EllinikoTheatro is an international performing arts organization based in New York and Athens. Since its inception in 1979, it has sought to serve as an innovative carrier of cultural diplomacy, expanding the temporal, spatial and social boundaries of Hellenic Theatre.

This summer EllinikoThεatro is pleased to present ATHENS2018, an international performing arts festival in Athens, and ΟΔΥΣΣΕΙΑ, a public participatory reading of Homer’s poem in Amsterdam.

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ΟΔΥΣΣΕΙΑ: A Public Participatory Reading of Homer’s Odyssey

We are pleased to announce a very special event.

On June 14 at 12:00, Giorgos Gripeos’ installation “an odyssey” hosts a ten-hour public participatory reading of Homer’s Odyssey.

Composed in the 8th century BCE, this epic tale of a hero’s star-crossed journey home from war is among the handful of stories we’ve used to understand ourselves. In the migratory conditions of our times, the poem’s themes of displacement and loss, yearning for home and the trials of separation, remain as powerful and relevant as ever. 

Produced by The International Readers of Homer and EllinikoTheatro, the reading invites participants of all ages and backgrounds to read a passage, each in their own way, one after another, until this great and magical poem is complete. Readers discover the joy of performing poetry, while audience members enjoy the lost pleasures of hearing this epic tale as it was originally told – out loud and at length.

At a reading of the poem in Athens last year, one participant noted that it was “among the most moving – shall I say necessary? – of cultural experiences I’ve witnessed. Ever.”

Each participant in the reading will be given a three-minute passage from Emily Wilson’s celebrated new translation of the Odyssey – the first into English by a woman.  They are invited to read their passage in English or in any other language of their choosing.

The reading is joined by choral group Genetic Choir, who provide 10 hours of live music using their unique form of instant vocal composition. Reminiscent of an ancient Greek chorus, the singers comment on, foretell and mirror the events of the story. To capture a sense of the epic length of Odysseus’ journey, they are a constant witness to the events and stay ‘on board’ from the first line to the last.

We would be delighted if you could join us to read a passage or just relax and enjoy the poem! This is a free event and you are welcome anytime July 14 between 12:00-22:00.

To receive a passage for reading, register at www.eventora.gr/odyssey.

The reading is part of the Over Het IJ Festival and will be live-streamed to the ferry connecting Westerdokdijk with the NDSM.