Monday, August 13, 2012

History of Ancient Greek Theatre in Toronto: A Post Inspired by the Taste of the Danforth

This weekend of so many big events in Toronto has very unfortunately been interrupted by unstoppable pooring rain. One of these events happens to the the Taste of theDanforth Festival, one which is looked forward to by a great number of Torontonians for the wonderful variety of Greek food and entertainment. Due to the weather, many people will miss it this year, but I thought what better excuse to throw in a blog about my favorite most non-boring topic ever – history! And what will we be discussing today, class? The one and only Ancient Greek Theatre and some of the more modern interpretations of it.

Greek dramatic theatre dates back as early as 700 BC with the poet Homer's great epic tales The Odyssey and the Illiad. But true Greek dramatic theatre, as we know it today, and the basis for all stage craft following, started in Athens, with the authors Aristophanes, Euripedes and Sophocles.

Many theatre groups in Toronto have done their own takes on these famous plays and these are a few you might remember.

Sten Eirik Directed Clouds over TO, a take on Aristophanes' “The Clouds" for the Guild Festival Theatre this past July with rave reviews.

The infamous 2010 G20 events were tackled in ANTIGONE by the Soup Can Theatre for this year's 2012 Fringe Festival. Sophocles' tragedy which was originally based around the decision of a woman to bury with honour her two brothers, both killed in a senseless battle, fighting on opposing sides. Placing the drama in Toronto at a time when we can all remember brought crowds to this theatres stage.

ANTIGONE - Soup Can Theatre

Mirvish/Manitoba Theatre Centre's
- Medea

One interpretation received only negative reviews, Medea by Euripedes, taken on by the Mirvish/ Manitoba Theatre Center. The play centers around prejudice, jealousy and has a strong female protagonist. How could you screw that up?

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