – the nature of a person
  32. prologue – introduction (quantitative form of a play)
  33. prosopon – face, countenance, then mask (equivalent to our character)
  34. stasima – chorus songs
  35. stasimon – a single chorus song
  36. Strophe – (stanza) a section of a poem. Often in the context of a triad – strophe, antistrophe, epode – which for the chorus indicates a reversal of direction.
  37. tragedy – The traditional tragedy in Aeschylus’ time (circa 475 BC) consisted of the following parts:
    1. Prologue, which described the situation and set the scene
    2. Parados, an ode sung by the chorus as it made its entrance
    3. Five dramatic scenes, each followed by a Komos, an exchange of laments by the chorus and the protagonist
    4. Exodus, the climax and conclusion


Illustrations of ancient Greek drama:

The stage is in the center of the theater following:


Resources for Women in Greek Drama

The most significant Greek plays include:

  • Aeschylus (c. 523-456) surviving plays are:
    • The Persians (472)
    • Seven Against Thebes (467)
    • The Oresteia, a trilogy of plays made up of Agamemnon, Libation Bearers
      (The Choephori) and Eumenides (458)
    • The Suppliants (463 BCE)
    • Prometheus Bound (430 BCE)
  • Aristophanes–Comedies (450-388 BCE)
    • Acharians (Men of Acharae) (425 BCE)
    • Knights (424 BCE)
    • Clouds (423 BCE)
    • Wasps (422 BCE)
    • Peace (421 BCE)
    • Birds (414 BCE)
    • Lysistrata (411 BCE)
    • Thesmophoriazusae (Women Celebrating the Thesmophoria) (411 BCE)
    • Frogs (405 BCE)
    • Ecclesiazusae (Women holding an Assembly) (c. 392 BCE)
    • Plutus (Wealth) (388 BCE)
  • Bacchylides–(5th century BCE)
    • Epinicians
  • Euripides (480-406) which include:
    • Alcestis (438)
    • Medea (431)
    • Hippolytus (428)
    • The Children of Heracles
    • Andromache
    • Hecuba
    • Heracles
    • The Suppliants
    • Ion (dates unknown sometimes between 417-415)
    • The Trojan Woman (415)
    • Electra
    • Iphigenia in Tauris (unknown, between 417- 408)
    • Helen (412)
    • The Phoenician Woman (409)
    • Orestes (408)
    • The Bacchae (unknown)
  • Sophocles (c. 496-406) plays are:
    • Ajax (between 450-440)
    • Antigone (441)
    • Oedipus the King (430)
    • Electra (417)
    • Trachiniae (413)
    • Philoctetes (409)
    • Oedipus at Colonus (406)

Bibliographies:Women in Greek Drama A Bibliography, Univ. of Sask


  • Nussbaum, Martha C., “Fragility of Goodness : Luck and Ethics in Greek
    Tragedy and Philosophy”, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986, ISBN: 0521794722.
  • Corrigan, Robert W. (Edt), “Classical Tragedy : Greek and Roman : 8 Plays
    in Authoritative Modern Translations Accompanied by Critical Essays”, Applause
    Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers, January 1991, ISBN: 1557830460.
  • Williams, Charles F., Music in Ancient Greek Drama (1921; repr. 1977).
  • Green, J. R., “Theatre in Ancient Greek Society”, Routledge, August 1996,
    Paperback, ISBN: 0415143594
  • Ross, Stewart, “Greek Theatre (Ancient Greece)”, Bedrick, October 1999,`
    Dimensions: 10.88″ x 8.9″ x 0.39″, Hardcover, ISBN: 0872265978.
  • Wilkins, John, “Boastful Chef : The Discourse”, ISBN: 019924068X

Web Pages:

Live Productions

  • Malibu Getty Villa Theater Lab:
    • Villa Theater Lab: The Ghost Road Company presents Orestes, Fridays and Saturdays February 20 – February 21, 2009, 8 pm, Auditorium, Getty Villa
    • Villa Theater Lab: Troubadour Theater Company presents Oedipus, “The King” Fridays and Saturdays April 17 – April 18, 2009, 8 pm, Auditorium, Getty Villa
    • Villa Theater Lab: The SITI Company presents Antigone, Fridays and Saturdays May 15 – May 16, 2009, 8 pm, Auditorium, Getty Villa
  • CGTF will present Euripides’ BACCHAE, directed by Larry West, on September 19, 20, 26, 27 at 9:00am (hopefully) at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheater. On the 21st we will be at BYU in the de Jong Concert Hall at 5:00pm. On the 23rd we will be at WSU in the Garrison Choral Theater at 7:30pm. Additional playdates at SLCC in the Alder Amphitheater and at Westminster are pending.

    The Organizing Committee of the 13th INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ANCIENT GREEK DRAMA 2009, welcomes international theatre groups who have productions of ancient Greek plays (tragedies/comedies) original, (not adaptations) to submit their works with a screener DVD to the Festival Selection Committee of the Cyprus ITI, by the end of January 2009.

    The Festival is organized by the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute in co operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Cyprus Tourism Organization and it is held at the following venues:

    • Paphos Ancient Odeon
    • Curium Ancient Theatre (Limassol)
    • Makarios III Amphitheatre (Nicosia)

    In their application packages the theatre companies are requested to include the following materials and information:

    • Title of the play
    • Duration of the play
    • Theatre company profile
    • The director’s CV
    • Cast list
    • Actors CV
    • Total number of the theatre company’s members (including actors, technicians, etc) Screener DVD of the performance Flyers and photos of the performance The information should be mailed to the following address:
    Mr. Neophytos Neophytou
    Executive  Director
    Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute
    38 Regaena Str.,
    1010 Nicosia
    Tel: +357 22 674920
    Fax: +357 22 680822

    For all further details click here

Recorded Productions:

  • Elektra: Metropolitan Opera VHS
  • Oedipus Rex VHS


A site on ancient greek theater is available at:
Click here

An example of a Greek Theater:

Click here

General design of Greek theaters: Click here

Pages on special theater topics: