Mgr. Alena Sarkissian Ph.D.

Foto pracovníka Alena Sarkissian
+420 234 612 329

Department of Classics and Classical Reception
associate scholar / head of the department

Research focus

  • Greek and Roman drama and theatre
  • Byzantine reception of ancient drama
  • modern, esp. Czech reception of Greek and Roman drama

Academic websites profile ( etc.)


2004-2011 PhD.:  Theatre Studies: Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague. Thesis: Reception of Theatre in Late Antiquity: Apologies, Philippics, Scholarly Treatises

1998 - 2004 Theatre Studies - Classical Greek Philology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University Brno. Thesis:  Roman Pantomime.

Employment history

from 2007: Centre for Classical Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, researcher

from 2006 external employee, from 2011 assistant professor Department of Theatre Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague

April 2013 – March 2016: maternity leave


2020 – 2022: GA20-21053S: Theatre Director Karel Dostal: From Classicism to Modernism.

Fellowships and research stays

2017, 2013 and 2010: Study stay in Athens under bilateral cultural agreements between the Czech Republic and Greece (1 week).

2005–2006: Study stay in Athens from the State Scholarship Foundation of the Hellenic Republic (1 year).

2005: Study stay in Oxford (Foundation of Charles University Prague, 1 week).

2002–2003: Erasmus Programme: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece under the Erasmus program (6 months).

2002 Intensive Summer Course of Ancient Greek Drama, Epidauros. Presentation: Antigone 1989.


Department of Theatre Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague

from 2006 external teaching, from 2011 assistant professor. Ancient Greek and Roman drama and theatre, Russian drama and theatre, drama and theatre of the 2nd half of 19th century.

Conference papers and lectures abroad

Aristophanes in the Cold War: A „Normalized“ Lysistrate, 16th International Symposium on Ancient Greek Drama: Aristophanes modern or up to date? Approachings and readings (International Theatre Institute, Cyprus),4.11. – 5. 11. 2022.

The Archaeology of Byzantine Liturgical Performativity:  The Service of Footwashing on Patmos Island, 17th Triennial Colloquium of the SITM, Prague (Société Internationale pour l'étude du théâtre médiéval),18. 7. 2022 – 22. 7. 2022.

The “Advent of the New Order”: An Oresteia in Prague (1947) and the Epistemological Limits of Archivalia. (Reception Studies: State of the Discipline and New Directions. Massey University, New Zealand, online conference, 24. – 27. 6. 2021.)

Theatre as a space of Spiritual Contemplation: Greek Tragedy at the National Theatre of Prague during the Nazi occupation (1939 – 1945). Oxford Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, 28. 10. 2019.

Greek Tragedy at the National Theatre during the Nazi occupation. From Antiquity to Modernity. Praha 22‒26. 5. 2019.

Between Theory and Practice: quasidramata of the 9th and 12th century in Byzantium. (The Forgotten Theatre, Turin 29.11. - 1. 12. 2017).

Conference papers and lectures in the Czech Republic

Conference papers:

Nestvořené duchovní divadlo: raní křesťané mezi realitou a iluzí. (Uncreated Spiritual Theatre: Early Christians between Reality and Illusion. The Day of Byzantine Studies, Institute of Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences, 25th May 2018)

„Naplnil místo…skutečným pláčem a nepředstíraným nářkem.“ K pramenům o hereckém projevu v antickém řeckém divadle. (To the Sources on Ancient Acting. Pespectives of Theatre Studies, Olomouc 18th May 2018).

Karel Dostal between Winckelmann and Nietzsche. (Pespectives of Theatre Studies. Society of Theatre Studies, Prague 18th May 2017).

From hypocrisy to acting: Eustathius' vision of theater as a moral institution. (The Day of Byzantine Studies, Institute of Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences, 5th May 2017)

Evagrius and Climacus: A Metamorphosis of a Kephalaic Text. (Diegesis in Greek Literature, 20-21 November 2014, Masaryk University Brno. international conference)

Literary Quality of the Heavenly Ladder by Ioannes Climacus. (Patristic Conference, Olomouc September 20 - September 21, 2012)

Terentius and larmoyant comedy (Symposium in honor of Eva Stehlíková, Prague, November 10, 2010)

The Olympos Database of Productions of Ancient Drama (Memory of Theatre, Olomouc, October 9, 2008)

St. Genesius et alii (Theater without borders, Prague, May 16, 2007, international conference)

Sophocles' Electra 2005 (Staging of Classical Drama around 2000, Prague 2005, international conference)

Invited lectures:

March 2022: Between Liturgy and Theatre: Scene Three Youth in the Fiery Furnace, Theatre Research Society, Prague.  

May 2021: Journeys to the Great Dead"? Karel Dostal's Productions of Classicist Tragedy. Inscenace Theatre Research Society, Prague.

December 2018: Aplaston theatron pneumatikon: saint Genesius between Mimesis and Metapoiesis.  (Society of Theatre Studies Brno)

November 2016: Between Winckelmann and Nietzsche: Greek Tragedy directed by Karel Dostal at the National Theater. (Faculty of Education of Charles University, Prague).

May 2015: With Thespis on the Road: Wandering Actors from Hellenism to the Roman Empire (Society of Theatre Studies)

May 2013: Let the Muses speak: Three Byzantine Quasidramata (Union of Classical Philologists, Prague)

March 2013: Let the Muses speak: Three Byzantine Quasidramata (Society of Theatre Studies, Brno)

December 2012: Oidipus on the Stairs: Greek Tragedy on Czech Stages (Faculty of Education, Charles University, Prague)

December 2011: Thousand Years of Reflection of Theatre in the Greek East (Society of Theatre Studies, Prague)

April 2011: Theatre Culture of Hellenism (Institute of Classical Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, Masaryk University, Brno)

January 2011: Thousand Years of Reflection of Theatre in the Greek East (Czech National Committee of Byzantology)

November 2010: Ancient Greek Theatre and Greek Tragedy on the Czech Stages (both in the Association of Classical Languages ​​Teachers ALFA)

March 2009: Pantomimus or tragoedia saltata (Society of Theatre Studies, Prague)

February 2007: Ancient and Byzantine poetics and Mimus and pantomimus (both in the Department of Theater Studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University Brno)


From 2016 the main organizor of the Summer School of Classical Studies. 

In 2017 and 2018 internship manager in the program Open Science (internship on reception of classical drama on Czech stage).


Week of Science and Technology

November 2016: Why to play Greek Tragedy? (Museum Slaný) a Case Phaedra (High school Slaný)

November 2012: Roman Theatre Yesterday and Today

November 2011: Oedipus on the Stairs: Performing Greek Tragedy on the Czech Stage

Open Day at the Centre for Classical Studies:

November 2016: Euripides' Medeia Twice

Other events: 

March 2019: Opsis akolastos: theatre and visuality at the turn of ages (Slánská akademie volného času)

February 2019: Greek Actors from the 5th Century BC (Gymnázium Na Vítězné Pláni)

February 2018: Euripides and Greek Tragedy. Divadlo na Vinohradech, Praha.

October 2017: Between Apollo and Dionysus: Greek Tragedy at the National Theatre in 1930s and 1940s. Akademie volného času, Slaný.

May 2017: a guest of Café of Philosophers at the Institute of Philosophy, CAS, discussing modern reception of Greek Tragedy.

February 2016: Greek Actors from the 5th Century BC (Malostranská akademie at the Jan Neruda High School, Prague)

June 2015: Byzantine monastery as a literary incubator? Cultural role of Byzantine monasteries. (Summer School of Classical Studies, Broumov).

July 2013 With Thespis on the road: travelling actors in Greek world and Let the Muses Speak: three Byzantine quasidramata (Summer School of Classical Studies, Hradec Králové)

June 2012: Spectacle for a new era: theatre culture of Hellenism; with Jana Kepartová: A Short life of a promising poet? Sulpicius and the others and How are poets born in Rome: a story of a certain tombstone. (Summer School of Classical Studies, Prague)

January 2012: Case Phaedra (Malostranská akademie at the Jan Neruda High School, Prague) 

July 2011: Tragedy as ars moriendi (Summer School of Classical Studies, Prague)

January 2011: Classical Greek Theatre (Malostranská akademie at the Jan Neruda High School, Prague)

July 2010: Case Phaedra and „Show must go on!” Theatricality of Spectacles of Roman Empire (Summer School of Classical Studies, Opava) 

July 2009: Ludus Danielis in ten stops (Summer School of Classical Studies, Trnava) 

July 2007: The Son of This Day: Oedipus Tyrannus (Summer School of Aria, Kutná Hora)

Membership in universities’ subject area boards

member of subject area board at Department of Theatre Studies, Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague.

Memberships in academic associations and other academic bodies

  • Czech National Byzantine Committee
  • Network of Research and Documentation of Ancient Drama
  • Theatre Research Society
  •  Czech Patristic Society

Current projects

  • actor in Greek and Roman antiquity
  • Director Karel Dostal and his classical approach to drama on stage