Ancient drama as a therapeutic tool The theatrical performances by inpatients at the Dromokaiteion Hospital in the 1960s The performance of Aeschylus' Eumenides in 1965

Published: Dec 21, 2023
drama therapy psychodrama theatre ancient Greek drama Dromokaiteion George Lyketsos Jacob Moreno
Triantafyllos Bostantzis

In the 1960s, a pioneering method of group psychotherapy – based on ancient drama – was applied at the Dromokaiteion Psychiatric Hospital by psychiatrist Dr. George Lyketsos. During the therapeutic process, the participating inpatients were taught ancient drama and took active part in rehearsals with the aim of presenting performances of ancient Greek tragedies. The present article attempts to outline the psychotherapeutic method followed by Lyketsos from 1960 to 1965, with reference to the 1965 performance of Aeschylus’ Eumenides, in which long-term inmates at the Dromokaiteion participated as actors. In addition, the article attempts to identify the “Lyketsos method” in relation to the wider field of drama therapy, while aiming to trace any elective affinities with Jacob Moreno’s “psychodrama”.

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Author Biography
Triantafyllos Bostantzis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Triantafyllos Bostantzis has a PhD from the School of Drama (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, AUTh) and also holds a Master’s Degree (MA) in Theatre Studies. He has presented various papers on the reception of ancient drama in domestic and international conferences, while he has participated as a researcher in the research project “Audience Research in Performances of Ancient Drama” with Eleni Papazoglou, Associate Professor at the School of Drama, AUTh, as principal investigator. He has published, among others, “The Delphic Prometheus Bound (1927, 1930): Jesus Christ’s Golgotha Transforms into Νeo-Romantic Aesthetics” (Performing Space collective volume), “The Phenomenon of ‘Persianology’ of the 30s: The Exploitation of Aeschylus’ Persians by Foreign Student Theatre Companies and their Performances in Greece” (Proceedings of the 6th Panhellenic Conference of Theatre Studies), “Passion and ‘Otherness’ in Ancient Tragedy: The Persians of Theatro Technis directed by Karolos Koun (1965)” (Theatrographies journal).