ARTISTIC PROGRAMMING 2013-2014 (11/07/2013)

Our main goal in putting together the repertoire of the new theatrical season, but also the broader policy we seek to implement for the National Theatre of Northern Greece, is, on one hand, to make a theatre open to citizens, and on the other, to respond to the needs, interests, and pursuits of different social groups. For this reason we have chosen a broad repertoire that includes different types and movements in the field of theatre, and we have proposed to collaborate with or to host theatrical and dance theatre companies on modern journeys of discovery.
The main aspects of our policy can be summarized as follows: presenting a wide range of repertoire, substantive cooperation with the city’s institutions and professional and amateur groups, showcasing new writers and new theatrical texts, presenting classic texts on the stage of the NTNG for the first time, opening channels of communication with the University, cultivating new writers through holding writing competitions, focusing on the pedagogical role of theatre through presenting performances of high aesthetic value for children and youth and conducting educational programs in schools, utilizing alternative venues, and strengthening the international presence of the NTNG.
We consider it the responsibility of a state theatre to listen carefully to society and its needs, to create thinking audiences and to contribute meaningfully to their entertainment. That is why our basic concern is to create the necessary conditions for the growth of the public not only in numerical terms, but with qualititative criteria as well.
Our ambition and ultimate goal is for the city to embrace and support its theatre, and for us to live up to its expectations.
Giannis Vouros
Artistic Director of NTNG
Translation: K. Paleologos
Directed by Nikos Charalambous
Opens: October
Written in 1941, Brecht’s text is based thematically on the rise and fall of the Third Reich, by comparing the fascist mentality of Hitler and his circle with the behaviour of the underworld of the trade unions or of the monopolies of the so-called globalization of the market. It is a clear denunciation by the great writer of trickery in any form and also of the unfeeling exploitation of the common man by crime syndicates. Arturo Ui, a serious play and as topical as ever, combines Brechtian dialectic with elements of German cabaret and American musicals, in a production that aims to combine the euphoria of a highly entertaining experience with a hard look at politics. This is the first staging of Brecht’s play by NTNG.
“SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH” by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Vassilis Nikolaidis
Opens: February
This is one of the most famous and beloved plays of Tennessee Williams. The young and ambitious Chance Wayne returns to the city where he was born, along with the faded former movie star Alexandra Del Lago. Two vain people meet at the most marginal point in their lives, leaning on each other in their attempt to smother their feelings, fears, and their panic before Time, which rolls on and leaves its mark not only on their faces but also on their souls... Two lost souls who drown themselves in alcohol, debauchery, and artificial paradises... who dream of Hollywood, fame, and power, and play their last card. However, landing in a cruel and violent reality leaves them suspended within their own illusions. Two people alone, left to their fates and to despair, to loss of paradise and self-exile... This is the first staging of “Sweet Bird of Youth” by NTNG.
"OUR TOWN" by Thornton Wilder
Opens: April
Through the relationship of two children, Emily and George, Wilder captures everyday life in a small American community. Mornings and nights, romances and marriages, neighbourhoods and groups of friends and walks in the moonlight are some of the small or large moments of the heroes of this town, which could be any town anywhere in the world. Wilder’s award-winning play is not only "an attempt to find a value above all price for the smallest events in our daily life”, as the author himself stated, but touches the heart of life with sensitivity and tenderness. Daily, insignificant moments that Time in its passage erases from memory are masterfully illuminated to show the magic that hides behind everything that determines to a greater or lesser degree the course and the future of human existence. This is the first staging of “Our Town” by NTNG.
"Golfo" by Spyridon Peresiades
Directed by Nikos Karathanos
October 10 & 11
This dramatic romance by Spyridon Peresiades tells a tragic love story set in the idealized image of the Greek countryside of 1893. In the mountain village where the waters of the Styx flow, where according to the ancient myths the gateway to the Underworld was located, where mortals and immortals took the sacred oath, Golfo and Tasos, two young children, swear eternal love. Golfo, faithful to her oath, refuses the rich man who wants to marry her, but Tasos, breaking his own, agrees to marry the wealthy young woman with whom he has been matched. When he changes his mind, it will be too late... The National Theatre’s successful production offers a fresh look at a play that has taken on a life of its own in Greek theatre and will be presented for only two performances in the framework of the Dimitria, in collaboration with the National Theatre of Northern Greece.
presented by the Dance and Acrobatic Troupe of "and yet it mOves"
in cooperation with NTNG
Direction & Choreography: "and yet it mOves"
Opens: October (for a limited number of performances)
The dance and acrobatic troupe "and yet it mOves" along with Haini D. Apostolaki and in cooperation with the National Theatre of Northern Greece presents The God Particle. Blending dance, acrobatics, music and the spoken word with humour and sensitivity, the show is a journey into the universe of modern physics. Ten performers (dancers, acrobats and musicians) try to understand and make understood all the terrifying happenings both great and small that leave us humans in the middle of an incomprehensible scale trying, by arranging particles colliding at the speed of light, to put the universe in order a little. It’s a show dedicated to the unflagging bravery of the human species in its ceaseless quest to understand by any and all means who we are, how everything was made, and what will eventually become of us. [*Haini D. Apostolaki has worked with CERN as a researcher and fellow of the University of Crete in just this field, searching for the Higgs boson].
"PEER GYNT" by Henrik Ibsen
Translated & Adapted by George Xenias, Directed by Giannis Margaritis
Opens: November
This is the masterful dramatic poem, based on an old Norwegian folk tale that Ibsen wrote during his stay in Italy in 1867. The principal hero, Peer Gynt, a dreamer and idealist, like another Don Quixote, armed with boundless imagination and his vision of an ideal world, takes us into a realm of dreamlike adventure. Peer Gynt is a dream and at the same time a theatrical fantasy, a production of great visual and musical appeal. A dreamy poem, where the theatre reveals its magical mechanisms and leads us on a journey of initiation into the wisdom of life. This is the first staging of Peer Gynt by NTNG. (In 2007 it had hosted the Berliner Ensemble production, directed by Peter Zadek, as part of the 11th European Theatre Festival).
Translation: Ersi Vassilikioti, Directed by Christina Hatzivassiliou
Opens: October
This fragmented text outlines with bitter humour the agony of the individual surviving in the Europe of the crisis. The distancing of man from enduring values and vested rights, fear of unemployment, upsetting of workplace relations, social marginalization, and the consequences of these new circumstances for interpersonal relationships and the psyche of the individual, supply the threads that knit together the issues and characters presented by the French writer Rémi de Vos. This is the first staging of the play by NTNG.
"LETTER TO A CHILD” by Maro Bourdouka,
 based on the book of Orianna Fallaci, Directed by Manos Petousis
Opens: December
This is a show that captured the heart of the public and the critics, and is presented in a new production by NTNG. An explosive document whose raw realism has shocked the consciences of men and women around the world by the way that it approaches the story of an unmarried woman who is carrying a child. A shocking monologue with an exceptional interpretation of how a woman is treated and how a woman feels when she wants to bring a child into the world that nobody else wants.
Maybe not even the child itself...
"THE PRICE" by Arthur Miller
Directed by Aspa Kalliani
Opens: January
Every major decision comes at a price. Arthur Miller’s masterful play seems to have been written about the decisions we are called upon to make today in crisis-torn Greece. What do you do when everything around you is falling apart? Do you cast aside your dreams and just try to survive? Or do you pursue your dreams and ignore the needs of your family? The Price stands nimbly between the two alternatives that come to determine the course of a lifetime. It stands nimbly on the line which each of us at some point has to draw between what we owe to others and what we owe to ourselves. The show teaches, mocks, punishes, forgives, and teases the consciences of its heroes and the audience with a disarming psychoanalysis that takes place 30 years after the fateful decision. "If you look at the past with bravery you may be freed." The heroes and the audience are armed for two hours with this bravery, in a performance that brings us face to face with the price of each of our decisions but also closer to what we actually need. This is the first staging of The Price by NTNG.
"BETRAYAL" by Harold Pinter
Translation: Eva Georgousopoulou, Directed by Glykeria Kalaitzi
Opens: May
In Betrayal Harold Pinter tells the story of a love triangle, placing his characters in a clever game with time. When the play begins, the betrayal or betrayals seem long past. But as the time machine runs backwards, the viewer is confronted with another, bigger game: that of relationships, with their unseen aspirations, deliberate concealments, secrets and lies, which aim to control, manipulate and ultimately to produce a winner – if such a thing exists. This is the first staging of Betrayal by NTNG.
"L’ATELIER" by Jean-Claude Grumberg
Translated and Directed by Giannis Iordanides
Opens: October
L’Atelier (‘The Tailor’s Shop”) by Jean-Claude Grumberg, the masterpiece of contemporary French theatre, which has won major theatre awards and has been presented in many countries, will have its Greek premiere from NTNG. The global success of the play has established its author among the most important contemporary playwrights. Through memories, L’Atelier takes us on a journey with humour and emotion in a wounded Paris, as it emerged from the Second World War. It's a portrait in miniature of a world experiencing everyday life as it looks optimistically to the future. As the well known drama critic Dominique Jamet has written: "... The lips laugh and the eyes fill with tears. A penetrating and at the same time tender look at people and events." The show, with a modern directorial approach, aims to find parallels between postwar France and now and to redefine important historical events.
Texts – Historical and musical research: Lambros Liavas
Directed and Choreographed by Sofia Spyratou
Opens: December
This is a musical show that ranges across the history of Thessaloniki, searching through time for the many different "sounds" of the city. Musical memories and sensations, voices and instruments, songs and dances, come together to create a charming "mosaic" in which the particular traditions of the populations that have historically inhabited Thessaloniki coexist in a dynamic dialogue. The action of the work will not be limited to the NTNG stage at the Lazaristes Monastery, but will be extended into city through the musical events, in collaboration with students in the theatre and music departments of Aristotle University and the University of Macedonia who will also be participating in the show. Moreover, in the foyer of the theatre the sounds of music will be matched with the corresponding flavours from the many different culinary traditions of Thessaloniki, making for an experience that will include all the senses!
"LA MOSCHETA" by Ruzzante
Translation: Kostis Skalioras, Directed by Giannis Paraskevopoulos
Opens: April
This is one of the most popular Renaissance comedies of Angelo Beolco or Ruzzante. The beautiful Betia becomes the erotic focus of three men, not only her husband Ruzzante but their best man, Menato, and a charming soldier. In the world of La Moscheta, lust gets mixed up with money, honesty with pretending and "pretentious language", while imagination serves as refuge from the enemy. Disguises, misunderstandings, cheats and lies turn the world of the protagonists of this delightful Renaissance comedy upside down. This marks the first time the play has been staged by NTNG.
"THE EVROS OPPOSITE" by Michalis Reppas - Thanasis Papathanasiou
Opens: November
Four unemployed Greeks residing on the outskirts of "prosperity." Spectators and outsiders at our European showcase. Four Europeans stuck in second gear. And suddenly into their environment comes a stranger. A Kurdish refugee. Unprotected. A fourth-class citizen. Reppa-Papathanasiou’s text explores a bitter truth of modern reality: how and why four different people with different characters, different and competing interests, different demands, different dead-ends for completely different reasons, get together and go along with the undercurrent of racism which flows through and erodes our society. This is the first staging of The Evros Opposite by NTNG.
Immediately following the run, the show will go on tour in Northern Greece in the institutional framework of the Unit of Macedonia-Thrace.
"Trelovgenio” (Génie la folle) by Inès Cagnati
Translation: Rene Psyrouki, Adapted by Maria Tsima - John Anastassakis
Directed by: John Anastassakis
Opens: February
This is an adaptation of the masterpiece of the same name by the French-Italian author Inès Cagnati (1937-2007), in a show that shook up audiences and was embraced by critics, a new production from NTNG. Maria, a woman of around forty, bares her soul to the audience. She wants to talk for the first time about her mother, whom everyone called Trelovgenio (the crazy one). But slowly she begins to talk about herself and her childhood in a village in Southern Italy. A tragic subject, from a sensational book, which brings human cruelty and the tenderness of a child to the stage. A great love poem.
Coproduction: NTNG –"Bridge" theatre group
Dramaturgy and Direction by Leonidas Papadopoulos
Opens: March
This show is a tribute to unforgettable homelands. Stories, songs and memories of a time and a place that put their stamp on modern Greek history. The production, with its mind turned back on the 90 years since the uprooting of two million Greeks from their lost homelands, with its heart open to official testimony, to the stories born from those fires, to the sorrows made famous in song, through the music that flourished out of that disaster, invites us to wander in a world that neither massacres nor systemic corruption could destroy. In the hearts of the survivors it became a symbol and a myth of the wealth and endurance of that people who will always embrace both east and west.
Children's Stage
"THE THREE MUSKETEERS" by Alexandre Dumas
Adapted from the original text by Xenia Georgopoulou
Directed by Giannis Vouros
Opens: October at the VASSILIKO THEATRE
The young D'Artagnan arrives in Paris with the ambition of joining the king's Musketeers of the Guard. There he befriends three musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, and together they get mixed up in various adventures, ranging from fighting with the guards of the scheming cardinal to getting involved in the love intrigues of the queen with the Duke of Buckingham. From their trips to London for the affairs of the queen to the siege of La Rochelle with the army of the king, the four friends remain inseparable, taking as their motto "One for all and all for one." This new adaptation of the most widely read work of Alexandre Dumas (the father) for children and young audiences simplifies the plot of the original, while retaining the vitality of the dialogues of the author. The addition of songs emphasizes the timeless messages of the play, while the motto "One for all and all for one", at a time when childhood violence is on the rise, invites children to become in their turn young musketeers in their schools and neighbourhoods.
Youth Stage
"THE WAVE" by Ron Jones
Directed by John Rigas
This show that was presented during the last theatrical season has entered the repertoire of the Youth Theatre in a new dramatic treatment specifically for the teenage audience, following the interest shown by many schools in seeing it performed.
How is it possible for ordinary people to support a regime like that of Nazism? Trying to answer this question from a student, Professor Ron Jones conducted an experiment in a school in California in 1969, aiming to prove that people can easily be converted into a mob that can be manipulated. Starting from a simple role-playing game, the experiment quickly took on huge dimensions, getting out of control, because as long as there are conditions that can support a totalitarian regime, there will always be people willing to believe and ready to be seduced by such a movement and ride the Wave.

A theatrical project for primary education, based on the well-known play for children by Sakis Serefas, which refers to the history of Thessaloniki. This theatrical project is offered to primary schools without charge.
The educational action PHO-RA will be presented free of charge to secondary schools, to raise awareness in students of the great dangers of the totalitarianism and racism that are spreading in schools, with violent incidents. In an experiential fashion, and through discussion with students, questions will be raised and answers framed about the reasons leading to the adoption of racist behavior, and the ways in which such behavior can be addressed and avoided. The educational action PHO-RA is implemented under the auspices of the Union of Theatres of Europe.
In January 2014, two more new productions will be added to the program of the National Theatre of Northern Greece. NTNG, in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Port Authority, will convert Warehouse 13 at the Port to a fully equipped stage for theatre, where productions of "Pains of Youth" by Ferdinand Bruckner, and a modern version of "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes will be presented.
“Theatre Academy: Ancient drama in the modern theatre"
At the initiative of the NTNG and in cooperation with the Department of Theatre, Faculty of Fine Arts of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Department of Theatre Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, a new institution has been established, the Theatre Academy, which will accept participants both from Greece and abroad. During the 2013-2014 theatre season a masterclass in ancient drama will be held. The results of this workshop, which will lead to the creation of a show, will first be presented in Thessaloniki.
NTNG, wanting to contribute to the development of contemporary Greek drama and the emergence of new playwrights, announces two playwriting competitions:
  • Competition for the writing of a theatrical version of the novel by Elias Venezis Aeolian earth.
  • Competition for writing an original theatrical work about the unsolved murder of American journalist George Polk, which took     place in Thessaloniki in 1947.
The texts which are selected (one for each competition) by a specially constituted evaluation committee will be presented during the next theatre season by the National Theatre of Northern Greece.
NTNG will present theatrical texts in dramatized form selected from among the plays submitted for evaluation to the Repertory Office of the Theatre. Through an interactive relationship with the public, plays will be selected which will also enter the repertoire of the next theatrical season.
The "+ work" program aims to bring the NTNG close to the city’s theatrical groups and to create a meaningful basis for cooperation and communication among the artistic forces of Thessaloniki. Specifically, we propose the following:
  1. The presentation of the work of groups of the city in the framework of a Festival, to be held every year at the end of the season in the theatres of the city centre. NTNG will ensure the space and equipment for the presentation of performances.
  2. In cooperation with the Municipality of Thessaloniki, NTNG proposes to secure one or more rehearsal spaces for groups which lack them, which will be made available at no cost after an appropriate application has been made.
  3. nstitutionalization of the loan of costumes and props to groups of the city who have need of them, for a specified period.
  4. NTNG will set up a committee for the monitoring and evaluation of the performances presented throughout the course of the year by groups from the city. At the end of each year the committee will choose the best show, which will also be invited to present performances on a stage of NTNG.
The international presence and activity of NTNG will revolve around two axes:
  1. Development of substantial partnerships and artistic exchanges with major foreign theatres.
  2. Frequent and continuous presence of NTNG abroad, performing at international festivals and organizing tours abroad.
  • In the key area of Southeastern Europe, NTNG will seek to expand its activities and to strengthen its presence, with particular emphasis on the relationship with the entire Balkan peninsula, the coast of Asia Minor and, of course, Istanbul. In this way, it will enhance the metropolitan character of Thessaloniki and will build new artistic collaborations. The organization of and participation in festivals, the holding of playwriting competitions, but also the booking of performances will form the core of its activities.
  • As a member of the Union of Theatres of Europe, NTNG will maintain and strengthen its presence in Central Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
Two major collaborations have already been launched, one with the Schauspielhaus Graz in Austria, with the show "Greece - Austria: A Tie!" which will be presented in Thessaloniki on October 3, 2013, and the other a collaboration with the team young actors from the Union of European Theatres, ISO Group, which will be presented in November 2013 at the Festival organized by the Teatro di Roma in Rome, with the goal of travelling to Thessaloniki as well.
In the context of cooperation between NTNG and the National Theatre of Oslo (Norway), which is also a member of the Union of the Theatres of Europe, a performance of NTNG’s production of "Peer Gynt" has been planned for the International Ibsen Festival in the summer of 2014.
As part of its social policy, NTNG is continuing a series of highly successful social actions, namely:
  • In-House Theatre. This involves visits by actors of NTNG to isolated individuals and vulnerable populations who do not have access to theatrical performances.
  • Social Theatre Shop. A Solidarity Theatre by NTNG actors, where those attending performances are asked, instead of paying for a ticket, to donate food with a long shelf-life, to be made available to social organizations.