‘Antigone’ with a twist at Epidaurus Festival

This year’s performance of Sophocles’ «Antigone» by the Cyprus Theater Organization (CTO) at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus on Friday and Saturday promises to be an interesting one, not just because of the production, but also because of the coincidences that go with it. Firstly, this August marks the 25th anniversary of collaboration between the CTO and the Epidaurus Theater, as the company first performed there in 1980. This production also features an innovative set designed by sculptor Costas Varotsos, while director Stavros Tsakiris has used technology to add an original twist. A transparent maze, designed by Varotsos – known widely for his glass sculptures and most notably for «The Runner» that stands opposite the Hilton Hotel – forms the focal point of the production, although it is not made of glass. «I designed a set that does not exist,» explained the artist at a recent press conference. «I tried to grasp the energy of the space and eventually used the energy of the theater itself as my basic material.» The press conference was inevitably weighed down by references to the similarities between Antigone’s dead brother Polynices and the issue of the unburied victims of the Cyprus tragedy, while lead actress Annita Santorinaiou, who plays the title role, questioned how an issue such as this could persist in Europe today. The costumes for the production are by veteran designer Yiannis Metsikoff, who boasts another two Antigones before this one: «I have dressed people who are emerging from a huge disaster and are set on re-establishing the world,» he said. Other members of the production team include Minos Volanakis, who translated the play into Modern Greek, Mikis Theodorakis, who has penned the music, choreographer Arianna Economou, music coach Evi Afxendiou and lighting designer Giorgos Koukoumas.