ZAKYNTHOS TRADITIONAL THEATER - ZANTE ZAKYNTHOS GREECE
Zakynthos Traditional Theater - Holidays in Zante Island Greece
In the 17th Century the islanders developed their own special form of theatre, known as 'Omilies'a type of folk plays. Omilies traditionally focused on the struggle between the rich and poor and considered the theme of social injustice. At first these plays were only performed in the houses of nobility and the actors wore masks to hide their appearance. Later the Omilies were performed in the town squares and were watched and enjoyed by all.
This tradition continues to today, with Omilies being performed around carnival time (February/ March) and are popular with the residents of the island. Towards the end of the Venetians rule a theatre was built on the island, at first only nobility had the privilege and desire to attend but again later this spread through all the social classes. A municipal theatre was built in 1875, during the period of the English rule and was designed by the famous German architect Ziller who was prolific in designing buildings in Greece including the National Theatre of Athens, the Museum at Olympia and Summer Palaces.
Opera was also popular with the islanders as it managed to combine in one art form their love of music and also of theatre. Every summer Operas are performed in the outdoor theatre on Zakynthos.