With 127 performances, workshops, events, artistic interventions and exhibitions, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival opens its doors on May 22 for its second year under the artistic direction of Vangelis Theodoropoulos. The festival's main theme is difference and tolerance, and focuses especially on various aspects of foreignness including migration, queer identities and the refugee crisis. Particularly the latter is the subject of a dedicated photography exhibition that is organised by the festival in Thessaloniki, as a satellite event.
Highlights of the season are important performances by international artists such as Bob Wilson and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Martha Argerich, Forced Entertainment, the Volksbühne and Hofesh Shechter Company, as well as local productions by Katerina Evaggelatou, Evripidis Laskaridis and many other Greek artists. The festival extends to Piraeus and Elefsina, as a gesture of including the entire city through culture, as well as te famed ancient theatre of Epidaurus, a monument of international importance where contemporary stagings of ancient tragedy are presented every summer. With three mythical creatures—the Pegasus, the Minotaur and the Sphinx—as its mascots, the Athens and Epidaurus Festival promises to explore the magic and power of art, as well as to perhaps offer some answers to crucial questions regarding Athens and its shifting cultural landscape.