Arcadian on stage at historical Greek theater

Joanna Simos Assistant Director, Experiential Education

Date

October 11, 2016

Matthew joined us in Athens in September and immediately sought out the opportunity to continue his 15 year old passion for acting and  become involved in the local theater scene. Having enjoyed Matthew on stage in the thought provoking classic Thucydides Dramaticus: Is War Over? last Friday, we left the vibrant production enthusiastic and proud of his accomplishment! Here, Matt kindly takes  a little time out of his schedule of classes, excursions, rehearsals and performing to tell us about the experience acting at the historical Karolos Koun Theater.

If you are in Athens, do not miss this great production!

  • The play text is often described as a diachronic narrative because of the focus on war. Is this accurate?
    • I studied the text in freshman year as part of a Greek history course and found it interesting that the text is studied by officers in the US military among Machiaveli and other literature. The text definitely is still relevant, we still have wars. The narrative shows what people are capable of without laws, in a place, and a time without the Geneva Convention for example. This production incorporated languages such as Turkish and English. This showed that there can be suffering anywhere. The Thucydides narrative acts like a filter for the languages and cultures and leaves you with the same understanding of the violence of war,  making the play more dynamic.
  • The audience gave you a long applause. How does it feel to be on stage in Greece?
    • One of the things I like about acting is that you see the audience respond. This time I was more nervous performing , this is a different culture and I didn't think I really had a basis to compare how I was doing. This is also the shortest period of time I have had to prepare and rehearse. When the school put me in contact with the director, I expected  to be involved behind the scenes- before I arrived in Athens  I had no idea I would be able to get involved in theater in Athens. I was surprised when on the second day, the director invited me to join the cast.. at such a historical theater.
  • How has being part of the cast in Thucydides Dramaticus: Is the war over? added to your experience in Athens so far?
    • It has been pretty cool visiting different places with the cast after each show and hanging out with them. Athens looks so different after 11pm when the show ends. 
  • What is your favourite line in the play?
    • I have two! The first is And simple decency is laughed out of sight and the second I say in Greek:  πόλεμος βίαιος διδάσκαλος, translated as War Violent Teacher.