Onassis Programme

Alexander S. Onassis Foundation logoIn 2005 a generous donation by The Onassis Public Benefit Foundation made possible the creation of The Onassis Programme for the Performance of Greek Drama at the University of Oxford until the end of the project in 2011. The programme commissioned, developed and produced professional work by international theatre artists inspired by classical Greek drama, and aimed to bring the best of such work from around the world to Oxford and the UK.

Artists and companies The Onassis Programme has worked with include: Derek Walcott, Manning Camerata, Dominique le Gendre, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Temple Theatre, Clare Higgins, Colin Teevan, The Farber Foundry, Lydia Koniordou, Struan Leslie, Seamus Heaney, Nottingham Playhouse, Stephen Sharkey, Alex Silverman, The Clod Ensemble, The Lyric Hammersmith, The Oxford Playhouse, Hannah Rosenfelder, and Kneehigh's Emma Rice, among others. 

Programme's Producer: Helen Eastman
General Manager: Chris Corner

Actor Jabulile Tshabalala as Elektra - kneeling in sand with head and arms raised, sand falling from her fingersProductions:

  • Cloudcuckooland, UK and international tour
  • Northern Broadsides Medea, in a new version by Tom Paulin
  • Hippolytus in a new version by Timberlake Wertenbaker
  • The Clod Ensemble's Red Ladies
  • The Burial at Thebes, an opera with music by Dominique le Gendre, designed and directed by Derek Walcott
  • Molora, Yaël Farber's South African Oresteia (image right)
  • Swallow Song, with Lydia Koniordou
  • Clare Higgins in The Seven Pomegranate Seeds, by Colin Teevan
  • Pick N Myths - Greek Myths for ages 3-6

Talks, Lecture Recitals, Masterclasses:

  • Visit of Seamus Heaney
  • Emma Rice, Artistic Director of Kneehigh, talk and workshop
  • Sirens, the seductive lure of the female voice
  • Workshop with Struan Leslie
  • Visit of Włodzimierz Staniewski
  • Playreadings: Goddess from a Machine by Peter Morris; Ismene by Stacey Gregg; The Angry Wounds by Julian Armitstead
  • Lecture Recital: Zachary Dunbar
  • Pots and Plays Festival at the Ashmolean Museum