International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama

Ιn 1997, responding to the suggestion of the former Director of CCOITI Mr. Nicos Shafkalis, it decided to establish a festival which came to be known as the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama.

Through the years, the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, with several years’ presence in the cultural life of the island, has been established as an outstanding institution, which is characterized by its international identity.

The Festival aims to present performances of Ancient Greek Drama that will project the specific nature of ancient drama, based on the original text.

The theatre companies that participate in it come from different countries. Most of them come from European countries such as Greece, the U.K., Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden including Cyprus. However, there has been participation from the U.S.A., Russia, Korea, China and Israel as well. The fact that ancient Greek drama is today staged in different countries is a concrete indication that ancient Greek drama does not belong to the past but continues to appeal to contemporary audiences.

The performances, many of which are original in their approach, cover the whole month of July every year. They project the uniqueness of ancient Greek drama but also bear an intense colouring of the culture of the country from which they come. Thus the audiences, which are themselves international as they consist not only of Cypriots but of foreign visitors as well, have the unique opportunity of experiencing ancient Greek drama from different cultural perspectives which affirm its uniqueness but also its universality.

The performances are presented in open-air amphitheatres: the Paphos Ancient Odeon, the Curium Ancient Theatre and the Makarios III Amphitheatre in Nicosia.

The International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, through its international repute, strengthens the position of Cyprus on the world cultural map and contributes constructively to the intercultural dialogue.

The International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama is co-organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Cultural Services, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute.

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