The European Network of Research and Documentation of Performances of Ancient Greek Drama (Arc-Net) aims to establish an expansion and a re-orientation of the academic community as well as to improve the traditional methods of teaching ancient drama, by creating new activities of an interdisciplinary and comparative nature. The main goal is to promote and carry out scholarly work, by initiating and coordinating comparative analyses, concerning the role and function of ancient drama and theatre in Europe. By analyzing the artistic forms and moral views expressed in editions as well as in public performances of ancient drama and its adaptations, recreations and new versions, the scholars and students in the Arc-Net will be able to trace, not only the importance of common heritage in the shaping of a European identity, but also the differences between local (national or other geographic cultural areas) cultural identities.
The Intensive Course on the Study and the Performance of Ancient Greek Drama of the European Network of Research and Documentation of Performances of Ancient Drama had been selected as a ‘case study’ and an ‘example of good practice’ by the European League of Institutes of the Arts (E.L.I.A.) among other educational programmes across Europe. The course is being studied by the Thematic Network of the European Union under the theme ‘Tradition and Innovation’.
The founding of the Network
The project of creating the European Network of Research and Documentation of Performances of Ancient Greek Drama started in 1995 under the coordination of Professor Oliver Taplin, Magdalen College, Oxford University (GB) and Professor Platon Mavromoustakos, Department of Theatre Studies, University of Athens (GR) who had already been involved in the following separate projects:
Performance History in Greece
Michalis Bakirtzis of EPIKAIROTITA editions and Platon Mavromoustakos should be credited with the original idea to document the performance histories of Ancient Greek Drama in Greece.
In order to document all Greek productions to date, a research group was formed in the end of 1990, consisting of Platon Mavromoustakos, Agnes Mouzenidou, Mirka Theodoropoulou, Mary Iliadi and Evangelia Andritsanou. Nikos Karanastasis and Josef Vivilakis worked with the group on the performances on specific plays by Euripides and Aristophanes, and Chirstina Simvoulidou joined the group at a later date. The work of each of these members was essential for the original comprehensive documentation of the information, the processing of the material and the final form of the published performance histories.
The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama
The Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, University of Oxford was founded in 1996 by Edith Hall and Oliver Taplin in response to the need for a coordinated research effort devoted to the international production and reception of classical drama since the Renaissance. They included within its scope revivals and adaptations on stage and film, and in opera and dance. The purpose of the Archive is both to serve as a repository of physical materials relating to the stage history of the works in performance, such a playbills, programmes, reviews, drawings, photographs and audio-visual recordings, and also to compile a comprehensive production history of ancient drama on the modern stage in the form of a fully searchable relational database.
University of Oxford
67 St Giles Oxford OX1 3LU, UK
The goals of the Network
The European Network of Research and Documentation of Performances of Ancient Greek Drama (Arc-Net) aims to establish an expansion and a re-orientation of the academic community as well as to improve the traditional methods of teaching ancient drama, by creating new activities of an interdisciplinary and comparative nature.
Thus, the main reasons for creating this Network can be summarized as follows:
- To demonstrate the major importance of Ancient Greek Drama in modern Europe, both as a generating force for scientific and artistic production, and also as a significant cohesive factor in forming a common European cultural identity
- To create more favourable conditions for a profound understanding of Ancient Greek Drama by exploiting the common ground between many different but related disciplines (Classics, Theatre Studies, Cultural Studies, Performing Arts, Film and Television Studies)
- To revitalize the curricula of these disciplines through the development of joint programs and the introduction of specialized courses that will combine the most significant and imaginative elements of each perspective
- To create an actual European forum for interdisciplinary co-operation in the scholarly work and documentation of ancient Greek, with an outlook to compare existing curricula and courses, to discuss improvements in teaching methods, to encourage the wider application of good practice, and to submit proposals for future action and development
- To relate theory to practice in the study of Ancient Greek Drama, and to strengthen the bond between traditional teaching methods and interactive audio-visual technology
- To provide opportunities for multicultural encounters between students and teachers in order to promote information exchange and to acquire personal experience of other European countries and institutions reinforcing the sense of sharing a common cultural identity