The 5th International Forest Festival returns to the NTNG stages from 26 May to 15 June
This year, the city will be hosting productions from the UK, Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy in a wide-ranging programme of performances accompanied by parallel activities, discussions and workshops led by international theatre theorists and artists. The artists' work reveals their ongoing preoccupation with issues such as the relationship between reality and technology, historical reality and the concept of progress, gender issues, issues relating to human relationships, participation and loneliness, as well as political concerns centred on the necessity of active participation and democratic practice.
The artistic committee of the 5th International Forest Festival, which consists of Savvas Patsalidis (professor emeritus, Theatre Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Prodromos Tsinikoris (director, dramatist, actor) and Nikos Kapelios (actor at the NTNG), opted for a programme of performances that are "small and flexible in form but contain big ideas"; a programme which, in Patsalidis' words, includes "productions that are contemporary, restless, refreshing and interactive" which "record society's seismic vibrations with immediacy". As a result, Thessaloniki's theatre-loving public will have the opportunity to acquaint itself with new names from the international scene, with artists who are engaged in a dialogue with their era, who face the same concerns and impasses which confront us all—in the theatre and society at large—at this historical turning moment between an old world and a new. The programme includes inter alia live and online performances, activities in public space, discussions, presentations and lectures.
Bringing L’ Angelo della Storia
to Thessaloniki, a work based on the philosophical thought of Walter Benjamin and his description of the Angel of History, Italy's Sotterraneo theatre company narrates paradoxical events and absurd acts by people prominent and anonymous alike. They present historical material in the form of micro-histories which, unpublished and full of contradictions, the group attempts to reconstruct with a view to investigating the way in which narratives interfere with our perception of reality.
Photo credit: Giulia di Vitantonio
Kim Noble, the award-winning artist from the UK, will be presenting Lullaby for Scavengers
, a provocative and unconventional production that explores social boundaries by testing our endurance. He creates a multi-media performance which talks about loneliness, the difficulty of living as a non-participant in life, and the need for connection. Lullaby for Scavengers is an original and unique work; viewed through the prism of Noble's humour, imagination and oblique world view, it is far removed from conventional theatre.
Photo credit: Studio Narki
Be Arielle F
by Simon Senn is an exploration in the field of virtual reality for which the artist "borrows" the female body of Arielle, a real woman, and with the help of 3D lenses tries to capture how it feels to have virtually replaced his body with Arielle's. He talks to her about the third-body experience, to which a psychologist and a lawyer have also contributed, and studies this bizarre relationship between technology, representation, gender and the law.
Photo credit: Elisa Larvego
We are Still Watching
by Ivana Müller is a participatory performance that questions the degree to which citizens can participate in the decisions taken for them. In the performance, viewers create a community and make decisions individually and collectively through the process of reading a text that is given to them. The aim is to turn the audience into actors, and for them to play an active role in the performance, which they take in a different direction each time.
Photo credit: Ian Douglas
For the second consecutive year, Ant Hampton will be taking part in the International Forest Festival, where he will be presenting the first presentation of his latest work Undone So Many (between Lausanne and Izmir)
. An Autoteatro performance , it combines audio narration with the viewer/listener's reading process. The project is the result of research conducted during a journey around the Greek islands and the coast of Asia Minor.
Photo credit: Forensic Architecture
The main programme will be accompanied by a series of parallel actions featuring collaborations between artists from different companies and nations. Orlando Trip
and Thessaloniki - Vienna: a symposium on processes of transition and change
is an artistic project which includes the performance of Orlando Trip by Fox On Ice (Anna Luca Poloni and Christian Mair), Wolfgang Müller-Funk and Anna Maria Krassnigg. Based on the Orlando myth by Ludovico Ariosto and Virginia Woolf, the play tells the story of an envoy to the Ottoman court who crosses the Mediterranean twice and returns home a woman through twelve songs and narrative interludes. In Thessaloniki-Vienna: a symposium on processes of transition and change, the public will attend and take part in a live discussion with important figures from the city; the discussion will take place in three rounds in line with specific rules. Themes including transformation, otherness, transition and change, with references to the history of the city, will provide the material for a fruitful discussion that will have something of the Austrian 'salon' about it.
The webinar Creating public space and time through the performing arts
: a web panel on emancipatory participation in the arts staged in conjunction with the performance One three some: attempting to create a democratic assembly
by Danae Theodoridou, which forms an integral part of the seminar, explores the relationship between art and political emancipation and examines the conditions in which art can create communities of people which are capable of challenging established social hierarchies and power relations.
The Festival will also feature an online screening of Lukáš Brutovský's Iokasté
, performed by the Prague City theatres & Slovak Chamber Theatre. The play is inspired by ancient drama and was created within the framework of the Catastrophe
project of the Union of Theatres of Europe.
Photo credit: Braňo Konečný
Detailed information about the event and the final programme of the 5th International Forest Festival will be posted soon on our website
The platform allows visitors to access information and material about the performances and artists participating in the Festival, to connect with the online community that has been created especially for this purpose, and to follow the Festival's online activities. An interactive calendar allows viewer to discover the various activities the Festival offers every day, and choose those ones they find interesting.
The 5th International Forest Festival
has been implemented within the framework of the "Regional Operational Programme "Central Macedonia 2014–2020"
with funding from European and national resources.