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Department of Theatre Studies



E-mail: ivivilak[at]theatre.uoa[dot]gr



Iossif Vivilakis earned a B.A. degree in Theology at the University of Athens in 1984. He worked as a high school teacher before he earned his second B.A. degree in Theatre Studies at the University of Athens in 1994 and a Ph.D in Theatre Studies in 1996 cum laude. His doctoral dissertation was directed by Professor Walter Puchner, and its title was Η θεατρική ορολογία στους Πατέρες της Εκκλησίας. Συμβολή στη μελέτη της σχέσεως Eκκλησίας και Θεάτρου (Theatrical Terminology among the Church Fathers. A Contribution to the Study of the Connection between the Church and the Theatre).

He is currently a professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre Studies at the University of Athens. He has taught courses like History of the European Medieval Theatre, Byzantine Theatre, Theatre in Education and Historical and Literary Approaches to Theatrical Sources since 1998.

Iossif served as editor of Paravasis (the official journal of the Department of Theatre Studies at the University of Athens); of the Proceedings of the First Congress on Greek Theatre from the 17th to 20th century, (2002); of Daphne for Spyros A. Evangelatos (2000); and of Stephanos for Walter Puchner (2007) .

Iossif has written many articles on Byzantine and Modern Greek theatre. For example, Μ. Καραγάτσης, Κριτική Θεάτρου 1946-1960. Eκδόσεις Βιβλιοπωλείον της Eστίας, Aθήνα 1999 / M. Karagatsis. Theatre review 1946-1960, Athens: Estia publications, 1999); and Karagatsis’ theatrical plays (Paravasis 1, 1996). He was also a regular contributor of reviews for Kathimerini; and the editor of the program series for Amphi-Theater, Theatre Poreia, and Theatre Odou Kefallhnias.

Iossif Vivilakis edited a book on Kontoglou (Φώτης Kόντογλους εν Eικόνι διαπορευόμενος. Eκδόσεις Aκρίτας, Aθήνα 1995, β΄ έκδοση 2005/ Photis Kontoglous Passing Through Icons, Athens: Akritas, 1st Edition 1995, 2nd Edition 2005). The completion of this volume, which features the essays of thirty scholars and/or artists, required extensive archival work of many years. Vivilakis also discovered the manuscript of Kontoglou’s translation of Moliere’s The Schemings of Scapin in the Library of National Theatre in Greece; the translation was performed at the National Theatre in 1938. Vivilakis published the translation with an introduction in 2004 (Μολιέρου, Οι κατεργαριές του Σκαπέν. Μετάφραση Φώτη Κόντογλου. Επιμέλεια: Ιωσήφ Bιβιλάκης, Eισαγωγή: Ιωσήφ Bιβιλάκης-Ιφιγένεια Mποτουροπούλου. Αρμός, Aθήνα 2004/ Molière. The Schemings of Scapin. Trans. Fotis Kontoglou. Ed. Iossif Vivilakis. Intro: Iossif Vivilakis-Iphigenia Botouropoulou, Athens: Armos, 2004). The edited translation was performed by the theatre students at the American College in Athens (2004). See also Books and writers (National Book Centre of Greece, edit. Stavros Petsopoulos, Ministry of Culture, Athens 2001).

One of the books by Iossif Vivilakis focuses on theatre during the late Byzantine era: Θεατρική αναπαράσταση στο Βυζάντιο και στη Δύση. Ίδρυμα Γουλανδρή-Χόρν, Aθήνα 2003 (Theatrical Representation in Byzantium and the West, Athens: Goulandri-Horn Foundation, 2003). His book Γιa το Ιερό και το Δράμα. Eκδόσεις Aρμός, Aθήνα 2003 (For the Holy and Drama, Athens: Armos Publications, 2004) includes essays which explore the relationship between religion and theatre in the works of Nikos Kazantzakis, Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill. His book Θρησκεία και Θέατρο στην Eλλάδα (Religion and Theatre in Greece, 2005) includes six contributions (N. Hourmoyziades, H, Baconicola, S.A. Evangelatos, W. Puchner, K. Georgousopoulos, I. Vivilakis). His book Αὐξεντιανός μετανοημένος. 1752. Ακαδημία Αθηνών, Αθήνα 2013 (Auxentian repentant, 1752. Academy of Athens, Athens 2010) is the fifth volume of the edition series “Texts and documents of the Early Modern Greek Theatre” presenting the findings of a research programme organised by the Academy of Athens. This volume includes the unpublished dramatic satire Comedy, i.e., Works and Deeds of the sordid pseudo-ascetic Auxentios of Katirli and his impious and godless disciples, followers and teachers; or Auxentian repentant, a very important piece of literary documentation of public life and culture in the 18th century. His last book Το κήρυγμα ως performance. Eκδόσεις Αρμός, Αθήνα 2013 (Preaching as performance, Armos Publications, 2013) examines the relationship between Eastern Orthodox rhetoric and theatre art after Byzantium.

Vivilakis has served on the academic cultural committee of the Rector of the University of Athens and organized the festival titled “A visit of the Arts” (2001-2003) at the Old University of Athens (in Plaka). This festival linked academics with the community of Athens and involved major academics and performers. The programs ranged widely (e.g. six centuries modern Greek satire, Agwn) combining lectures, concerts and performances by new and famous artists such as Papadimitriou and Xydakis). The program All I know is how to sing: 19 composers set Kostis Palamas to music, cut a record sponsored by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Property (Copyright-Authors’ Society-AEPI-Sister Society of ASCA-BMI) and the Hellenic Music Organisation (University of Athens, 2004) with sponsor the Second and Third Progam-ERT (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation); the income from the sales of the record went into a fund to support students in financial need.