04 July 2014- 27 July 2014 The 68th Avignon Festival, one of the major annual performing Arts events worldwide

The 68th Avignon Festival, one of the major annual performing Arts events worldwide, is taking place from 4 to 27 July 2014. It is held in the city of Avignon and is the one of the oldest Festivals in France. It comprises the “In” Festival whose heart is the main courtyard of the Popes’ Palace and the “Off” festival with a number of shows all around the city.

It was founded by the French actor and theatre director Jean Vilar, who had briefly described it as “the sky, the night, the text, the crowd, the celebration”. Its current Artistic Director is the well-known French author, director and actor Olivier Py, who is the only artist who has been appointed at this position after J. Vilar. The Festival is opening with that same play chosen by its founder “The prince of Homburg”, written by Heinrich von Kleist.

During the Festival, tens of thousands of theatre-lovers, of all ages, are attending about forty different shows (French and non-French) in almost 300 performances, such as: plays, dance performances, concerts, readings, film projections, plastic arts exhibitions and debates. Every day there is at least one world or French show premiere. About 20 venues, with seat capacity from 50 to 2,000 seats are transformed into theatre spaces, mostly outdoor.

Greece has its own presence in the Festival, with three writers, one director and two productions:
The National Theatre is participating with the play “Vitrioli” written by Yannis Mavritsakis, directed by Olivier Py at the Gymnase Paul Giera (10 performances in total). The same play was performed at the National Theatre’s central stage during the period 2012-2013, under Olivier Py’s direction.

Onassis Cultural Centre is presenting “The cycling of the square” by Dimitris Dimitriadis, under the direction of Dimitris Karantzas at the Opera Grand Avignon. The play was performed at the Onassis Cultural Centre in October of 2013 in the framework of a tribute to the Greek writer.

The third play is “The dead nature”, written by Manolis Tsipos. It is a French production and will be performed by the School of Comedy of Saint-Etienne at Saint-Joseph High School. The play is directed by of Michel Raskine.

Among the partners of the Festival are the French Collective Management Organisation SACD, the French Institute in Greece and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

More information on the Festival and the agenda here