Greek Festival director Giorgos Loukos was surrounded by fresh faces at a recent press conference in Athens where he took the opportunity to introduce two new, albeit long-awaited, initiatives.
To begin with, Loukos announced that for the first time in the history of the Epidaurus Festival (now part of the Greek Festival), a certain number of Greek Festival productions will feature English surtitles. The second comes thanks to a special agreement reached between festival organizers and state bus company KTEL Argolidas which will allow members of the audience traveling to Epidaurus for certain performances to benefit from a 45 percent discount – the deal will see those heading to the ancient theater paying 10 euros instead of the 19-euro standard fare.
Both initiatives concern the following productions: Euripides’ “Helen,” directed by Dimitris Karantzas (July 5); Aeschylus’ “Prometheus Bound,” directed by Ektoras Lygizos (July 12); Sophocles’ “Philoctetes,” a Municipal Regional Theater of Patra & Artivities production directed by Costas Filippoglou (July 18-19), and Aristophanes’ “Frogs,” a National Theater of Greece production directed by Yiannis Kakleas.
During the press conference Loukos also presented the two young directors whose production will serve as curtain raisers for the 60th edition of the Epidaurus Festival.
Karantzas, who directs Euripides’ “Helen,” worked on a translation executed by Dimitris Dimitriadis. The production features a group of nine narrators who undertake the task of exploring the themes and complications of the ancient play. The director appeared enthusiastic regarding his collaboration with a cast of young actors. “If you don’t come across understanding and complicity, there is no point to the work of a director,” he said at the press event.
Next in line was Lygizos, who is directing Aeschylus’ “Prometheus Bound” and who was accompanied by several of the actors comprising the production’s cast, including Stefania Goulioti and Anna Mascha. The fact that both Karantzas, aged 26, and Lygizos, born in 1976, are directing ancient Greek drama at Epidaurus at a rather young age has generated plenty of discussion on the local theater scene this summer. On the subject of age, Goulioti noted that “what matters is each artist’s creative suggestion.”