Every Friday and Saturday, from July 7th to August 26th 2023, the ancient Τheater of Epidaurus comes to life and hosts eight new exceptional performances, for the artistic period 2023 of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival. Let's surrender ourselves to the magic of the landscape, of Art and of the Ancient Greek theatrical tradition!
7 - 8 July 2023
NATIONAL THEATER - Mrs. ΚΑΤΕRINA EVANGELATOS
Hippolytus by Euripides
Katerina Evangelatos, distinguished director and Artistic Director of the Festival, returns to Epidaurus with the National Theatre, in charge of the Dramaturgical procession-Adaptation-Direction. Moreover, a strong ensemble of 24 actors and four musicians will constantly be on stage
Aphrodite sets up a game of revenge and watches with a voyeuristic gaze how the human species becomes a victim of her desires. Her eye becomes our eye and the faces are stripped naked. The naked bodies convey the explosion, desire, lust, but also the purity of the human race. A direction that plunges into the wild universe of Euripides' work, seeing it as a modern nightmare in a poetic setting, where the characters struggle with their weaknesses and love is so overwhelming, that it can only be fatal...
14 - 15 July 2023
NATIONAL THEATER – Mrs. LENA KITSOPOULOU
The Wasps by Aristophanes
Lena Kitsopoulou, a controversial director in her first descent to Epidaurus, presents an adaptation of Aristophanes' satirical comedy.
In "The Wasps," the poet satirizes in an imaginative way the mania of the Athenians to settle their disputes judicially, as well as the cracks in the judicial system, which allowed the scheming to manipulate justice to their advantage. Sixty years after Alexis Solomos' performance, the National Theatre invites the subversive creator to turn her gaze to the critical questions posed by the Aristophanic work, mocking contemporary pathologies in her own unique way.
21 - 22 July 2023
Mr. FRANK CASTORF / World Premiere
Medea - by Euripides
Continuing the cycle of commissions of ancient works to top European directors, which began in 2021 with the invitation of Thomas Ostermeier and continued in 2022, with the world premieres of Johan Simons and Ulrich Rasche, this year the Festival invites Frank Castorf for the first time, to direct "Medea" in a performance that gives an international stamp to this year's program. The innovative director, historian, and director of Berlin's Volksbühne, who sealed the "German style" since the 1990s, collaborates with significant actors of our Greek theater, marrying the anarchic style of performing, improvisation and acting freedom, with the contemporary Greek scene in an explosive directorial proposal.
Castorf serves a theater that is extreme and subversive, with materials such as a strongly visual language and a contemporary high-temperature acting style. He usually composes different texts regardless of the era, aiming to highlight reflection and philosophical debate on the subtext of each story.
28 - 29 July 2023
Mrs. EFI BIRBA
Frogs by Aristophanes (A comedy with the DNA of tragedy)
Athens is going through a deep political and spiritual crisis, a crisis of institutions and values. In the dry and gloomy reality of the city, Dionysus, the father and inspirer of theater, sets out on a journey to the Underworld to bring back the seed of rebirth, poetry, in order to save the collapsing world. With Xanthias and the noise of the frogs as his companions, he reaches Hades through successive comic and paradoxical encounters, to resurrect the Poet. The one, who can confront the impending destruction.
From the cracks of the pure comedy of the play, weaknesses of the living and the dead emerge and the foul waters of reality are stirred. With the vision of the great idea of saving the world, the descent of Dionysus into Hades becomes simultaneously a descent into the very mechanism of the theater. In the footsteps of Dionysus, the performance seeks to reach in turn the core of theatrical creation, with the magnificent "Aristophanic expressionism" as guide.
4 - 5 August 2023
Mr. GIORGOS SKEVAS
"Oedipus at Colonus" by Sophocles.
The play brings to the forefront the ambivalent uncertainty of the end of a hero marked by fate. How can this wavering between justice and injustice, acceptance and denial of fate, be scenically translated? Sophocles' words, the words on the lips of his heroes, Oedipus, Antigone, Ismene, Polyneices, Creon, do not allow for any definitive separation of good from evil, of sacred from blasphemous. This language, through the music of the bodies, becomes an eternal place, the eternal oracle. This play of George Skevas seeks to unleash this language and its deep poetic, prophetic power.
11 - 12 August 2023
Mrs. IO VOULGARAKI
"Ekavi" by Euripides
Daily, images of wars, unbearable violence and agony from all over the world reach our screens. The irrationality of war seems to only concern those who live it, for everyone else it is limited to a dry, virtual and harmless information. It is buried among a multitude of news, cut off from the experience of mourning. Thus, we become familiar with the image and information of violence, we are trained in death, but we have forgotten how to mourn.
In the tragedy of Euripides, Ekavi begins as a character from that point which we have forgotten, the path of mourning. In the first part of the play, grief, both personal and collective, seems to give birth to its metaphysics: the living and the dead are in constant dialogue, an unburied boy disturbs his mother's sleep, a girl stands at the brink of life and death. In Ekavi, everything happens in an intermediate time, after the end of the war. However, violence has not ended. And it is precisely there, in the time of transition, that Ekavi of mourning becomes Ekavi of revenge, opening a bold dialectic with the present.
A large ensemble of exceptional actors and musicians, and the new translation by Eleni Varopoulou, made specifically for the production, are the pillars of the project.
18 - 19 August 2023
STATE THEATRE OF NORTHERN GREECE – Mr. CHRISTOS SOUGARIS
"The Trojan Women" by Euripides
"The Trojan Women", the only surviving tragedy of the trilogy by Euripides about the Trojan War, was first performed in 415 BC at the Great Dionysia festival. The play was written shortly after the destruction of Melos in 416 BC, when the Athenians, with inhuman violence, killed all the adult men of Melos and sold the women and children into slavery.
Euripides attempts to warn about the consequences of the recklessness of the victors and to remind us of the importance of remaining human, far from the delusion of omnipotence that ephemeral victories create. In "The Trojan Women," the poet highlights the human dimension of the enemy and, focusing on the greatness of the women of Troy, highlights that strength that makes a person persist even after destruction.
The director Christos Sougaris, awarded by the Union of Greek Theatre Critics with the "New Theatre Creator" award for 2018, responsible for the artistic programming of the National Theatre of Northern Greece, presents us this year with a subversive reading of Euripides' masterpiece.
25 - 26 August 2023
Mr. SIMOS KAKALAS
"Oedipus Tyrannus" by Sophocles.
Never before in the history of humanity have we "seen" so far into the universe and so deeply into ourselves. Very often, on the brink of a disaster, we realize that the evil we fight is within ourselves. The face of Oedipus is the face of humanity in the mirror. Having found the culprit, he is at the point where he must make a crucial choice, even at the last moment, even having already made the biggest mistake.
In this performance, seen as a ritualistic purification, a group of elders wearing masks form the chorus, gather, mourn and agonize. Through this dance, the tragic characters of Oedipus, Jocasta, Tiresias and Creon are revealed.
July 7th to August 26th 2023 - Every Friday and Saturday
Creative employment of children in Epidaurus (during the performances at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus) - For children 5 - 12 years old.
The successful theatrical-pedagogical program, begins again, bringing closer to children the wonderful and mysterious universe of ancient myths. While the adults watch the performance at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus undisturbed, the children are busy creatively, approaching the content of the same play. The program is coordinated by the theatrical expert Elli Gabriel, in collaboration with a group of experienced theater educators and teachers of music-kinetic and aesthetic education.
All performances start at 21:00 and are played with Greek and English surtitles.
The theater's car park has plenty of spaces for cars and coaches.
Wheelchair users are granted vehicular access to the square of the theatre. Special adapted portable toilets are available.
For any inconvenience and delay to be avoided, due to the current Covid-19 health measures, you are advised to arrive 90΄ before the start of each performance.
Ticketing - Box Office info
Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus - box office operates Monday to Thursday 10:00-14:00 and on performance days (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays) 10:30-21:00.
Τ. +30 210-7234567 (Monday to Sunday 09:00-21:00). Purchase online: aefestival.gr
Entry into the theatre after the start of a performance, except during an interval.
The attendance of children under the age of six.
Smoking, and the consumption of food and drink inside the theater.
The use of mobile phones during performances.
Entry into the theater in high heels.
Photography, with or without flash, and sound or video recording during a performance.
The tipping of staff.
Did you know that?
The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is Greece’s leading cultural Organisation and one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe, spanning now 67 years of vivid cultural presence.
Theatre director Katerina Evangelatos was appointed Artistic Director in September 2019.
The famous ancient Τheater of Epidaurus is located within the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, in the Argolis prefecture of Peloponnese. It is a half-hour drive from Nafplio and approximately two hours from Athens.