The play by John Lignadis titled “War, Teacher of Violence: The Plataia Affair and other Tragic Events”, is composed of selected passages from the first five book of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War and presents in dramatized form events from the first half of the Peloponnesian War.
The play focuses on the historical events related to the fall of Plataia (431-428 BCE), followed by a series of dramatic historic moments such as the first speeches of King Archidamos of Sparta and Pericles of Athens which determined the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, the funeral oration of Pericles, the plague following the Periclean speech (431/30 BCE), the last phase of the civil war at Corcyra (425 BCE) and the Melian Dialogue (416 BCE).
This student performance was staged for the first time -with great success- in August 2016 at the Old Olive Press Theater in Eleusis, as part of the prestigious Aisxylia Festival and with the exclusive support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The educational nature of the performance is primarily evident in its attempt to shed light on the complex mechanisms that create the phenomenon of war. The performance seeks to teach an important lesson: on the cognitive level its objective is to combine the knowledge and understanding of the ancient historical narrative with modern political discourse; on the psychological level, it transmits the tragic emotions that are produced by military violence. The combination of these factors creates, as a result, a very valuable and lasting educational experience.
In Fall 2016, a series of sold-out performances of “War, Teacher of Violence” took place at the historic Basement stage of the Art Theater – Karolos Koun in Athens.
For 2017, the performance is hosted at academic and educational institutions (schools, foundations, universities) and is combined with talks, lectures and discussions on Thucydides and Theater.
Hosts include, among others, the Theater Studies Department of University of Athens for the event “Thucydides and the Theatrical Gene”, the International and European Studies Department of University of Piraeus for “Thucydides: Empire, Democracy and Necessity”, the Epigraphic Museum for the official opening of its new exhibition, the Cultural Foundation of the National Bank of Greece and the Dodoni Cultural Center at the Ancient Theater of Dodoni.
In English and Greek with surtitles. Duration: 60 minutes.