TABLE OF CONTENTS

Christine Tohme

Aristophanes’s The Birds, 414 BC, in a production directed by Nikos Karanthanos, 2016. Rehearsal view, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, September 16, 2016. Photo: Stavros Habakis.

1 THE BIRDS (ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE, ATHENS, SEPTEMBER 17–23; DIRECTED BY NIKOS KARATHANOS) Aristophanes’s simple story about man’s desire to fly, to migrate to new worlds, is enduringly witty and perverse. Karathanos’s production gave poetic urgency to the play’s theme of fluidity among the categories of man, animal, and god, embracing our inherent need to dream and offering hope for decadence.

2 FC BERGMAN, HET LAND NOD (THE LAND OF NOD; ZÜRCHER THEATER SPEKTAKEL, ZURICH, AUGUST 18–21) The set—a stripped-down replica of the Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp’s Rubens room, with a facsimile of Le coup de lance presiding in majestic isolation—becomes a performer in its own right in this powerful production. Within the grand, austere gallery, museological narratives of preservation and national identity crumble as visitor, invigilator, technicians, curator, and miscellaneous

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