200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
1903

1903 – Marika Kotopouli performs the role of Athena Pallas at Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” in demotic Greek

In 1903, King George I financed the translation and production of Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” in demotic Greek, the language of the ordinary people, so they can understand the play without having to know ancient Greek. Such an act was considered sacrilegious and destructive to the legacy of the Greek language. Student demonstrations and rallies in favor of the ancient Greek language resulted in massive unrest, many injured people, and one person dead.  This upheaval became known, historically, as the “Oresteiaka.” The production folded by order of King George I.

In her career, Marika Kotopouli (1887-1954) performed as Electra in Oresteia, Iphigenie and Margarita in Goethe’s Faust, Fausta in DimitiosVernardakis’ comedy, and Stella Violanti in GrigoriosXenopoulos’ play by the same name. She was, also, a outstanding theatrical teacher.