Hydra is the jewel of the Saronic Gulf, just minutes by boat from the Peloponnese. It is exceptionally picturesque and a popular destination for Athenians on weekends.
Hydra Town has a cosmopolitan atmosphere complete with neoclassical mansions, imposing yachts, and museums. Beyond the bustle of town, beautiful houses separated by narrow walkways, small beaches with crystalline waters and gorgeous hilly spots comprise the idyllic scenery of Hydra.
The Classic Theatre Study in Greece program lives on Hydra for just over two weeks, providing a leisurely introduction to the culture, and culminating in a performance at the island’s amphitheater.
Our home while we are on the island is in Vlychos, a short walk from Hydra Town. We reside at Hydrama Theatre and Arts Centre, where director and teacher Corinna Seeds is our host. Hydrama was founded in 1999 to promote the study and practice of ancient Greek theatre internationally. We live, study, and rehearse on premises and eat at a taverna near the beach—all meals are included. Wifi is available at the taverna and there is plenty of time for swimming and enjoying the nightlife on the island.
Vlychos and the island are fine hosts as you study with Oakland faculty and guest artists, and rehearse. The opening night of the play on the island is a glorious celebration of theatre, well attended by Hydriot and international theatre-goers. And when we depart, it’s only to discover even more of Greece!
Our program is designed to immerse students in Classical Greek theatre in the home of its birth. Past participants have been interested in acting, design, mask work, choreography, mythology, history, and photography. The central play is selected after the placement auditions or interviews are completed in order to reflect and support the course’s upcoming students.
On the island there are lectures, hands-on classes, and workshops with guest artists as well as the primary Oakland faculty. A daily combination of rehearsal and/or studio time is also part of the curriculum until opening night and all students contribute to the event. English is the language of instruction and performance. Most of the people in Greece speak English.
Leaving Hydra, we then tour ancient theatres, archeological sites, and museums (Epidaurus, Argos, Mycenae, Delphi, Corinth) on our way to Athens where we will tour the Acropolis and its magnificent museum with plenty of time for sipping frappés and shopping in the Plaka.
What to expect:
- A 3½ -week, four-credit course of study in Classical Theatre, Greek Culture, History of Theatre, Acting, Mask, Choral Movement supplemented by visits to archeological sites and museums.
- Course taught by Oakland faculty with additional workshops with guest artists incorporating local resources (ancient theatres, archeological sites, museums, performances and field trips).
- Residence at Hydrama Theatre and Arts Centre on Hydra and in hotels once on tour.
- Planned excursions to Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus (usually attend a performance there), Nafplion, Ancient Theatre of Argos, Mycenae, Corinth, Delphi and our studies culminate in a tour of the Acropolis and a visit to the magnificent new Acropolis Museum.
On the Island of Hydra
While we explore the ancient plays and theatrical style of Classical Theatre, we have classes/rehearsals 6 days a week. Sunday daytime is off. Sometimes our evenings are taken up by seeing performances or going to festivals. Morning sessions are 3 – 4 hours followed by lunch, evening sessions about 2 – 3 hours followed by dinner. Ah, it sounds busy… but this Greece, and when in Greece there is siesta! So, although the schedule is full, there is regulated time every day for quiet and rest.
Most of our students take their siestas on a chair, under an umbrella at our beach—the loveliest on the island. So, there is ample time for reading, learning lines, writing in journals, shopping, eating ice cream, and even sleeping in the afternoon. After dinner there’s time for a walk or boat ride into town to enjoy the night life at the clubs or to count the yachts from all over the world that nestle in the harbor, while eating a chocolate crepe!
Once on tour, there is much to do and see. Whether reciting an ode on the umphalos at Epidaurus, climbing the 999 steps to the Palamede Castle, sitting in the carved seats of the Ancient Theatre of Argos, or entering the dark well in Mycenae, we squeeze in time to rest. But, you don’t want to miss drinking from Delphi’s Fountain of Inspiration or seeing the Caryatids up close and personal in the Acropolis Museum!
In Athens, the winding streets of the Plaka and all its wares lure even the frugal traveler with something for everybody. All of our students return home from Athens, enriched, and changed. Some choose to stay behind in Europe and travel by air or rail to Rome, Venice, Barcelona, Paris, or London.
Greece is very hot - you need less than you think! Pack light! One carry-on and one checked bag.
For Your Flight
Your passport and ticket, your student ID, ear plugs, water, credit/ATM cards,
phone and charger, camera, and wear comfortable lightweight walking shoes
For the Classroom
Script (will be provided), pens, notebook/journal
Personal Items (as applicable)
Prescription medication/contact lens solution (clearly labeled and in original containers),
sun protection (hat, sun-block, sunburn medicine, lip balm, anti-mosquito lotions)
Swimwear; Casual, comfortable, easily washable clothes; a lightweight jacket for cooler evenings; sunglasses; and flip flops for shower/beach shoes (beaches are pebbly).
All above can be purchased in Greece (but suntan lotions, etc. are more expensive).
Students should let program faculty know they are interested. They can then be informed about meetings, auditions/interviews; meet faculty and other interested students.
An audition/interview is required, conducted early winter semester prior. Students must complete the application forms and enroll in the course (THA 482) for credit. They should have completed at least one year of college.
This 4-credit course satisfies the university general education requirement for the capstone experience for Theatre majors. Additional fees apply.
Classical Theatre Study in Greece is a summer course that runs every other year.
Our next trip will be in 2015. It typically runs from the last week in June to mid-July.
(In 2013, we departed for Greece July 25 and left Athens on July 18.)
We have a table at the International Programs Fair every fall in the Oakland Center. Program faculty and alums are in attendance and can speak about the program and answer questions. Organizational meetings occur in the fall term. Auditions/interviews occur near the beginning of the winter term.
Students should express their interest to program faculty as soon as they become interested. This allows them to know about meetings, auditions or interviews, approaching deadlines; and to meet faculty and other interested students.