As the world is still reeling from the pandemic and exploring new ways to re-ignite theatre in the COVID-19 era, the Athens Epidaurus Festival, observing the strictest possible safety measures, will once again leave its mark with a rich programme that includes Aristophanes’ comic masterpiece The Frogs, by acclaimed director Argyro Chioti in her Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus debut.

The Frogs will be streamed live on July 10 at 21:00 Athens time (GMT +3), in cooperation with Google Greece. The performance will be available worldwide (with the exception of Greece), exclusively through and at the Festival’s official YouTube channel, Athens Epidaurus Festival, free of charge, although donations are welcome. Google will host the livestreaming and provide technical support and major free promotion across YouTube.

The performance is in Greek with English subtitles and lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  • Lina Mendoni

    The Athens Epidaurus Festival will broadcast live worldwide a performance from the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus: Aristophanes’ The Frogs will vividly bring to life the beauty, harmony, and character of ancient drama via live streaming, as in last year’s production of The Persians by the National Theatre of Greece.

    Last summer, a summer that proved extremely difficult for the entire planet, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports ensured that Greece would not be bereft of cultural activities. The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus welcomed spectators, strictly observing all safety measures. This year, we feel more confident. We feel safer thanks to the “Eleftheria” vaccination programme. The fact that a large part of the population has been vaccinated allows us to get together, to jointly relish the Art of Theatre, to rejoice in the powerful connection between artists and audiences.

    In Aristophanes’ The Frogs, broadcast online via live streaming thanks to the Live from Epidaurus programme, two great tragic writers, Euripides and Aeschylus, compete against each other so that the best man may win. Through his sharp, incisive language, Aristophanes lampoons the two writers and their distinctive features, at the same time bowing to the greatness of their poetic language. Hopefully, a great number of viewers from around the world will be able to connect live to Epidaurus in order to enjoy this performance and the seductive beauty of Aristophanes’ comedy that has remained alive and topical for many centuries now.

    Lina Mendoni
    Minister of Culture and Sports

  • Lina Mendoni

    The quest for culture is timeless. It goes on in 405 BC, where the premise of Aristophanes' The Frogs is to bring the "best tragic poet" back from the Underworld to restore theater to its former glory. It continues in 2020, where amidst the pandemic, we decided to broadcast live from the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus to the entire world, an ancient Greek tragedy, a first in the theater's 2.300-year-old history.

    Following last year's success, the quest continues, as we broadcast live for the first time an ancient Greek comedy. The need to connect to the arts remains the same, no matter the obstacle, be it the frightening monster Empusa or a global pandemic. The same goes for the need for political satire, Aristophanes' trademark. British Classical scholar and academic Kenneth Dover claims that the underlying political theme of The Frogs is that "old ways are good, new ways are bad,” a struggle we can all relate to as we see the world changing in front of our eyes.

    The Athens and Epidaurus Festival production of The Frogs, directed by Argyro Chioti, one of the few women that have directed a play in Epidaurus so far, offers a fresh outlook on this extremely topical play. After all, in the end, art will save the day.

    Nicholas Yatromanolakis
    Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, responsible for Contemporary Culture

  • Katerina Evangelatos

    We are overjoyed to be able to digitally welcome, for a second year, international audiences to the most iconic ancient theatre. We all have the chance to experience an ancient Greek comedy through the eyes of a young female director, Argyro Chioti, who is making her Epidaurus debut. Aristophanes’ The Frogs is a thoroughly amusing play that also provides food for thought, as it ponders the roles of Poetry during turbulent times

    Katerina Evangelatos
    Artistic Director of the Athens Epidaurus Festival

  • Peggy Antonakou

    We are very proud that, for the second year in a row, YouTube will make the magical experience of Epidaurus available to people around the world. Since the beginning of 2020, with the burst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen the thrilling capabilities brought forward by the transition to this new era of incredible choices. Through events like this, YouTube will offer millions of people the unique opportunity to be part of the Greek history and learn about our rich heritage, in ways which we had never imagined before

    Peggy Antonakou
    General Manager Southeast Europe at Google

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

Located inside the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asclepius, in the Argolis prefecture of the Peloponnese, a half-hour drive from Nafplio and approximately two hours from Athens, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is the best-preserved monument of the Sanctuary, attracting many visitors from around the world.

The Theatre is universally famous for its excellent acoustics, symmetry, and beauty. Experts generally agree that the theatre was built in two distinct phases: the first phase dates back to the 4th century BC and the second to the mid-2nd century BC. Unlike other theatres of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, the Epidaurus theatre was not modified during Roman times, and as such retained its original form throughout antiquity.

In 426 AD the Theatre fell out of use after almost 1,000 years of continuous operation. Interest was revived in the 19th century, as the Theatre underwent a series of reconstruction and restoration works. The founding of the Athens Epidaurus Festival in 1955 firmly placed ancient Greek drama centre stage. Over the last half century or so, this world-renowned theatre has hosted major Greek and international artists, in primarily ancient drama productions, and occasionally opera, dance, and classical music. In 1988, the Theatre, along with the entire Sanctuary of Asclepius, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Frogs by Aristophanes

Written in 405 BC, at the end of the Golden Age of Pericles, The Frogs is one of Aristophanes’ timeless and most beloved masterworks. The play tackles the descent of god Dionysus to the Underworld, where he embarks on a quest to bring the best tragic poet back to the world of the living, in an attempt to restore theatre to its former glory. Thanks to this play, culminating in an iconic scene of poetic “duel” between Aeschylus and Euripides, Aristophanes provides a scathing commentary on the bankrupt political values of his time. A delightful gem by a writer whose work remains as relevant as ever.

Argyro Chioti
The Frogs by Aristophanes

Translated by Nikos A. Panagiotopoulos
Directed by Argyro Chioti
Set design Eva Manidaki
Music Jan Van Angelopoulos
Costume design Angelos Mentis
Lighting design Tasos Palaioroutas
Physical coaching - Acrobatics Manuk Karyotakis
Assistant to the director Katerina Kotsou
Assistant to the set designer Anna Zoulia
Assistant to the costume designer - Special props Aella Tsilikopoulou
Dramaturgy consultant Elyssa Brunel Leydet
Technical sound consultant Brian Coon
Costume construction Litsa Moumouri - Efi Karantasiou
Set construction Lazaridis Scenic Studio
Set painting Freddy Gizas
Photos Geli Kalampaka

Cast (in order of appearance) Evi Saoulidou (Xanthias), Maria Kechagioglou (Dionysus), Michalis Valasoglou (Heracles), Manuk Κaryotakis (Corpse), Efthimis Theou (Charon, Aeacus, Pluto), Georgina Chryskioti (Maid, First Hostess), Chara Kotsali (Second Hostess), Dimitra Vlagopoulou (Servant), Akyllas Karazisis (Euripides), Νikos Chatzopoulos (Aeschylus), Antonis Miriagos (Coryphaeus)

Chorus of Frogs and Initiates Georgina Chryskioti, Manuk Karyotakis, Chara Kotsali, Spyros Mastoras, Antonis Miriagos, Efthimis Theou, Michalis Valasoglou, Dimitra Vlagopoulou

Executive producer Maria Dourou / VASISTAS

Special thanks to the Municipality of Moschatos - Tavros for their hospitality, the Culture, Sports & Youth Organisation of the City of Athens (OPANDA), and the Onassis Culture Centre.

  • Photos by Geli_Kalampaka

Athens Epidaurus Festival

The Athens Epidaurus Festival is Greece’s leading cultural organisation and one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe. Spanning 66 years, the Festival has welcomed some of the greatest music, dance, and theatre artists of the international and local scene, in collaboration with the most prestigious Greek and international institutions.

Up until 2005, the Festival had been held exclusively at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. In the summer of 2006, five brand-new theatre stages were launched at the Peiraios 260 industrial venue which has since emerged as an important springboard for contemporary art. Artistic productions and site-specific performances are also presented at other venues in Attica and further afield, as part of the Festival.

Theatre director Katerina Evangelatos was appointed Artistic Director in September 2019. Expanding the Festival’s international character and supporting research in audience development in the field of performing arts, have been her two main goals. Novel research initiatives are designed with an international outreach in mind, targeted both at specialists and the public at large. At the same time, artistic creation in theatre, performance, music, dance, visual arts, playwriting, and publishing is actively encouraged, the goal being not only to present works by talented local artists in Greece but to also promote them overseas.

Seeking unconventional, alternative ways of showcasing the Festival venues is a key aspect of the Festival’s new philosophy. Along those lines, artistic events are now also held during the winter, expanding the summer programme.

The Athens Epidaurus Festival production of The Frogs is being live-streamed free of charge worldwide (outside Greece). Anyone who wishes to do so can make a donation to support the Festival and it’s programme.

If you would like to make a donation to the Athens Epidaurus Festival, please fill in your name, email and the amount you wish to donate.

Donations can be made using a Visa or MasterCard credit, debit or prepaid card on the Ticket Services site and are processed through the Eurobank online payment environment.


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