ANCIENT THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS
[30 June -1 July] Seven against Thebes of Aeschylus
CEZARIS GRAUZINIS– State Theatre of Northern Greece
King Oedipus abdicates in favor of his two sons in the aftermath of horrific familial revelations. Although the brothers initially agree to take turns ruling Thebes, Eteocles does not keep his end of the bargain. A furious Polynices joins forces with Adrastus, king of Argos, and raises an army against Thebes. Seven captains of the two opposing armies meet at the seven gates of the city. Eteocles and Polynices confront each other at the seventh gate. With Thebes under siege, Eteocles, the main tragic character, attempts to strike back in what turns out to be a doomed battle with no clear-cut winner. One of the most successful performances of last year’s Festival, Seven against Thebes is repeated this year, kicking off the Epidaurus Festival 2017 program. An exploration of our commonly shared survival instincts and how these instincts are compatible with our fundamental need to remain human, despite our fears, insecurity, and despair.
Translation: Yorgos Blanas
Direction: Cezaris Graužinis
Set and costume design: Kenny MacLellan
Music: Dimitris Theocharis Choreography - Movement: Eddie Lame Lighting design: Alekos Giannaros
Cast: Yannis Stankoglou (Eteocles), Clio-Danae Othoneou (Antigone), Iovi Fragatou (Ismene), Giorgos
Kafkas (Messenger), Alexandros Tsakiris (Herald).
[7 - 8 July] Oedipus at Colonus of Sophocles
In Sophocles’ last surviving tragedy, Oedipus arrives at the village of Colonus, on the outskirts of Athens. Now a stranger, blind and in rags, he seeks hospitality after ten years of wandering. His time has come: he needs a final resting place. His sole supporter is his daughter/sister Antigone. Following a series of negotiations, he is allowed to reside in the “borders,” in a liminal space across civilizations, between life and death, law and lawlessness. Through his encounters with Theseus, Creon, his youngest daughter/sister, Ismene, and his son/brother, Polynices he re-examines his life and contemplates the absurdity of the human condition. Stavros Tsakiris’ production adopts the style of narrative theatre. The cast will narrate a “parable” to the audience on a stage that is virtually empty save for a few objects. The characters are conceived as apparitions of the dying Oedipus. Minos Matsas’ music will serve as a parallel text to be recited by the cast, lending to the performance an air of epic and lyric poetry. The title role is portrayed by the great Kostas Kazakos.
Translation: Dimitris Dimitriadis
Direction: Stavros Tsakiris
Set design: Kenny MacLellan Costume design: Thalia Istikopoulou Music: Minos Matsas
Cast: Dimitris Lignadis (Stranger), Kostas Kazakos (Oedipus), Kora Karvouni (Antigone), Jenny Kollia (Ismene), Giannos Perlegas (Theseus), Dimitris Imellos (Creon), Dimitris Lalos (Polynices), and a chorus of eight. Production: Venus S.A.
[14 - 15 July] The Bacchae of Euripides
EKTORAS LYGIZOS – MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL THEATRE OF LARISSA Larissa
The god Dionysus arrives at the city of Thebes, disguised in human form. King Pentheus struggles to fortify
the city and himself against a religion that threatens to make everyone equal – current and former kings, gods and slaves, oracles and messengers, men and women alike – and transform the world into a place where humans are reconciled with their basest and purest instincts. The Bacchae is the only surviving ancient Greek tragedy to feature Dionysus both as a character and as the all-seeing director/author. This production will explore the conflict between the main hero’s individuality and the polyphonic nature of the chorus. The choral interludes will be integrated into the drama’s main plot. Eight narrators will bear witness to the gradual coming together and subsequent dismantling of a mixed-sex group of Dionysus’ followers, documenting their resistance and their craving to mentally ascend the holy mountain as maenads and re-emerge as the Bacchae. The first stage of this initiation into the worship of the “Other” is to have two persons confront each other under the gaze of a spectator/witness.
Translation: Giorgos Chimonas
Adaptation - Direction: Ektoras Lygizos
Set and costume design: Cleo Boboti Lighting design: Dimitris Kasimatis
Dramaturgical collaboration: Katerina Konstantinakou Physical training: Vicky Panagiotaki
Vocal coaching: Rinio Kyriazi
Cast: Anthi Efstratiadou, Ektoras Lygizos, Vassilis Magouliotis, Aris Balis, Argyris Pantazaras, Aneza
Papadopoulou, Maria Protopappa, Christos Stergioglou.
Co-production: Athens & Epidaurus Festival – Municipal and Regional Theatre of Larissa
[21 - July 22] Peace of Aristophanes
KONSTANTINOS ARVANITAKIS – NATIONAL THEATRE OF GREECE
A musical performance, with music by Nikos Kypourgos
The great Greek composer Nikos Kypourgos and the talented young writer Dimosthenis Papamarkos have been commissioned by the National Theatre of Greece to write the music and libretto respectively for a musical adaptation of Aristophanes’ Peace, directed by the accomplished Konstantinos Arvanitakis. The role of Trygaeus is played by the unorthodox musician/actor Tzimis Panousis. The Armonia Atenea - The Friends of Music Orchestra will perform live during the performance under the baton of internationally acclaimed conductor George Petrou. Peace was first presented at the City Dionysia festival in 421 BC. It won second prize, just a few days before the Peace of Nikias was signed, promising to end the Peloponnesian War. This production draws inspiration from the fragile balance between war and peace, Heraclitus’ famous quote “War is the father of all, and king of all” and the thorny question whether peace is a prerequisite for happiness and virtue.
Libretto: Dimosthenis Papamarkos
Direction: Konstantinos Arvanitakis Video mapping: Stathis Mitsios
Lighting design: Alekos Anastasiou Costume design: Eleni Manolopoulou
With the participation of Armonia Atenea - The Friends of Music Orchestra, conducted by George Petrou. Cast: Tzimis Panousis (Trygaeus), Tasis Christogiannopoulos (Hermes), Irini Karagianni (Peace), Emilianos Stamatakis (War).
Chorus: Asimina Anastasopoulou, Thomas Velissaris, Dimitris Georgiadis, Evangelia Karakatsani, Nikos Kardonis, Giasemi Kilaidoni, Giannis Klinis, Nadia Kontogeorgi, Elita Kounadi, Elias Kounelas, Eleni Boukli, Maria Nika, Marina Satti, Giorgis Tsouris, Antigone Fryda.
[28 - 29 July] ALCESTIS BY EURIPIDES
KATERINA EVANGELATOS– NATIONAL THEATRE OF GREECE
Director Katerina Evangelatos makes her Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus debut, tackling one of Euripides’
most intriguing and provocative tragedies, on commission by the National Theatre of Greece. Dramatizing the triumph of life over death, Alcestis (438 B.C.), Euripides’ oldest surviving work, is the subject of endless debates regarding its genre, as it contains both tragic and comical elements. The obvious Sophist influences of the play have triggered a series of moral questions about the nature of interpersonal relationships. In a world where one can take someone else’s place in death, the writer of the “Athenian enlightenment” scrutinizes seemingly selfless relationships, and raises a series of crucial questions, such as: What constitutes a proof of true love? What are the limits of devotion? Whose life is more valuable, and why? Can divine laws provide answers to any of these questions? And what about divine intervention changing the rules of the game?
Translation: Kostas Topouzis
Direction - Translation editing: Katerina Evangelatos
Set design: Eva Manidaki Costume design: Vassiliki Syrma
Movement: Patricia Apergi Music: Giorgos Poulios
Musical coaching: Melina Paionidou
Cast: Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos (Heracles), Maria Kitsou (Alcestis), Giannis Fertis (Pheres), Kostas Vasardanis (Apollo), Sotiris Tsakomidis (Thanatos/Death), Dimitris Papanikolaou (Slave). Chorus: Konstantinos Voudouris, Konstantinos Georgalis, Giorgos Zygouris, Stathis Koikas, Michalis Michalakidis, Antonis Michalopoulos, Yorgos Nousis, Christos Xyrafakis, Stelios Pavlopoulos, Dimokritos Sifakis, Periklis Skordilis, Alexandros Stavropoulos, Michael Tampakakis, Valantis Frangos. With the participation of five musicians performing live on stage.
(4-5 August) MEDIA BY EURIPIDES
The barbarity of love
In the foreword of his exceptional Modern Greek translation of Medea, Giorgos Chimonas writes the
following: “Medea is a barbarian in the double sense of being a foreigner and a woman whose love is barbaric.” The two faces of love: one is brutal, immersed in pain and darkness; the other is dreamy, pleasurable, and bathed in light. Drawing on Euripides’ play and ancient Greek texts by Sappho, Plato, Theophrastus and others, this production by the Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun will celebrate the joy and grief of love, while investigating how the deep, terrifying darkness of love as a brutal practice can devour beauty and nobility, leading one’s soul to absolute evil. It becomes imperative to the heartbroken, scorned lover to reciprocate the pain s/he feels. In other words, “stronger than lover’s love is lover’s hate. Incurable, in each, the wounds they make.”
Translation: Giorgos Chimonas Direction: Marianna Calbari
Set and costume design: Konstantinos Zamanis
Music: Panagiotis Kalantzopoulos Choreography: Mariza Tsiga
Lighting design: Stella Kaltsou Dramaturgy: Elena Triantafyllopoulou
Cast: Maria Nafpliotou, Haris Fragoulis, Alexandra Kazakou, Fotini Baxevani, Theodora Tzimou, Syrmo Keke, Ioanna Mavrea, Konstantina Takalou, Alexandros Mylonas, Gerasimos Gennatas, Dimitris Passas, and students of the Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun. With the participation of four musi-cians.
Co-production: Athens & Epidaurus Festival – Municipal and Regional Theatre of Ioannina – Greek Art
Theatre Karolos Koun
(11-12 August) THE PERSIANS BY AESCHYLUS
Having won acclaim in recent years for his electrifying performances, director Aris Biniaris makes his Epidaurus debut in a production by the Cyprus Theatre Organisation, featuring a cast of talented actors from Greece and Cyprus. The cornerstone of this production is musicianship, that is, the interplay of rhythm and words; a vibrant synthesis of poetic language, music, and stage action. The dramatis personae and the chorus will be performed in a manner suggestive of the musical texture of the play. The production will unfold through dramatic action, words, singing, and dancing in quest of a fundamental simplicity that will bring to the fore the incessant inner vibes of the ancient Greek drama.
Translation: Panayiotis Moullas
Direction - Musical dramaturgy: Aris Biniaris Dramaturgical collaboration: Antonis Solomou Verse coaching: Theodoros Stefanopoulos
Set design: Constantinos Louka Costume design: Eleni Tzirkalli Movement: Lia Haraki
Lighting design: Georgios Koukoumas
Sound design: Giorgos Christofi
Cast: Karyofyllia Karabeti (Atossa), Harris Charalambous (Messenger), Nikos Psarras (Darius), Antonis
Chorus: Elias Andreou, Petros Giorkatzis, Giorgos Evagorou, Lefteris Zambetakis, Nektarios Theodorou, Marios Constantinou, Panayiotis Larkou, David Malteze, Yiannis Minos, Aris Biniaris, Onisiforos Onisiforou, Andreas Papamichalopoulos, Manos Petrakis, Stefanos Pittas, Constantinos Sevdalis.
(19 August) CLOSING CELEBRATION
Dances of the Peloponnese
The Epidaurus Festival pays tribute to the music and dances of the Peloponnese.
Inspired by the musical beat 7/8, which can be traced back to Aristophanes and the ancient Tsakonikos ritual dance, the Epidaurus Festival will pay tribute to the rich musical and dance tradition of the Peloponnese region of southern Greece, a timeless treasure trove of identity and historical memory. The orchestra of the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus will be transformed into an aloni or chorostasi, a place for dance and celebration that will welcome modern-day symposiasts, singers, instrumentalists, and dancers from the Peloponnese. An open invitation for participation in the rituals of ancient Greek feasts.
Artistic - Music direction: Lambros Liavas
Stage direction: Sofia Spyratou
Lighting design: Lefteris Pavlopoulos
In collaboration with the Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments “Foivos Anogianakis” - Research
Centre for Ethnomusicology, and the Lyceum of Hellenic Women of Kalamata.