3rd International Forest Festival

3rd International Forest Festival
3rd NTNG International Forest Festival
10- 20 September
A forest of performances from all around the world, 
οpen to all around the globe.
The 3rd International Forest Festival blazes theatrical trails between people and places, both within Thessaloniki and internationally. The participating artists and theatres from around the world can meet each other and their audiences and build a network for creative exchange. 
Given the singular conditions ushered in by the pandemic, the Festival's artistic committee—which consists of Savvas Patsalidis (emeritus professor of Theatre Studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, theatre critic), Prodromos Tsinikoris (director, playwright, actor), and Nikos Kapelios (actor at the NTNG)—selected examples of theatrical thought and action which represent the most up-to-date quests
of the European and international stage. 
The resulting ten-day program is dense and adapted to the needs of this transitional era for theatre and the world, as well as to the issues it raises; the works will be presented online and, in one instance, physically on September 10–20, 2021.

The Festival programme is divided into three main sections. “International Theatre Stage: Contemporary quests”, which includes six performances from Ireland/UK, France, Brazil and Hungary, showcases a wide range of contemporary theatrical trends and will give audiences the opportunity to enjoy the work of truly outstanding artists. The other two sections are tributes: one to “Contemporary Theatrical Collectives”, which includes three performances by the Zoukak Theatre Company and La Tristura, with Rimini Protokoll participating in parallel with a walking performance—the only ‘live’ participation in this year's Festival. The second tribute, this time to "The female gaze on theatre", includes three productions by female important directors active on the international scene: Lola Arias, Susanne Kennedy and Yael Ronen. 
This year, the NTNG is honoured to be hosting and incorporating the 19th Festival of the Union of European Theatres, an organization of which the NTNG has been a member since 1996, into the programme of the 3rd International Forest Festival, with the participation of eight productions by important European theatres. 

Productions from the National Stary Theater of Krakow the Teatro Nacional São João, the National Theatre (Prague), the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, the Teatro di Roma, the Luxembourg National Theatre, the Hungarian Opera House of Cluj and the Jaffa Theatre are to be shown online in a first for Greece, and will be accompanied by a round table discussion on the present and future of the Union of European Theatres. 
In addition to the theatrical programme, the Festival includes discussions/round-tables that will take place live via the Zoom platform, allowing artists and the public to discuss the different sections and tributes. Thus, the first online session will feature representatives of the companies/collectives in discussion with Greek theatre professionals whose own work is also arranged around a contemporary collective approach. This is followed by a series of discussions / interviews in which the three female directors included in the related tribute talk to three female directors from Greece, exchanging views on the female gaze in theatre. 
Rimini Protokoll's Remote Thessaloniki is unique in being the only performance to physically take place in the city. The award-winning Berlin theatre company visits Thessaloniki to get the 3rd International Forest Festival underway. Remote Thessaloniki holds various surprises in store for those who elect to take part in a stroll/dérive from the Municipal Cemetery of Evangelistria to the White Tower, along with a different experience of the city. Given the singular nature of the performance, places must be booked in advance: https://bit.ly/38HmKyD
In parallel, in a bid to redefine the shared experience of theatre-going, the 3rd International Forest Festival brings together a community of people who will have the opportunity, having connected with one another and watched a series of productions from the international theatre scene, to communicate both among themselves and with artists, to discuss, ask questions, raise objections, share reflections and exchange views on the current state of theatre worldwide. This sharing paves the way and provides opportunities for communication during the pandemic, keeping the concepts of participation and exchange in the act of theatre alive in an alternative way.
An online international mask workshop will be staged in parallel with the Festival, entitled “Face-Mask-Personality”. The workshop will be led by the director Simos Kakalas and the set/costume designer Martha Foka. In the novel conditions imposed by the pandemic, the mask has acquired new meanings and connotations, both as a means of theatrical expression and a tool for everyday life. The international artists taking part in the workshop will work on both making and using masks, searching for new tools and approaches. The workshop, which will be led by two Greek artists who have mastered mask making and use, is an additional attraction for friends of the theatre and of the theatrical mask in particular. 
The team organizing and implementing the International Forest Festival at the NTNG consists of:

Amalia Kondoyanni (Head of the Artistic Production & Literary Department )
Maria Lazaridou (International Relations Office, Artistic Production)
Stella Papadimitriou (Literary Office)
Matina Pagoulatou (Theatrologist collaborator, Literary Office)
Sotiris Roumeliotis (Theatrologist collaborator, Literary Office)
Marily Ventouri (Artistic Production Office)

We thank the students from the School of Drama, Faculty of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, who completed the practical internship of their course at the NTNG: Anna Maria Gatou, Dafni Dimou, Christina Eleftheriadou, Marina Zerdali, Rodopi Roukoudi, Athanasios Tzintzios, Asteropi Charitidou and Panagiotis Chrysidis.