Magdalena Zira was born in Marseilles and raised in Cyprus, where she is currently based. She is a theatre director, translator and researcher of Greek drama. She has also created original work for the stage from her own adaptations of classical non-dramatic texts. She is the founder and artistic director of Fantastico Theatro, a Cyprus-based theatre company committed to developing and producing new work from contemporary Cypriot playwrights, as well as re-imagined classics from the Greek and international canon.
There are two main poles of activity in her theatrical and academic work: first, the development of new writing for the stage in Cyprus, in the context of a dialogue with the international theatre community; secondly, she is interested in the classics and how their contemporary interpretation can enrich the theatre world today.
Her adaptation of non-dramatic classical texts includes Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Statius’ The Thebaid. She has also directed works by Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristophanes.
She studied Classics at Oxford University (BA in Literae Humaniores), where she focused on the study of ancient Greek drama in performance. She also holds an MA in Drama from King’s College, London in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (MA in Text and Performance Studies, with emphasis on Playwriting). She received her MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of California-Irvine.
She is currently working on a PhD thesis at King’s College, London.
Since 2011 she is the Secretary of the board of the Cyprus Center of the International Theatre Inistitute. In this capacity she is invloved in numerous activities with international and national scope.
Her freelance directing work includes several productions at the national theatre of Cyprus (THOC-Cyprus Theatre Organization) as well as most of the major theatres in this country.