The National Theatre of Northern Greece was founded in 1961 by Sokratis Karantinos, its first director. The Drama School
and the Dance Theatre
are integral parts of the National Theatre.
NTNG’s present institutional framework was established in 1994, with an Artistic Director and a seven-member Board of Directors who run the Theatre, which is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture
. With four indoor theatres and two open-air theatres, NTNG is one of the biggest theatre organizations in Greece and Europe.
Its activity is not limited to theatrical productions but extends to cultural sectors such as education, literature and the arts through the organization of exhibitions, conferences, festivals, theatre-educational programmes and so forth. NTNG’s annual artistic programme combines in-house productions (including Dance Theatre and Opera of Thessaloniki productions), co-productions with other theatres, tributes and exchanges with important theatre organizations, as well as guest performances from Greece and abroad.
In an effort to reach children and young people, NTNG promotes the activities of the Children’s Stage
, which presents performances for schools and educational organizations, as well as educational programmes familiarizing pupils with the world and the art of theatre. In the last few years, NTNG has greatly developed its theatrical research and publishing activities.
The Literary and Publications Departments provide theoretical support on specific fields related to the production while researchers and academics are able to access the theatre’s fully documented archive visiting its Digital Library
or its dynamic website
In the ambit of the European Programme ‘Culture’, NTNG implements a series of important projects which aim to create building facilities, to promote Greek culture and to develop the art of theatre. This European Programme, which is supported financially by the European Union and by national funds, includes the following projects:
- The construction of a new building for the accommodation of the technical production departments and for storage facilities.
- The organization of the 1st Theatre Festival of South-Eastern Europe in Thessaloniki in 2007, focusing on ancient Greek Drama.
- The creation of a Theatre Workshop, which promotes artistic innovation and facilitates the exploration of new theatrical means by young artists.
- The organization of events which embrace every form of art (theatre, dance, music, visual arts) at Maroneia in Thrace under the title ‘The Dionysian Word’.
- The organization and hosting of the events of the 11th and 12th Europe Theatre Prize.
Since May 1996, NTNG has been a member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe (www.ute-net.org). In October 1997, the 6th Festival of the Union of the Theatres of Europe took place in Thessaloniki, and was a great cultural event for Thessaloniki as well as for Greece. NTNG is also a member of the International Theatre Institute and the Greek Theatre Centre for children and young people.