Aristophanic comedy and the Art Theater

The recent press conference held for the Art Theater’s (Theatro Technis’) performance of «Aristophanes at the Art Theater,» which is to be staged next week at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus (June 25 and 26), as part of the events of the Cultural Olympiad, brought on much nostalgia and awoke the memories of landmark productions by theater master Karolos Koun. «Those who have experienced legendary performances by the Art Theater, like Aristophanes’ ‘Birds,’ will always carry these emotions with them. These productions were the result of the collaboration between some of Greek culture’s most important 20th century artists and creators. This performance is one of the happiest Cultural Olympiad moments. We are hoping Karolos Koun’s creations will continue to survive over time,» said Cultural Olympiad Chairman of the Board Georgia Iliopoulou. The show consists of the strongest scenes from the Aristophanic comedies that the Art Theater has staged over the past 50 years, as directed by the late Karolos Koun, Giorgos Lazanis and Mimis Kouyioumtzis. «This is something that won’t happen again, that can’t happen again,» said Costis Kapelonis, who was in charge of the composition and direction of this production, along with Giorgos Lazanis and Theodoros Grampsas. «It was a very difficult undertaking, with over 50 actors and dancers on stage. We needed a long time to prepare.» «This is a journey into the past, through the history of the Art Theater. We first discussed this with Mimis Kouyioumtzis, who had dreamt of this show,» added Grampsas. The stage and costume design is by Dionysis Fotopoulos, while Maria Kynigou has directed the movement. Zouzou Nikoloudi, Kynigou, Natassa Zouka, Elena Vakalopoulou, Constantinos Rigos and Roula Koutroumbeli were in charge of the choreography, while Filippos Tsalachouris was the chorus coach. Actors Yiannis Mortzos, Tassos Pezirkianidis, Yiannis Karatzoyiannis, Alexandros Mylonas and Annita Santorinaiou will interpret the 18 leading parts. The extracts of the works will be presented in chronological order, as they were staged by the Art Theater. Yet the performance is one whole entity, with different bits being added to the set. Dionysis Fotopoulos oversaw the program – a striking edition. Tickets are available at the Hellenic Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou (in the aracde), tel 210.928.2900 and from the Epidaurus Theater box office, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 9.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. Friday to Saturday.