Roots of Cotton
by Kallia Papadaki / After Sophocles' Ajax
Summer of 1978. A village in Evros. Ajax returns to his birthplace, confident that he will take ownership of the land area that is rightfully his. However, his father has appointed his youngest son, Odysseus, as his sole heir; the son that stayed near his father, had a family, and worked on the land, while the eldest studied far away from home to become a literature teacher. Livid, Ajax sets his family home on fire in order to burn them in their sleep. However, the wind changes course and his plans do not come to fruition. Only the option of suicide remains. Soon, a family conflict breaks out over the burial of his dead body.
With Greek and English surtitles
CONTEMPORARY ANCIENTS CYCLE
New Greek works inspired by Ancient Drama
An Athens Epidaurus Festival commission
Fostering the dialogue between contemporary dramaturgy and Ancient Drama, the Festival continues a pioneering project that was launched in the summer of 2021: the commission of new plays, inspired by ancient Greek tragedies, to contemporary Greek authors who have received praise for their fiction.
This year, three established authors, Kallia Papadaki, Ilias Maglinis and Christos Chomenidis responded to the invitation by Katerina Evangelatos, Artistic Director of the Festival: Kallia Papadaki (European Book Prize 2017 for her novel Dendrites) is inspired by Sophocles’ Ajax, the archetypal tragedy on frustration; Elias Maglinis (Greece’s State Prize for Literature 2020 for the book I Am What I Have Forgotten) is inspired by Alcestis, one of Euripides’ most enigmatic plays; and Christos Chomenidis (European Book Prize 2021 for Niki) delivers a new version of Euripides’ rarely performed Ion.
The choice of the first two plays to be staged at the Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus is in dialogue with the repertoire of the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, where audiences will have the opportunity to watch classical plays in new directorial perspectives (Ajax by Argyris Xafis and Alkistis by Johan Simons with Schauspielhaus Bochum). We will be introduced to Chomenidis’ play with its bilingual publication in Greek and English as part of the Athens Epidaurus Festival theatre book series.