VAST project partner National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) cordially invites the general public to a full day conference dedicated to Ancient Greek Drama and Theatre Values Across Space and Time in the frame of the project on Tuesday 3 October 2023 in Athens, Greece.

In view of the finalisation of the VAST project in the coming months,  partner NKUA organises the event so as to present to the general audience the research results of the project in relation to how the perceive the past and present of values in ancient Greek drama.

Time: 10:00am – 20:00pm

Place: Amphitheatre Alkis Argyriadis, Central Building of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Conference language: Greek

The Agenda is available to DOWNLOAD HERE


VAST partners held one more physical plenary meeting, this time in Athens, Greece at coordinator’s NCSR Demokritos premises between 17 – 19 May 2023. The partner meet-up was enriched with field visits, workshops, presentations discussions and hands on sessions about the project.

On the first day, partners visited the innovative digital exhibition of partner House of Classical Greek Ideas, which is located in the building of the Athens Conservatoire, in the heart of Athens. In this space, the philosophical ideas of ancient Greek philosophers are revived in model exhibitions where visitors engage in a philosophical experience. The exhibits utilize cutting-edge technologies such as smart interactive digital walls, touch screens, visit customization tools and applications that collect data and feed it back into the visitor experience.

In this first exhibition namely Eudaimonia meets Democracy VAST partners had the opportunity to reflect on abstract ideas and values and ponder on the ever-current theme of how we can “live well together”.

On the same day, the next stop was at the Museum of Cycladic Art, where museum curators gave VAST partners a private guided tour of the museum’s permanent collections as well as the ReThinking Conflicts temporary exhibition which is set up in the frame of the H2020 project ReInHerit .

The museum tour concluded with a hands-on workshop regarding the values that derived from the artifacts seen earlier in the day.

On the second day, partners met at NCSR Demokritos’ campus where presentations on the status of all work packages took place and partners engaged in productive discussions.

On the third and final day, partners participated in additional hands-on workshops, engaged in fruitful conversations and set the project goals for the coming months.


The team of NCSR Demokritos (VAST project coordinator) realised a field visit to the premises of partner Museo Galileo (IMSS) in Florence Italy on Thursday 16 March 2023.

During their visit, the team of NCSR Demokritos had the opportunity to be guided through the fabulous exhibits at Galileo Museum by its highly knowledgeable museum curators (and partners in the project) Marco Berni, Elena Fani, Carmen Gagliardi and Ilenia Ulivi, whilst exchanging views and ideas on the design of VAST’s educational activities.

A very big thank you goes out to the staff at Galileo Museum for the beautiful experience!

Within the framework of the Ancient Greek Drama pilot of the VAST Project, partner FESTIVAL staged a contemporary adaptation of the ancient Greek drama Antigone by Sophocles. Through this performance and case study, the Athens Epidaurus Festival investigated questions regarding the way core European values, such as freedom, democracy, equality, tolerance, dialogue, human dignity, and rule of law, are related to the present, the role of ancient drama in relation to the communication of values, and the way that values are perceived and interpreted by theatre artists and audiences in modern society.

The performance of “Antigone” by Sophocles

The research was based on a mixed methods approach, encompassing both qualitative and quantitative methods and addressing the perception of values by theatre artists, as value communicators, as well as by audiences, as value recipients and final co-authors of meaning. In what concerns qualitative methods, eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with theatre artists (the director, the dramaturgist, the set and lighting designer, the costume designer, and four actors in key roles), and two focus groups were held with audience members. Concerning quantitative methods, an audience questionnaire based on 33 variables was prepared and circulated during all three performances, and it was answered by a random and representative sample (15,06%) of the audience.

Post-performance discussion between theatre artists and the audience

Research results demonstrated a strong engagement with values by both theatre artists and the audience. At the same time, both groups coincide in their positive assessment of contemporary ancient drama adaptations as a means of addressing values in the present. Antigone’s spectators, in particular, clearly display the features of the “knowing” audience, while a multivariate analysis demonstrates the significance of age and professional or educational involvement in theatre regarding the perception of values and ancient drama adaptations.

The Athens Epidaurus Festival presented its research results at the AIMS Conference in a paper titled “Televising Antigone? Understanding the political values of ancient Greek drama in a contemporary media environment”, at the Reconnecting & Recovering Conference, in a paper titled “The values of democracy and the politics of adaptation: Remaking Sophocles’ Antigone in a contemporary political and media landscape” and at The Off-Screen Conference  in a paper titled “Democracy on and off screen: Political values and discursive oppositions in a contemporary adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone.”


The University of Milan (UMIL) is the largest University in Lombardy and one of the most dynamic and internationally-oriented EU regions, with a teaching staff of about 2.200 tenured professors and with almost 60.000 students. Established in 1924, its mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of teaching/education and research at the highest international levels of excellence. It is the only Italian member amongst the 23 prestigious Universities of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The University of Milan offers several study programmes covering three macro-disciplinary areas: i) Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, ii) Medicine and Healthcare and iii) Natural Sciences. In addition to its excellent level of Education provision, the University of Milan has an established reputation as one of the institutions most strongly committed to basic and applied Research in Europe.

The University of Milan joins the VAST project with a multi-disciplinary research team from the Computer Science and Historical Studies departments and leads WP5 Quality assurance: Pilot design, evaluation and assessment. Dr Stefano Montanelli is the lead person responsible for UMIL, while Dr Alfio Ferrara is the technical manager of the VAST project and Dr Giulia Giannini is promoting and leading the Values in Scientific Revolution texts pilot activities in WP2 Research: Researching Values across Space and Time. The goal of UMIL is to coordinate the design and development of the VAST pilots to ensure a uniform and coherent application of the VAST methodology. Quality assurance actions will be applied and coordinated by UMIL to ensure monitoring, analysis, and evaluation of the pilot impacts. UMIL brings in VAST expertise on Computational Humanities Research with particular emphasis on historical content digitisation, knowledge modelling for humanities, and collaborative content creation. UMIL provides technical contribution to the design of the VAST architecture where the team is responsible for semantic annotation services on historical sources with the aim of supporting the creation of the VAST knowledge base.

UMIL is primarily involved in the design of the VAST ontology where the annotation-driven knowledge about values is expressed in a semantic-web formalism to represent the emerging interpretations and transformations of values across places (space) and historical periods (time). In particular, the UMIL team focuses on the pilot about the Values in Scientific Revolution texts. UMIL aims to investigate how natural philosophers of the 17th century perceived moral values, how values were transformed and reinvented, and how they reconstructed a new image of the self and the world in the early modern period. The Team is also involved in promoting educational programmes and further events such as talks, debates, and museum nights. By leveraging on the expertise about crowdsourcing and storytelling, UMIL aims to involve educators, students, and museum visitors in general, to share their view about the values of the Scientific Revolution in today’s society.

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) is a public University located in Athens, Greece. Inaugurated in 1837, it has been the first University in the newly established Modern Greek state, as well as in the Balkan and the Eastern Mediterranean area. Its role has been historically and socially decisive for education and promotion of cultural life in the country and beyond. The NKUA has 5 University Research Institutes, 3 University Hospitals, 70 Clinics and Departments under the auspices of the School of Health Sciences, 224 University Laboratories, 11 libraries, the History Museum of the University, the Historical Archive, and 13 thematic museums. For the academic year 2019-20, the NKUA offers 42 undergraduate programs as well as 188 postgraduate programs leading to a Master’s or a Doctoral degree. NKUA is not only an Institution dedicated to education but is also a research-intensive University.

Emeritus Professor Theodore Grammatas, Department of Primary Education of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, is the lead person responsible for the WP1 Co-design: Multi-disciplinary scientific methodology for advanced digitisation.

Within the frame of the VAST Programme NKUA’s team develops the methodological frame of the research, the way of the analysis of the Ancient Drama plays (Tragedies and Comedies), and takes care of the creation of the questionnaire for the pilot study of an Ancient Tragedy theatre performance and its reception and mnemonic recording in the conscience of the modern audience. The aim of the program he is scientifically editing is to give prominence to the timelessness and timeliness of the values and ideas of the Ancient Greek Drama and Theatre, as well as their reception and exploitation by the spectators of these performances within the context of the modern world.

Apart from the analysis of the Ancient Greek Drama plays and the questionnaire for the reception of the theatre performance, the research is extended to the exploitation of the qualitative and quantitative data that will emerge by the audience research, as well as the interviews with the creators and artistic contributors, such as directors, actors, visual artists and so on. An overall picture of the Past and the Present of the Ancient Greek Drama and Theatre Values that signify the orientation and enhancement of the Modern European and Global culture as a whole is expected to emerge through the result analysis.

The Athens Epidaurus Festival is Greece’s leading cultural organisation and one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe. Spanning 66 years, the Festival has welcomed some of the greatest music, dance, and theatre artists of the international and local scene, in collaboration with the most prestigious Greek and international organisations, attracting large audiences from around the world. Up until 2005, the Festival had been held exclusively at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. In the summer of 2006, five brand-new theatre stages were launched at the Peiraios 260 industrial venue which has since emerged as an important springboard for contemporary art. Artistic productions and site-specific performances are also presented at other venues in Attica and various locations as part of the Festival.

In the VAST project, the Athens Epidaurus Festival participates as a partner, with Dr Aristotelis Nikolaidis as the lead person, offering its knowledge and longtime expertise in ancient drama. Until now, the Festival has collaborated with the other partners contributing to VAST with the Festival’s archive (photographs and videos) and closely following the needs of WP1: CO-DESIGN: Multi-disciplinary scientific methodology for advanced digitisation, that is more related to ancient drama. Due to its long history the Festival has gained a leading role in the audience’s perception, especially regarding the performances in Ancient Epidaurus. The Athens Epidaurus Festival aims to engage existing and new audiences in Athens, Epidaurus and internationally with the VAST values by making the ancient texts more accessible to diverse audiences and allowing the latter to engage and empathise with the characters of the tragedies, as members of societies across time and place. The Festival is also planning to make good use of its rich archive and to organise communication actions and new research programmes, in order to disseminate the project to a large audience.