Author Archive

PHILOCTETES by Sophocles

ETHAL (Limassol Theatre Development Company), Cyprus

8 July, Curium Ancient Theatre
11 July, Makarios III Amphitheatre, Nicosia
12 July, Paphos Ancient Odeon

ETHAL (Limassol Theatre Development Company) in cooperation with Technodromio, Cyprus and Pera Theatre, Greece, will present Sophocles’ tragedy Philoctetes, translated by the awarded Greek poet Giorgos Blanas and directed by the Artistic Director of ETHAL, Minas Tigkilis. This is ETHAL’s first participation at the Festival.

Plot
Philoctetes, son of Poeas, in the first year of the Grecian expedition to Troy, while visiting the temple of the goddess Chryse, he had been bitten in the foot by a venomous serpent, the guardian of the shrine. His incurable wound aroused so much revulsion among his former comrades that the Atreides, Agamemnon and Menelaos, asked Odysseus to abandon him in a desolate island and Odysseus chose to banish him to the uninhabited island of Lemnos, where he eked out a wretched life the ten years of the Trojan War. At the tenth year, an oracle informed the Greek leaders that Troy could only be taken by the help of the invincible bow and arrows of Heracles, and these were in the possession of Philoctetes, since he helped Heracles end his sufferings while dying and he gave them to him.

Odysseus and his obedient accomplice Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, are sent to carry back to Troy Philoctetes. Odysseus plan is to use Neoptolemus as bait to cheat Philoctetes into giving away his arrows, since the oracle pointed out that the arrows should be used by Neoptolemus. Neoptolemus is reluctant to deceive Philoctetes and even though at some point he is persuaded, Philoctetes misery makes him defy Odusseus and intent to help Philoctetes return home.

Philoctetes is also unwilling to make peace with those who treated him so cruelly and only by the intervention of the deified Heracles is he persuaded to help the Greeks to victory. Philoctetes is a tragedy about human pain, abandonment and the association between conscience and politics, honor and duty.

 

Translation: Giorgos Mplanas
Direction: Minas Tigkilis
Set and costume design: Edouardos Georgiou
Lighting design: Vasilis Peteinaris
Original: Giorgos Kolias
Movement: Chloe Melidou
Assistant Directors: Panayiota Papageorgiou & Elena Meletiou
Set designer assistant: Thelma Cassoulidou
Musical coaching of the Chorus: Nicos Vihas (Famagusta Choir)
Chorus: Christos Christofides, Costas Mpafas, Iacovos Kantounas, Giorgos Diamantides

Cast
Philoctetes: Eftyhios Poullaides
Odysseus: Costas Kazakas
Neoptolemus: Constantinos Gavriel
Sailor man: Alexandros Parisis
Chorus:
Coryphaeus A: Yiannos Antoniou
Coryphaea B: Panayiota Papageorgiou
Coryphaeus C: Michalis Christou
Euripides Dikeos, Stefani Nerou, Zacharias Iordanides, Andreas Daniel

Musician: Theodoros Polykarpou

Participants: Christos Christofides, Kostas Mpafas, Iacovos Kantounas, Giorgos Diamantides (Choir “Modernoi Kairoi”) and Angelos Goutosides and Anna Antoniou (Volunteers)

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ORESTEIA: The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides by Aeschylus

La Fondazione Instituto Nazionale Del Dramma Antico, Italy

18 July, Makarios III Amphitheatre, Nicosia
19 July, Paphos Ancient Odeon

The Fondazione Instituto Nazionale Del Dramma Antico – INDA, Italy, based in Syracuse, Sicily, an institution that serves ancient Greek tragedy and comedy for a century now, will present the two tragedies of The Oresteia trilogy, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides, written by Aeschylus. The production had its first performance on 9th May 2014 at the Greek Theater in Syracuse, directed by Daniele Salvo with Francesco Scianna, Francesca Ciocchetti, Marco Imparato and Elisabetta Pozzi in the leading roles.


Plot

The Libation Bearers
Orestes and Pylades return to Argos after Agamemnon’s assassination. As he secretly offers libations at his father’s grave, asking for his assistance for his revenge, Electra and the Chorus arrive to ask her father’s assistance as well. As she sees the signs on the grave she suspects that Orestes is there and indeed he appears and they recognize each other. They lay out the plan of their revenge and they execute it. They enter the palace announcing Orestes’ supposed death to Clytemnestra and she calls Aegisthus. Orestes kills him and then comes face to face with his mother. He hesitates to kill his own mother but after Pylades’ urging he murders her. He then dresses as a supplicant and starts out for the Oracle to conjure the blood from his hands, while the Furies are hunting him.

 

The Eumenides
The Furies are terrible, supernatural, and relentless and they chase Orestes who killed his mother. He takes refuge to the temple of goddess Athena who founds the first court of justice. Orestes is pronounced not guilty for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra who had murdered his father Agamemnon. The vindictive Furies are transformed into blessed favourable Eumenides.

Translation: Monica Centanni
Direction: Daniele Salvo
Assistant Director: Emiliano Bronzino
Set and Costume design: Arnaldo Pomodoro
Music: Marco Podda

Cast
Orestes: Francesco Scianna
Pylades: Marco Imparato
Electra: Melania Giglio
A male Servant: Alessandro Romano
Clytemnestra: Elisabetta Pozzi
Nurse of Orestes: Carbonetti Antonietta
Aegisthus: Graziano Piazza
A Male Servant of Aegisthus: Alessandro Romano
The Pythian Priestess: Clara Galante
Apollo: Graziano Piazza
The Ghost of Clytemnestra: Elisabetta Pozzi
Athena: Paola Gassman

Leaders of the Chorus:
Simonetta Cartia, Francesca Ciocchetti, Marcella Favilla, Clara Galante, Silvia Pietta, Elena Polic Greco

Chorus:
Claudia Benassi, Rosy Bonfiglo, Clio Cipolletta, Giulia Diomede, Giuliana Di Stefano, Carmelinda Gentile, Paola Giglio, Viola Graziosi, Jin Liyu, Doriana La Fauci, Francesca Maria, Valeria Perdono, Silvia Pernarella, Elena Aimone

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OEDIPE by Olivier Kemeid, adapted from Sophocles

Compagnie José Besprosvany / IDEA asbl, Belgium

21 July, Makarios III Amphitheatre, Nicosia
22 July, Makarios III Amphitheatre, Nicosia

The famous Mexican director and choreographer José Besprosvany participates at the Festival for the second time, after his magnificent production Prometheus Bound (15th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama 2011) and presents Oedipe, a Compagnie José Besprosvany/IDEA asbl production, co-produced with the Theatre Royal du Parc, Brussels and the Theatre d’Ivry Antoine Vitez, Paris.

In this faithful take on Sophocles’ tragedy by writer Olivier Kemeid, José Besprosvany sets out to enrich once again the stage through his company’s hallmark juxtaposition of text, music, and dance. Oedipus was highly praised in Belgium and France.

Plot
Oedipus grows up in the court of Polybus, King of Corinth, as his son. One day someone tells him that he is not Polybus’ real son. Polybus’ assurances are not enough to convince Oedipus who seeks the truth at the Oracle of Delphi. The oracle that he gets is terrible. He is told that he will kill his father and marry his mother and have children with her. This is enough for him to forget his previous problem and take the decision to leave Corinth. On his way he gets into a fight with a man and kills him. He continues his journey until he reaches Thebes. There he solves the riddle of the Sphinx, saves the city from its sufferings and marries queen Jocasta and has four children with her.

Prosperity does not last long for Thebes is struck by plague. Oedipus takes action to save his city again. In his effort to discover the murderer of the previous King, Laius, he discovers that he is his son, that he killed him, married Jocasta, his mother and had children with her. Thus the ancient prophecy has been fulfilled in all its dreadful detail. Jocasta in her horror hangs herself and Oedipus plucks out his eyes. Then he imposes on himself the penalty of exile which he had promised for the murderer of Laius.

Script: Olivier Kemeid, adapted from Sophocles
Direction, choreography: José Besprosvany
Video: Yannick Jacquet
Music, sound design: Koenraad Ecker
Costume design: Bert Menzel
Lighting design: Marc Lhommel
Assistant Visual Designer, Assistant Dramaturg:
Francois Prodhomme
Assistant Set Designer: Richard Klein
Assistant on tour: Martin Coiffier
Video technician and general coordination: Yannick de Coster
Light technician: Caspar Langhoff
Sound technician: Cédric Chotte

Oedipus: Gauthier Jansen
Jocaste, the Sphinx: Isabelle Roelandt
Creon: Georges Siatidis
The young man: Toussaint Colombani
The old man, Tiresias, Laios, Polybus: Charles Cornette

Dancers: Mylena Leclercq, Fernando Martín, Yann-Gaël Monfort, François Prodhomme, Louis Richard

A Compagnie José Besprosvany/IDEA asbl production. Co-produced with the Theatre Royal du Parc, Brussels, and the Theatre d’Ivry Antoine Vitez, Paris. Subsidized by the Dance and Music Departments of the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels French Community, with additional support from the WBI, WBTD, SACD, and the Parliament of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels.

 

Director’s note
[…] However, this unity only works through the increasingly oppressive evocations of the past, which remerges and becomes irrefutably clearer as the story goes on. The ghosts of the past loom and throw light on the terrible curse haunting the city, ultimately blurring the markers of present, blackening the future and pushing Oedipus to live in the darkness, blind and miserable.

In staging Olivier Kemeid’s current adaptation, which modernizes yet remains very faithful to Sophocles’ text, I am continuing the connecting thread that has run through my company’s work for years, that is to say the exploration of possible meeting points between text, music and movement. In doing so, I take up two disciplines that intrigue me: shadow theatre, which is used in the Far East to tell mythical stories blending text and music, and the use of light and shadow in contemporary art.

In my production, five actors play out the tragedy of Oedipus in the present time and five dancers give life to this obscure past that gradually emerges, using an ingenious theatrical device that remains to be developed. […]

José Besprosvany

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LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes, adapted by Costas Montis

THEPAK (Theatrical Workshop of the University of Cyprus), Cyprus
Parallel Event for the “Costas Montis’ Year”

7 July, Archontiko of Axiothea
8 July, Archontiko of Axiothea

The 18th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama honors the memory of the Cypriot poet Costas Montis and presents as a parallel event, in the context of the “Costas Montis’ Year” celebrations, Aristophanes’ famous antiwar comedy
Lysistrata, translated into Cypriot dialect by Cyprus’ most prominent contemporary poet. The production is presented by THEPAK (Theatrical Workshop of the University of Cyprus) and is directed by Michalis Pieris at the Archontiko of Axiothea. The entrance for this event will be free.

 

Adaptation and stage direction: Michalis Pieris
Music: Evagoras Karagiorgis
Set and costumes: Christos Lysiotis, Eliana Chrysostomou
Movement coaching: Michalis Pieris
Choreography: Elena Christodoulidou
Lighting: Giorgos Koukoumas
Sound supervision: Stamatia Laoumtzi
Technical support: Kyriakos Kakoullis
Production manager, assistant director: Stamatia Laoumtzi

Cast
Lysistrata: Christina Pieri
Magistrate: Dimitris Pitsilis
Myrrhine: Myria Hadjimatthaiou
Cinesias: Stavros Aroditis
Coryphaeus of Old Men: Michalis Yangou
Coryphaeus of Women: Eftychia Georgiou
Lampito: Miranda Nychidou
Calonice: Angela Savvidou
Old Man: Chariton Iosifides
Old Woman: Michalis Michael.
Chorus of Old Men / Chorus of Women: all members of THEPAK


Director’s note:

[…] Working with this masterpiece of a text, we discovered new virtues of the Cypriot dialect, we tasted the rare literary juices of Montis’ creativity, and enjoyed the flexibility and adaptability that characterise this beautiful dialect of the Greek language. But above all, we saw in practice how vigorous Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is as a theatrical text, but also how powerful is its translation into modern Cypriot dialect by the most prominent contemporary poet of Cyprus. So powerful, yet so effortless that it breathes with the breath of the people of Cyprus.

Thus, the director’s approach was based on the understanding that Montis’ Lysistrata should be staged in the context of the demotic and folk tradition, not least because the Cypriot poet’s language and choicespoint to this precise direction. However, we set on ourselves two conditions. First, not to interfere in any way with the meaning and the dramatic structure of the ancient text (which Montis fully respected), and second, not to fall into the trap of turning the play into a parody by overemphasising folk elements. With these thoughts in mind, I asked my collaborators to enter into a creative dialogue with the timeless values of the rich Cypriot tradition in all aspects of stage realisation: articulation, music, costumes, movement and dance. We sought to identify elements of the ethos, which characterised the traditional Cypriot society, that we believed had survived, albeit partially, in modern times, we studied them carefully, and we tried to benefit from them without resorting to slavish imitation. […]

Michalis Pieris

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LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes

Highway Productions & NPO Lykofos, Greece

13 July, Curium Ancient Theatre
14 July, Curium Ancient Theatre

The Highway Productions in cooperation with Giorgos Lykiardopoulos’ NPO Lykofos, in a co production with the The Municipal Regional Theatre of Agrinio, will present the most popular and most frequently staged comedy of Aristophanes, Lysistrata, directed by the Lithuanian director Cezaris Grauzinis. Maria Gkavogianni as Lysistrata, Antonis Loudaros as Magistrate, Kaiti Konstantinou as Calonice, Thanasis Tsaltampasis as Cinesias, Nantia Kontogeorgi as Myrrhine and many other acclaimed actors and actresses will offer the public an unforgettable experience. Spyros A. Evangelatos translated and adapted the play and Giorgos Patsas designed the set and costumes.

Plot
Twenty years after the Peloponnesian War began, the situation in Athens has become so difficult that one woman, Lysistrata, decides to take matters into her own hands. Her plan is to force the men to negotiate through the denial of their conjugal rights. To this end, she organises a secret meeting of women from Athens and the other warring city states and convinces them to refuse all sexual contact with their husbands and lovers.

Lysistrata and the other Athenian women then occupy the Acropolis, where the state treasury is located, so that the men will lack the funds to continue the war. The scheme is quick to produce results, not only in Athens but in the enemy states as well. Envoys from the Spartans and the Athenians appeal to Lysistrata to compromise, and peace is secured with the help of a beautiful young woman, Reconciliation, and concessions on both sides.

Written with Aristophanic sparkling humour in the darkest days of the Peloponnesian War, Lysistrata (411 BC) has shone down the millennia as a hymn to peace, love and womanhood.

 

Translation/Adaptation: Spyros Α. Evangelatos
Direction: Cezaris Grauzinis
Set/Costumes: Giorgos Patsas
Music: Dimitris Theocharis
Lyrics: Giorgos Mpakolas
Movement: Dimitra Kritikidi
Text Edit: The translator and the actors/actresses
Lighting: Sophia Alexiadou

Production: Giorgios Lykiardopoulos, Highway Productions, NPO Lykofos, in a co production with the Agrinion Municipal Regional Theatre, Greece

 

Cast
Lysistrata: Maria Gkavogianni
Calonice: Kaiti Konstantinou
Myrrhine: Nantia Kontogeorgi
Lampito: Margarita Varlamou
A Boeotian Woman: Maria Philippou
A Corinthian Woman: Jinie Papadopoulou
An Eleusinian Woman: Elina Malama
Magistrate: Antonis Loudaros
Cinesias: Thanasis Tsaltampasis
A Spartan Ambassador: Thanasis Kourlampas
Chancellor: Dimitris Papanikolaou
A Spartan Herald: Thomas Gkagkas
Athenian A: Vasilis Poulakos
Athenian B: Gerasimos Skafidas

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ALCESTIS by Euripides

Amfiktio Theatre, Cyprus

25 July, Makarios III Amphitheatre, Nicosia
27 July, Curium Ancient Theatre
28 July, Paphos Ancient Odeon

Amfiktio Theatre will close the 18th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama with Euripides tragedy Alcestis, the symbol of self-denial and wifely devotion, directed by Nicos Charalambous.

Plot
With Apollo’s assistance, Admetus, King of Pherae, has secured an unusual privilege: when his time comes to die, he will be spared, provided he can find someone to take his place in the Underworld. But who loves Admetus enough to give up their life for him?

In the end, no one volunteers to die on his behalf except for his young wife, Alcestis, who bids farewell to life and embarks on a journey to the Underworld. Everyone in the palace mourns the loss of their devoted queen, who only a hero can return to life by taking on Death and besting him.

Euripides’ oldest surviving play combines the form and characteristics of tragedy with comedic elements, irony and an optimistic ending.

Translation: Makis Antonopoulos
Direction, dramaturgy: Nicos Charalambous
Set designer: Lakis Genethlis
Music: Nikolas Leventis
Movement: Nataly Amman

Cast
Apollo: Marios Kakoullis
Death: Julie Tsolka
Maidservant: Anna Yiangiozi
Alcestis: Maria Michael
Admetus: Simos Tsiakkas
Heracles: Manos Galanis
Pheres: Neophytos Neophytou

Chorus (six men, six women)

Leaders of the Chorus: Nataly Amman, Panayiotis Grigoriou


Director’s note

A space studded with multiple prisons-tombs. A visual floor, symbolizing the descent to and then the ascent from Hades. Euripides’ Alcestis comes back to life and carries the vanity of love and all this for “an empty shirt”, for Helen! And a group of people in a state of paranoia, carrying, hiding, running and panicking when confronted by life in the tomb, namely the tragic Irony of Euripides in full blast. In a few words, we visualized a performance in a state of insanity.

Nicos Charalambous

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MEDEA by Euripides

Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Pandur.Theaters, Slovenia & Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Croatia

4 July, Paphos Ancient Odeon
6 July, Makarios III Amphitheatre, Nicosia

One of the best works of the great ancient writer Euripides, Medea, a story about love, envy, greed for fame and revenge, a co-production by the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Pandur.Theaters, Slovenia and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Croatia, will open the 18th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama on the 4th July 2014 at the Paphos Ancient Odeon. Medea, directed by the internationally acclaimed Tomaž Pandur, was presented in Croatia and Slovenia and, a few weeks ago, at the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival 2014, in Colombia. The direction as well as the terrific acting of Alma Prica in the leading role have been highly praised in many countries.

Plot
Medea, daughter of Aietes, king of Kolchis, and grand-daughter of the Sun-god, leaves her father and murders her brother to help Jason to take the treasure of her family, the Golden Fleece. To crown all, she has remained a faithful wife to him and has born him two sons. Nevertheless, he betrays her and wrongs her. He decides to abandon her for the daughter of Creon, king of Corinth. Moreover, as if this was not enough, Creon orders her banishment from the country. After an outburst of despair, she manages to convince Creon to let her stay in the country until the next day. In vain does Jason try to convince her that what he is doing is for her own good and the good of their children. Now she proceeds deliberately to destroy Jason and all who are connected with him: Creon’s daughter, Creon himself and her two children. And when Jason swears vengeance against her and tries to force the doors of the house, Medea suddenly appears above, borne on a fiery car sent by her grandfather, the Sun-god.

 

Adaptation from Euripides: Darko Lukić
Translation: Lada Kaštelan
Director: Tomaž Pandur
Screen play by Tomaž Pandur, Livija Pandur
Dramaturge: Livija Pandur
Set design: Sven Jonke for NUMEN
Costume designer: Danica Dedijer
Music: SILENCE
Video design: Dorijan Kolundžija / Galerija 12+
Light designer: Andrej Hajdinak
Language advisor: Đurđa Škavić
Photographer: Aljoša Rebolj
Assistant director: Paolo Tišljarić
Assistant dramaturge: Mirna Rustemović
Assistant to costume designer: Zjena Glamočanin
Stage manager: Roko Grbin

Cast
Medea: Alma Prica
Jason: Bojan Navojec
Keeper of the Golden Fleece: Livio Badurina
Pheres: Ivan Glowatzky
Mermeros: Romano Nicolić
Aegeus: Damir Markovina

The Argonauts: Kristijan Potočki, Andrej Dojkić, Petar Cvirn, Tomislav Krstanović, Jure Radnić, Ivan Magud, Adrian Pezdirc, Ivan Ožegović

Dramaturge’s note
[…] After three thousand years Euripides’ Medea is equally complex and full of contradictions, she is a foreigner difficult to understand, divine and mortal, who tries to justify ‘everything’ with her crimes committed in the name of ‘love’ (the murder of her brother, Pelias and her sons). This is why, from today’s perspective, Medea who looks back onto a three-thousand-old myth is not just an anthropologic recount of the myth nor a simplified story about the relationship between a man and a woman, nor is it a story about a betrayed woman.

It is the study of sheer power, operations of power and of the way a human being behaves under pressure – when possessed by power. The walls surrounding time periods are extremely close to one another and this is why Medea’s story is still alive today; it reflects and resonates as if it were set in a tunnel full of mirrors. In a single day which she got to finish her plan, she became a heroine. One of those eternal women who are artists’ constant source of inspiration.

Medea’s demonic aria, her decadent imagination, search for truth and unconditional love, the murder of her sons as the end result on the emotional, social, political, religious and mythical level opens up a complex stream of today’s perception and reception, irrational gestures and archetypal images painted by today’s civilization.

Livija Pandur

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