Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun - Neos Kosmos Theatre - Marianna Kalbari

The Suppliants
by Aeschylus

Untitled design

Sixty years after the play’s first staging at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the Karolos Koun Art Theatre in collaboration with the Neos Kosmos Theatre presents Aeschylus’ The Suppliants directed by Marianna Calbari: a poetic and deeply political play at the centre of the modern concern on the concept of asylum in a democratic society –especially when those who are persecuted are women.

The play (the first and only surviving play from Aeschylus’ Danaid Tetralogy) features a collective female character: the Chorus of the fifty Danaïdes who, together with their father Danaus, abandon Libya and Egypt and seek asylum in the city of Argos. Like their ancestress Io, whom Hera mercilessly persecuted by sending her a bothersome gadfly, the oestrus, to torment her. The Danaïdes now struggle to flee a forced marriage to the fifty sons of Aegyptus. The myth raises the issue of the female identity and place in society, while recounting the chronicle of the settlement and predominance of the Greeks in the land of the Pelasgians, the so-called pre-Greeks.

The Danaid Suppliants speak of the needs that lead people to uproot themselves from their land, the fierce fate of the refugee, the value of justice, the principles of democracy. Above all, they speak of the Woman’s struggle against the Man who seeks to force himself on her.

The performance redemptively unites the voices of the ancient heroines with those of today’s heroines, through an awe-inspiring Chorus of fifty young women, led by the words of Lena Papaligoura and Loukia Michalopoulou (in the roles of Hypermnestra and Amymone respectively) and Marina Satti’s vocals.

The Chorus is composed of members of the CHÓRES female vocal ensemble, young actresses-students of the Art Theatre Drama School, and dancers-acrobats of the ‘Ki omOs kineitai’ group (led by Christina Souyoultzi). The male role of Pelasgus, king of the pre-Hellenic Pelasgian people, which is believed to have been matrilineal, is portrayed by Lydia Koniordou. The two figures of patriarchal power are portrayed by Akis Sakellariou and Giannis Tsortekis.


With Greek and English surtitles