No Assumptions, Please!

No Assumptions, Please!

My Erasmus experience in Hydra, Greece 


Angela_writing_for ODs_1


Hello everyone and welcome back to ‘No Assumptions Please!’. I am going to be sharing with you my Erasmus experience. I received an Erasmus through MCAST this year, my third individual Erasmus!

My parents helped me to find a place to do the Erasmus. During the month of July and early August I went to a Greek island called Hydra, to the Hydrama Theatre and Arts Centre, Hydra, Greece for nearly 5 weeks. I job shadowed Proboscis Theatre Company an American theatre company, during their production of ‘Lemnian Women’. Then I joined the Acting to the Gods Two week intensive drama course ( We were 12 actors from all over the world. We worked on a production of ‘The Bacchae’. This is an ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides, which we performed in front of a large audience at the Hydrama outdoor amphitheatre.  

For the first two weeks while I was job shadowing, I was staying with my dad as he was there to help me, and the Erasmus paid towards it. The job shadowing experience was cool for me as I got the opportunity to see how an ancient Greek performance was made. I got the chance to observe how they were working and being directed on the performance, which I hope I can use one day if I ever help to direct a Greek play of my own with performers with and without disabilities. I even got the chance to contribute to their performance as I was asked by their director to write a monologue around the topic of disability, exclusion and inclusion according to what they were doing. After I listened to what kind of monologues the students were doing I did something along the lines of what I was told to write. I got to perform it for them, and in fact, some of my monologue even went into the script for their performance! I also joined them in the mornings to do acro yoga (acrobatic yoga) which I found very interesting.


Flying Whale – Acro yoga


With the students I also attended a few masterclasses, one was on Somatic Memory led by the director and actor Stathis Grapsas and another one was led by Kostas Gakis who is a celebrated director and composer in Greece, who would be my director in the programme of “Acting to the Gods”. Some extracts from the daily journal I kept are given below.

“I really loved the Somatic Memory workshop, it really empowered me. What I really loved about this workshop was that it was about working with a group and doing everything with the group. It was about forming connections and making a community. It was about how we relate, interact and behave with each other. The exercises were based on The Theatre of the Oppressed”.

“Masterclass with Kostas Gakis: It was such an amazing session. It was really about going to the real birth of theatre itself and going back to playing like kids and connecting with each other by making noises and making universal gestures with our bodies which we then formed into a mini performance in three different groups and then shared it with everyone and then we would throw new steps into it like spasm, going into an eccentric state, exaggerating our voices and making any noise we feel like without being judged.”



Somatic Memory workshop


On the 21st of July I began my course of “Acting to the Gods” where I spent two weeks alone with a very international crowd from America, Croatia, Turkey, Denmark, Poland, Spain, Italy, India and Hydra of different ages. With them I was living in Hydrama where we were working on a production of the ancient Greek tragedy ‘The Bacchae’ under the direction of Kostas Gakis.

“The start of my programme of Acting to the Gods. The second part of my Erasmus and this time I’m going to officially move into Hydrama, living and sleeping there. The thing that is super exciting about this adventure that is just beginning and starting is that I’m going to be in a new country and staying in a Greek island on my very own with other theatre practioners doing nothing but theatre and doing what I love on a daily basis and creating and performing in an outdoor amphitheatre in my very first professional ancient Greek performance.”

Our group had people from various ages going from me the youngest to someone who was 60 years, who was a teacher of drama and my roommate. They all helped me live on my own. For example, once someone taught me how to wash my own clothes and the next time I could manage on my own. Another time I was also taught by my roommate how to change my bed sheets. What was very nice about this crowd was that I felt extremely safe knowing that they were keeping an eye out for me when it was really needed and each one of them were looking after me in their own way.


On the ‘Acting to the Gods’ course


My notes and my reading material


“This morning was tough for me as Kostas wanted us to lament. Dedicated to crying in theatre. It was very tough for me to do as there was always something holding me back and preventing me to do so. With a beautiful conversation that I had with Kostas about my difficulty and why I am holding myself back I ended up getting out something that I didn’t know I even had in me, and it felt very liberating doing that and it felt very good to get everything out of my system. I would love to do that again because it felt so good.”

“Yesterday was awesome, morning and afternoon:
Sharing ourselves through personal poems.
Did a duet spontaneously with Anna.
Personifying the poems with everyone and all of them were holding me through my piece.
Being a community and a tribe.
And today learning to be a chorus leader.”

“So many amazing things have been done here. My first table read! It was a real professional table read and it was AMAZING! Another thing that I have experienced was my first late night rehearsal in learning how to sing the first songs that we are having last night, and it was SUPER intense. I have never experienced anything like that before. Ever. That was also an experience for me.”

“This morning was SUPER fun! We were given the creative opportunity to give our own interpretations of the Bacchae. In my case I did a dance after gathering all the themes that I identified in the script and then with that I structured it using a lot of ballet and contemporary elements into it.”

“I have always wanted to be and rehearse like a professional performer and now I can actually get to do that so now I really cannot wait to share what I have come up with DeVaughn [my partner for the work] to the chorus group that Kostas put me with as we are in separate groups and I really cannot wait to see where it will go next, where I will go next as a performer and I’m really excited for that adventure and I’m really looking forward to it. Very, very looking forward. Performing in my very first ancient Greek production in a very beautiful setting. Hydrama’s outdoor amphitheatre.”

The poster to advertise our production of ‘The Bacchae’


At the end of the programme some of us went to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus to watch a show and one of my good friends helped me to navigate my way through the crowds once the show was over as by then it was dark and I get lost easily in crowds as I am petite. When we were on the boat to Piraeus on our way to the airport, again one of my friends helped me with my bag, to find my seat and to get on and off the boat. I was able to fly back a lone with assistance from the airline.

At the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus