Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Jean Graham-Jones

Committee Members

Marvin Carlson

David Savran

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Dramatic Literature, Criticism and Theory | European Languages and Societies | Other Theatre and Performance Studies | Performance Studies | Theatre and Performance Studies | Theatre History | Translation Studies


contemporary Greek theatre, Greek crisis, Modern Greek, historiography, intercultural performance, theatre translation


This project focuses on theatre translation from Modern Greek into English through the examination of three plays translated in the early years of the ongoing Greek crisis (2012-2014). Currently Greek culture is received internationally through two important frames of reference: Hellenism, the admiration for the ancient Greek spirit, and the more recent negative associations with modern Greece provoked by the Eurozone crisis. The three translations I examine challenge these dual external projections onto Greek culture by promoting a more nuanced image that recontextualizes the Greek past. In their capacity to travel between cultures, often in bilingual iterations, these theatrical translations selectively elucidate obscure aspects of Greek history in a process of cultural self-representation as they attempt to renegotiate the preconceptions implicit in forming Greece’s image abroad. In this sense, translation serves as a historiography that contributes to a cultural politics within and beyond national borders. The three plays I analyze, Alexandrovodas the Unscrupulous, Abandon the Citizens, and Sons and Daughters, especially by way of their translation, propose new ways of seeing these histories and invite foreign audiences to reconsider their presumptions about Greek culture, whether they stem from an admiration for the country’s classical past or from contempt and pity for its current economic fate. I argue that translation functions here as historiography: without turning its back on Europe, Greek theatre in English seeks to update its affiliations and to re-negotiate its Ottoman and Balkan influences by highlighting historical differences and reframing them under current cultural tensions.