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Theatre of the CondemnedClassical Tragedy on Greek Prison Islands$
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Gonda Van Steen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572885.001.0001

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The Prison and the Past as Theatre: Aeschylus' Persians on Aï Stratis, September 1951

The Prison and the Past as Theatre: Aeschylus' Persians on Aï Stratis, September 1951

(p.130) 4 The Prison and the Past as Theatre: Aeschylus' Persians on Aï Stratis, September 1951
Theatre of the Condemned

Gonda Van Steen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 features the 1951 all‐male production of Aeschylus' Persians on Aï Stratis. The production was mounted by an indomitable group of interned actors and artists, and it reconceptualized the nature of victory, its images, analogues, symbols, and celebrations. It effectively staged defeat, contemplation, and even the material poverty but proud resourcefulness of the forgotten place of exile. The inmate directors and actors of Aï Stratis placed a premium on the performance experience, which they valued as a professional experience. These are merely some of the factors that set the theater of Aï Stratis apart from earlier forms of prison theater. This chapter further examines the more autonomous working conditions of the stage of Aï Stratis. It also shows how this less strictly monitored stage (when compared to that of Makronisos) matured into a unique theater driven by aesthetic perception, experience, and judgment.

Keywords:   Greece, modern, political prisoners, ancient drama, Greek Civil War, Cold War, Aï Stratis, Aeschylus, Persians, Manos Katrakis, Tzavalas Karousos

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