The National Theatre of Northern Greece
, which this year is celebrating 52 years of artistic creation, is today the largest theatrical and more broadly cultural institution in our country. With 5 winter stages and two large open theatres, but also through its major tours in Greece and abroad, it has functioned as an active nucleus for culture since 1961.
ΝTNG is supervised and subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Sports
As for its artistic programming, NTNG presents on an annual basis a program that combines in-house theatrical productions, co-productions with other theatre organizations, tributes, guest performances, festivals and social activities.
As theatre in the public interest which reciprocates the contributions of citizens through art, education and entertainment, the National Theatre of Northern Greece implements a strategy the main axes of which are as follows:
- A select repertory with a wide range
- A policy of low prices and a range of benefits
- An emphasis on a social policy in regard to population groups who for various reasons have not had access to theatre
- A focus on performances of high aesthetic value for children and youth
- Carrying out social activities aimed at raising public awareness
- Utilization of alternative theatre spaces
- Strengthening of ties and partnerships with local organizations, social institutions and charitable organizations
- Strengthening of international presence
In the framework of this strategy and with the basic orientation one of extroversion, in recent years NTNG has reactivated the Macedonia-Thrace Unit
(after 26 years of inactivity), which has toured throughout Northern Greece, giving performances even in the most remote villages, and has organized a series of activities such as “Coffeetime Theatre”
, with actors invading the cafes and bars of the city, the “In-House Theatre”
, with a group of actors visiting groups who do not have access to theatrical performances, the “Action Venue”
that gives a voice to teams of creative youth in the city, educational programs
for schools and hospitals, which bring students close to the theatre and offer a welcome break to children who are hospitalized. Additionally, NTNG provides free preparation courses for candidates for the Drama Schools, works with the non-profit charitable foundation “Make a Wish”, and organizes activities with the cycling organization “Bike Respect” to facilitate the use of bicycles and smooth access to bike lanes. As part of its social policy, NTNG has partnered with municipalities and institutions in Thessaloniki and has carried out visits by means of theatrical performances and activities, including in the Correctional Institution of Diavata (Second Chance School), in the Prisons of Kassandra and Grevena (rehabilitation program of the Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals - KETHEA), the Ithaca Therapeutic Community, at KAPI and at Centers for Care of the Elderly, at the “Anaplasi” Medical Rehabilitation Centre, at the Nursing Home of the Pontian Women Association “Merimna Pontion Kyrion”, the Greek Association of Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders (EENASD), the Red Cross (children with disabilities), at the Residential Home “Eirmos” (International Society for Mental Health Services - DEYPSY), and in Summer Daycare Programs at Primary Schools, while continuing its activities with many personal visits to individuals who for health reasons are confined to their homes.
Moreover, the institution of the “Social Theatre Shop"
(A Solidarity Theatre by the NTNG’s actors) is continuing this year for the second year, where those who attend performances are asked, instead of paying for a ticket, to donate food with a long shelf-life, to be made available to social organizations.
In the summer of 2012 a new institution was inaugurated, the "Summer Stage"
, at the historic former military camp “Pavlos Melas”, a place of historical significance and natural beauty, where a show called "Come and join us to Mela" was presented. It was an original composition with texts and songs from revues that have marked the course of this authentic Greek and popular theatrical genre.
For this year's theatrical season (2012-2013) NTNG went forward with two other important projects:
Recognizing the contributions of the Pontian tradition to the formation of modern Greek culture and wanting to pay tribute to this important part of Greek society, NTNG "refounded" the Pontian Stage
, putting it on a new basis and with the ultimate ambition of its becoming, among other things, the springboard for a meaningful study of Pontian Hellenism and a centre for research into Pontian dialect and of Pontian culture in general.
The social action Pho-Ra (Phobia-Racism STOP)
was also launched and presented in secondary schools, and was implemented under the auspices of the Union of Theatres of Europe. The aim of the project was to raise awareness to young students against the great dangers of the totalitarianism and racism that are spreading rapidly in schools, with violent incidents, and to identifying, through discussion with students, the reasons leading to the adoption of racist behavior, and the ways in which such behavior can be addressed and avoided.
In an attempt to approach children and young people, NTNG pays particular attention to the operation of the Children's Stage
, with performances for schools and educational organizations, while with the parallel operation of the Youth Theatre
, it approaches teenagers and young people and gives the concerns and worries of this sensitive age a creative outlet. Wishing, too, to contribute to the work of teachers, to facilitate their communication with theatre and to provide essential support on subjects related to employing theatrical approaches to education, it has undertaken a number of initiatives, including: the ability to communicate with the presenters of performances of the Children’s Stage and Young Theatre, the "Teacher’s Line", as well as seminars on elocution and drama led by teachers from its Drama School.
Finally, in recent years, there has been marked development in the areas of theatre research and publishing. The Literary and Publications departments provide theoretical support for theatrical productions and take charge of the publication of relevant printed material. With the completion of digitization, the rich historic and artistic archive
of the theatre has been preserved in an electronic repository with full documentation and made available digitally, via the NTNG enhanced, dynamic website (www.ntng.gr
), attracting Internet visitors, researchers and academics.
Since May 1996, NTNG has been a member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe
) and since 2011 a member of its Board of Directors.
In 2010 NTNG founded the "Open Borders"
stage, with a view to presenting major artists and works from theatres in Southeastern Europe. For 2013, NTNG is planning a large festival with performances by artists from over ten countries of Southeastern Europe. This festival comes at a time of national importance as it fosters Greece's relations with neighboring countries in Southeastern Europe. With an emphasis on culture, the festival is titled "Open Borders" and will bring to Thessaloniki important artists and representatives of the media from all the countries of Southeastern Europe, promoting not just the city but the whole country to the Balkan region.
In recent years NTNG has strengthened its international presence and activity, both in Europe and in the sensitive area of the Balkans - Southeastern Europe. In 2012 NTNG, through then Artistic Director Sotiris Hatzakis
, was responsible for the relations and activities of the Union with the theatres of Southeastern Europe. The international presence and activity of NTNG includes, among other things, a major Balkan tour of the show "The Dybbuk"
(February-March, 2012), in the course of which cooperation protocols were signed with the National Theatre "Ivan Vazov" of Sofia and the National Theatre of Tirana, participation in the European "Liquid Frontiers"
Project (February 2012), through the production of "The Passing" (concerning the reception of immigrants in the modern western world) and "Global Ark" (relating to the preservation of the most significant achievements of human civilization in a modern ark), participation in the Festival “Voicing Resistance” (June 2012), with a stage reading of the play "My own Arab Spring," the participation of the Drama School of NTNG in a Masterclass by internationally renowned Russian director Lev Dodin, held in the Maly Theatre of St. Petersburg (November 2012), and participation in the International Theatre Conference “Fallen Angel”, conducted by the Jugoslovensko Dramsko Pozoriste Theatre in Belgrade (Serbia).
Also, NTNG was chosen to represent the Union of the Theatres of Europe at the Festival organized by the Maly Theatre in Moscow in 2012 with the play "The Dybbuk", while in the context of international cooperation undertaken by the Union of the Theatres of Europe, NTNG took the initiative of developing a program titled "Sacred Texts", which aims to present on stage important religious and ceremonial texts from antiquity to the present. The program aims to highlight the common ritual structures in the Mediterranean and the Balkans and to promote the need for tolerance towards the religious beliefs of every people.
Finally, in collaboration with the Schauspielhaus Theatre of Graz, Austria, NTNG will prepare a bilingual performance
on the theme of the elements that unite and those that divide the peoples of Greece and Germany. The script will be original and written especially for the occasion. The show will be presented in Thessaloniki in September 2013.
Last updated: 20/6/2013