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 livefromepidaurus.gr 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.
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.
Minister of Culture and Sports
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.
Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, responsible for Contemporary Culture
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
Artistic Director of the Athens Epidaurus Festival
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
General Manager Southeast Europe at Google