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Centre of Theatre Anthropology – Omma Studio Theatre (Greece)

In 2020 Omma Studio Theatre established the Centre for Theatre Anthropology that aims to study the behaviour of the human being in a organised situation of performance according to principles which are different from those used in daily life. With the creation of a network of Greek and foreign universities, the Centre aims to cover theatre anthropology research in our country, to document and publish papers by scholars and presentations by performers concerning the extra-daily use of their body and the technique which governs their presence.

The first idea of establishing a Centre of Theatre Anthropology in Greece arose during the honorary tribute to Eugenio Barba by the European Cultural Centre of Del-phi. The Centre hosted a variety of demonstrations by Odin Teatret for three days (4-7 July 2019), in Delphi, under the title “Odin and Dionysus – The Spirit of Laboratory”. Antonis Diamantis, actor and director of Omma Studio Theatre was among the invited speakers. He proposed to Eugenio Barba to establish a Centre of Theatre Anthropology in Greece. Eugenio immediately asked scholars who were present to help realise this idea. Nicola Savarese, Marco De Marinis, Piergiorgio Giacchè, Tatiana Chemi, Adam Ledger accepted to send their books and articles to Omma Studio as a starting point for the activities of the Centre.The Centre of Theatre Anthropology was established in February 2020 in Heraklion, Crete, Greece, and Eugenio Barba accepted to be its honorary president. The Centre’s first planned activity was an international Conference of Theatre Anthropology in July 2020 in Heraklion.

Because of the Covid 19 pandemic the Conference was finally realised on the 29th of August 2020 in the city of Rethymno, Crete, in collaboration with the Theatre – Cinema – Music Laboratory, Department of Philology of Crete University, in the Student Cultural Centre Xenia.Some of the presentations were live and some digital. Eugenio Barba and Julia Varley opened the conference with their digital messages, and Irene Koutsaki, an actress of Omma Studio Theatre, presented a work demonstration entitled Theatre. A separate reality.In 2021, the Centre will publish a journal both in digital and printed form, with the talks of the invited professors. This will be sent for free to all libraries of the theatre departments of the Greek and Cyprus Universities. The professors and MA in Theatre Studies who spoke at the conference were:

  • Manolis Seiragakis, Assistant professor of Theatrology at the University of Crete, actor, director, Head of Theatre – Cinema – Music Laboratory.
  • Korina Apostolopoulou, Actress, PhD Theatre Studies, Open University of Cyprus.
  • Dr Adam J. Ledger, FHEA, FRSA Reader in Theatre and Performance, co-artistic director of The Bone Ensemble, University of Birmingham, Great Britain.
  • Maria Fragi, PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies, theatre director, special teaching staff in the Department of Theatre Studies, University of Patras.
  • Avra Sidiropoulou, Assistant Professor and Academic Head of the M.A Program in Theatre Studies, Open University of Cyprus.
  • Tatiana Chemi, Ass. Prof. / Dept. of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University, Denmark.
  • Mirjana Poptesin, MA in Theatre Studies.
  • Ioanna Teftiki – Cooper/ Postgraduate Student, Dept. of Philology, University of Crete.
  • Nektarios Moumoutzis, Lab teacher at the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Technical University of Crete

A network of theatrology departments of Greece was created to host future conferences in their facilities. Members of this network are the theatre departments of the University of Crete, University of Patras, University of Thessaloniki, University of Peloponnese, and University of Cyprus. Conferences are scheduled for August 2021 at the Techni-cal University of Crete, and for August 2022 at the Theatrological Department of the University of Patras. Until now 50 artists and scholars from Greece and abroad have accepted to become members of our Centre.The Centre of Theatre Anthropology in Greece has also established a network of scholars, directors, theatre teachers and actors in order to organise Odin Teatret’s future activities in Greece. This ‘movement’ is creating a digital platform made by the Theatre Department of Patras University with useful information about theatre anthropology in collaboration with ISTA. Our aim is to circulate the spirit of theatre anthropology in Greece through translations of books and articles on this subject for students and the public.