The 2021 Festival programme
5 productions compose this year’s programme co-organised by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute and the Deputy Ministry of Tourism.
The International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama raises the curtain on the 2021’s edition after last year’s cancellation due to the covid pandemic and is ready to offer an exciting line-up of performances to the audience that has been attending faithfully in recent years; a July full of unique theatrical moments!
The pandemic may have forced the organisers to cancel last year’s edition, but it ignited their desire to create a high-quality programme for 2021. The goal and desire of the organisers is to maintain the rising and successful course recorded by the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama, to ensure the artistic quality of the performance programme and the largest possible attendance of Cypriot and foreign visitors.
Emphasizing on the quality and cooperation with distinguished theatrical organisations, a diverse and extroverted programme is offered to the spectators, with performances of modern aesthetic and artistic approach to the ancient drama, highlighting the scope and prestige of the Festival locally and abroad.
In the 2021’s edition, five esteemed theatre companies from Greece, Israel, Italy and Cyprus present performances of ancient Greek drama at Curium Ancient Theatre in Limassol and at “Skali” Amphitheatre in Aglantzia, from July 2 to July 30, 2021.
The five productions of this year’s Festival
The opening of this year’s Festival will take place at Curium Ancient Theatre with the extremely edgy and highly topical comedy of Aristophanes, Ecclesiazusae, in an original version of a contemporary, folk operetta in translation, libretto and music by Stamatis Kraounakis, directed by Marianna Calbari. After winning over critics and spectators in their first presentation at the crowded Herodion in 2019 and in the performances that followed in Thessaloniki and Athens, Ecclesiazusae come to Curium Ancient Theatre for two performances on July 2 and 3.
Following, for a unique performance on July 5 at “Skali” Amphitheatre, Sophocles’ Antigone, one of the most complete texts of ancient Greek drama, presented by the Jerusalem Khan Theatre under the direction of Udi Ben Moshe, one of the most significant directors of Israel. Timeless criticism on the arrogance of power and autocracy and the conflict between unwritten moral laws and institutional state laws, emerge through a contemporary stage “reading” emphasizing resistance against the modern political context as well as the current conflicts between religion and state.
The National Theatre of Greece returns to the Festival, eleven years later, with Aristophanes’ comedy The Knights, directed by the distinguished choreographer and director Konstantinos Rigos, featuring an outstanding cast. Equestrian, combative, hilarious, in an “ancient – modern” mix, through the innovative perspective of the director, the Knights get ready to “rap” at Curium Ancient Theatre on the 16th and 17th of July.
Euripides’ masterpiece, Medea, which deals with the last act of the passionate relationship between Jason and Medea, is this year’s Cypriot production in the Festival, directed by Aliki Danezi Knutsen. Seven actresses, in a unique stage setting guided by speech and sound, retrieve and reconstruct the dark and fierce forms of Euripides’ tragedy. The creation of Roads and Oranges Film Productions, will be presented at “Skali” Amphitheatre on July 21 and 22 and at Curium Ancient Theatre on July 24.
Prometheus Bound, Aeschylus’ shocking tragedy, staged by the Associazione Culturale Dide Di Michele Dio and the Fahrenheit 451 Teatro of Italy, under the direction of the award-winning director, Daniele Salvo, concludes this year’s Festival with two performances at “Skali” Amphitheatre on July 28 and at Curium Ancient Theatre on July 30. A deeply archetypal text, Prometheus Bound is a structured poetic-philosophical treatise on human conscience, a source of concepts and meanings that transcend the boundaries of ancient Greek mythology, permeating Western thought and culture. The fire that Prometheus stole is a light that continues to burn.
The Selection Committee of the productions participating at this year’s Festival edition was consisted by two representatives of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports: Nadia Stylianou, Senior Cultural Officer/Chair of the Committee and Aristodimos Anastasiades, Cultural Officer A’; two representatives of the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute (CCOITI): Varnavas Kyriazis, Actor/Director, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CCOITI and Maria Kyriakou, Director, Member of the Board of Directors of the CCOITI; one representative of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism: Skevi Constantinou, Tourism Officer and by two ex officio members: Antonis Tsakmakis, Associate Professor at the Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cyprus and Ellada Evangelou, Theatrologist, dramaturg.