The unstoppable Sofia Filippidou, who has been experimenting with groups for twenty-five years, making handmade performances, after the end of the Theatre Education Seminars 2023-24, which she organizes in her workshops at “Magazaki tis technis”, she prepared with her students and presents her new work, based on the masterpiece novel by the great American author Herman Melville “Bartleby, the Scrivener”, translated by Menis Koumandareas and adapted/dramatized by her.

Bartleby the Scrivener, a clerk in a 19th century Wall Street law firm, is the oddly comic, elusive story of a frugal, pale, lonely, quiet and disobedient man who has found the formula to drive everyone crazy!

What does the absurd story of Bartleby, who “prefers not to” express?

The idea of civil disobedience, peaceful revolution or passive resistance expressed around the same time by his compatriot and activist Henry David Thoreau. Is it the image of Herman Melville himself, and of every writer, faced with the dilemma: to keep writing, trying to satisfy his audience, or to follow his own personal path, away from popularity and success?

Perhaps the enigmatic Bartleby may be a man without qualities, of which the twentieth century has many: A Kafka hero, a figure from Beckett’s latest works or from the novels of Skaribas and the plays of Ionesco?

About the Play

A respectable and successful lawyer hires Bartleby as a scrivener, while he already employs two other clerks and a junior in his Wall Street office. Bartleby, at first, like a man long starved for copying, greedily swallows documents. Night and day he does not raise his head, copying by daylight and by candlelight, but when one day his employer asks him to help him copy a document, he politely declines with the laconic phrase “I would prefer not to”.

Gradually, with the paradoxical acquiescence of an employer who is unable to react, Bartleby, “blamelessly blameless, woefully respected, incurably lonely”, will settle permanently in the law firm without offering any service, without speaking hardly at all, without eating well. The lawyer, regressing between anger and compassion, reason and emotion, will never succeed in removing him from there, instead he will move his office to another building himself, leaving Bartleby to his fate, which we are informed at the end of the play.

Published anonymously in 1853 in two installments in a magazine, the short story by the famous American writer Herman Melville was included in a collection of his short stories published in 1856. Today it ranks among the leading examples of the American short story and has been appreciated as a precursor of the literature of the absurd.

“Bartleby, the Scrivener, A Story of Wall Street” has been adapted at least four times for the cinema and the theatre, both in the USA and in France. In 1961 William Flanagan and James Hinton composed a one-act opera with a libretto by Edward Albee based on this story.

The Greek translation by Menis Koumantareas was first published in 1984 by Odysseus Publications under the title “Bartleby, the Scrivener and three other stories”. This edition was revised and published again by Kastaniotis Publications in 2010 in a book entitled “Three outcasts. Bartleby, the Scrivener – The Fiddler – Jimmy Rose”.

The Show

Translation: Menis Koumantareas

Theatrical adaptation/dramatic adaptation/direction: Sofia Filippidou

Set Decorator: Kostas Fotopoulos

Costumes: Sofia Filippidou

Lighting Design: Panagiotis Spyrou

Assistant Director: Despina Chalkidou

Second Assistant Directors: Eva Papaleonidopoulou, Panagiotis Spyrou

Three texts -interventions were written for the performance by Panos Liakos, Louiza Roussou and Marilitsa Konstantopoulou

Production Manager: Apostolis Kepesidis

Photographs:  Stavros Skarlaftis

Communications Managers: Marianna Papaki, Nontas Douzinas

Legal advisor: Mary Fragiadaki

The Cast

Spyros Douros

Iraklis Panagiotidis

Apostolis Kepesidis

Asimeni Tountda

Nikos Ambousaar

and Alexandros Marinos

The following people intervene in order of appearance: Panos Liakos, Louisa Roussou and Marilitsa Konstantopoulou

Sofia Filippidou orchestrates their interventions.

Produced by: τ3χνη 


Venue: “Magazaki tis technis”, Ν. Notara 60, Athens

Dates: Opening Night: Friday 17 May at 21.15. Shows οn: Friday, Saturday, Sunday at 21.15

Duration: 80’

Entrance: Free

Due to the limited number of seats (35), it is necessary to make a reservation at

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