ATHENS – The Interbalkan Festival of Ancient Drama is a new international artistic institution founded by the Region of Attica and the Regional Governor Giorgos Patoulis and established from the summer of 2023 on an annual basis. The aim is the tireless collaboration and the constant presence in our country of artists, institutions and forms from the Balkans, who work at a high artistic level, focusing on Ancient Drama and the research around it.
The main aim of the new festival is to highlight the great theatrical tradition and the modern innovations by the Balkan countries in Ancient Drama. For this reason, the excavation of the entire spectrum of creation found in the theatrical palimpsest of the Balkan peninsula – from the traditional institutional theatrical forces to the new artistic trends that seek new dramaturgical and aesthetic forms – is a priority.
In the long-suffering geographical landscape of the Balkans, where people experienced and are experiencing modern tragedies, the Ancient Drama with its international scope, humanism and its therapeutic dimension, has the power to highlight our related traditions and through the essential artistic encounter to point the compass towards the deep and sincere friendship of the peoples.
The Interbalkan Festival of Ancient Drama was introduced to the Greek public in the summer of 2022 with the conference ‘Ancient Drama as a Timeless Source of Inspiration and Creation’ with the following participants: Lora Chenakova of Bulgaria, Head of the International Department of the Drama Theater of Plovdiv; Vlad Dragulescu of Romania, Artistic Director of the Marin Sorescu National Theater of Craiova and Artistic Director of the Craiova International Shakespeare Festival; Iulia Huiculescu of Romania, Artistic Advisor at the Lucian Blaga National Theater of Cluj-Napoca; Krastyu Krastev of Bulgaria, General Director of the Drama Theater of Philippopolis; Klajdi Marku of Albania, Director and Actor of the Bylis Theater in Fier; Ibrahim Spahic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, General Director of the Sarajevo Winter International Theater Festival; and Gorcin Stojanovic of Serbia, Artistic Director of the Yugoslav Drama Theater.
On the Greek side, the actress and director Elena Mavridou, Assistant Professor of the University of Patras Agios Marinis, Head of International Relations and Drama of the National Theater Dr. Irene Moundraki, dramatist and critic Dr. Konstantinos Bouras, Honorary Ambassador Periklis Nearchou, and Cultural Historian and Director of Letters of the Ministry of Culture Sissy Papathanasiou also participated.
This summer the festival begins with a four-day performance by international and Greek participations, presented at the Attic Grove Theater ‘Katina Paxinou’ from July 4-7 with free admission.
On July 4, Aeschylus’ Eumenides in the new translation by Leandros Polenakis and directed by Nikos Hatzipapas from Helix Theater will open the festival.
A Trojan Woman, a contemporary adaptation of Euripides’ Trojan Women, adapted by Sara Farrington and directed by Meghan Finn, in collaboration with Ana Veselic, will be presented on July 5.
On July 6, Euripides’ Hekavi / Hekuba nga Euripidi directed by Enke Fezollari, from the Municipal Regional Theater of Shkodra Migjeni under the auspices of the Greek Embassy in Tirana.
The Festival concludes on July 7 with The Revenge of Melito, a tragedy written and directed by Christoforos Christofis and with music by Nikos Xanthoulis. The play tells the story of Melito, Euripides’ second wife, reputed to have left him after cheating on him, most likely with a slave, in their own home.
The honoree at this year’s Festival is the writer, poet, and translator Leandros Polenakis.
International productions are presented with Greek subtitles.
Admission is free with reserved seats available online for each of the performances: https://shorturl.at/douCT.
The Region of Attica Interbalkan Festival of Ancient Drama
Art director: Aris Asproulis
Mary Vidali (President)