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.


Socrates Now

“This show has an almost magical ability to make us question life, love, death, all the issues that make us the people we are. Afterwards, you find yourself asking: ‘What would Socrates say?’ It is truly transformational.”

New Zealand Producer, Vicky Yiannoutsos

“The curveballs of life, be they social, economic, environmental, or cultural, can only be bettered by effective communication. This play showcases how we can all make positive change through constructive dialogue and powerful thought.”

Network Communication Managing Director, Antonios Papaspiropoulos

“Mr. Simonides was riveting as Socrates. He demonstrated how engaging and how maddening Socrates could be. He gave life to the dilemma of the public intellectual condemned for his activity. The students gave him a standing ovation.  Students and faculty alike enjoyed the satisfaction of intellectual engagement with Plato’s text and the issues of justice and truth it raises. Mr. Simonides’ acting choices compelled discussion about the historical Socrates as well as about Plato’s agenda. We reaped many benefits from sponsoring  the Apology Project at Columbia. We will certainly invite him to return!

Dr. Deborah A. Martinsen, Dean, Columbia University

“ Just last week I witnessed a performance of Plato’s Apologia, which like no other previous experience in thirty years of university teaching, brought a classical text to life for our university audience (American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates). AUS has about 4500 students, most of them majoring in engineering, business and architecture and design. We do not have a classics department. About 80% of our students are Muslims and for the great majority English is a second language. Simonides performed the 100-minute Apologia as a dramatic monologue, supported by professionally designed sound, lighting and costume. During the performance, attended by a record breaking 850 audience, you could have heard a pin drop. His interactive approach, challenging demeanour, hilarious humor and tragic humility made a classical text come to life like none I or our students had ever encountered. Once the applause had died down, about 100 students and faculty stayed on for another hour to engage Simonides in probing dialogue and moving testimonials that Socrates would have enjoyed immensely. If you are looking for an event to focus the mind of your conference participants and motivate them to make the classics come to life in the classroom, I recommend you schedule the “Apology Project” as a keynote event.”

Martin Giesen, College of Arts and Sciences, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

“The performance was riveting and attracted very many students and professional ancient philosophy specialists. It is rare for a theatrical performance to be as stimulating, also to specialists, as Simonides’ Apology was, I am delighted that the Edinburgh classical community responded with such interest to it!”

Theodore Scaltsas, Chair of Ancient Philosophy, University of Edinburgh

“Our audience was deeply moved by the performance and our program of events was enhanced by arguably the best performance it has ever hosted since its inauguration. Its appeal to the audience fulfilled our mission, which is to focus, develop, and sustain research, teaching, and public education on Hellenism, with particular emphasis on the impact of ancient, medieval, and  modern Hellenic civilization on contemporary society. Simonides’ choice of staging a lively virtuous Socrates, full of wit and wisdom, neatly complemented our mission.

Vassiliki Rapti, The Alexander S.Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Lecturer in Modern Greek Studies, University of Missouri St Luis

“Yannis Simonides and Loukas N. Skipitaris gave us a sensitive reading of Plato’s text in this exciting performance. They managed to turn the elusive Socratic character alive with immediacy, playful irony, and the dramatic depth that make the Apology an inexhaustible source of wisdom, as meaningful in our times as it was in fourth century Athens.”

Constance Tagopoulos, Professor of European Studies, Queens College, NY

“This superb production brings home to the entire audience what Socrates –and philosophy–is all about, in a way that no written commentary could ever do. Having seen Socrates interact with his listeners one understands why Plato adopted the format he did for his own philosophical works. He was his master’s student.”

Fred Purnell, Professor of Philosophy, Queens College, NY

“The idea was bold… the actor’s interpretation of Socrates’ Apology had many virtues: clarity, modesty, and grace. Yanni Simonides’ performance under the direction of Loukas Skipitaris – was unassuming and flawless. Bravo!”

Ekaterini Myrivili, Director, Foundation for Hellenic Culture, NY

“I thought Simonides was fantastic. He captured and engaged the audience in a way that was very impressive. “

John Stratakis, Treasurer, Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, NY

“Yannis Simonides as a contemporary Socrates moulds Plato’s ‘Apology’ into remarkable theatre. He defends himself against his accusers with wisdom, wit and dialogue that draws us to him. His performance is gripping. Under Loukas Skipitaris’ direction, the performance moves in a fast, arresting tempo that is impressive, classic theatre.”

Aspasia Smith, Cultural Committee, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, NY

“Yannis Simonides and his brilliant interpretation of the Apology helps us appreciate the role that Socrates himself played in forming and defining Western thought. Of all of the performances I have been privileged to experience, his is the most inspired and inspiring. Enjoy it and welcome the fruits of discovery.”

Zenon Christodoulou, President, The Greek American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey

“Yannis Simonides, directed by Loukas N. Skipitaris, gave a marvelous and unforgettable performance at the Acculturation Festival, which Unisun World organized at the Turkish Consulate.”

Uklu Unsoy, President, Unisun World

“Thank you for allowing hope to be born-again. Continue with your good work.”


“Greece needs Socrates’ background, principles, values, honesty and clarity of thought. Let’s listen to him at last. He has been calling out for years. We thank him.”


“Thank you so much for the inspiration,humor,provocative questioning,passionate performance and laughter! Thank you for helping to bring the magic of theater back in my life; I have missed it greatly!  Good show with the 4000- you are absolutely amazing and thank you forever!  You made worth it!”


“Thank you for reminding us our roots and our aim

“Thank you for encouraging us (me) to see virtue when facing “evil”. It was a very lovely thought provoking evening


“The performance was above a beyond any of our expectations. To take something so magnificent and academic and presented engagingly leaves you all to be commended. Thank you for keeping the classics alive.”

Haileybury Colledge Classics tour 2012

“We had an exelent evening in the shadow of the Acropolis and the truths that stem from Socrates.Congratulations


“A big thank you for an evening with dialogue, wit, and greek aesthetics.”


“Socrates had captured me since my childhood I’d never thought that a performance in English would bring tears to my eyes. Thank you”