THE TEN AXIOMS OF 'ALL GREEKS'| 13 June 2023
🏺 32 Tragedies
NTGent and numerous partners intend to tackle all 32 of the surviving Greek tragedies, including the outlier Rhesos (by an anonymous, obscure author).
🏺 32 performances
What is probably the most comprehensive festival of classical tragedy since Sophocles & co. will be held in May and June 2024. Four different tragedies will be performed every week. 8 weeks × 4 tragedies = 32 performances.
🏺 A morning ritual
The pieces are performed somewhere between dawn and brunch time, as a morning ritual for a gently awakening city. The festival's motto (freely paraphrasing Aristotle) is: first art, then philosophy, and work only after that.
🏺 In the open air
The places where the tragedies are performed are in the open air, in public spaces, and in 4 different neighbourhoods of Ghent. Every 2 weeks, the festival caravan will travel to a different district in the city.
🏺 Nie neute, nie pleuje
Sunshine or cloudburst, the show will go on, under the motto of Ghent nie neute, nie pleuje (don't grumble, don't give in). If necessary, NTGent will find a location that offers shelter from the wind and rain.
🏺 Artistic free rein
The 32 partners have artistic free rein. They may opt for a classic adaptation or a monologue, or equally for a ceremony, debate, guerrilla campaign with a political flavour, lecture, rave party, ritual, video installation, and so on.
🏺 The modern polis
All the tragedies are guest productions of NTGent, so the Ghent Manifesto does not apply. As such, a monolingual, staged reading of a play, exclusively by professional actors, is a possibility.
However, NTGent does encourage the greatest possible diversity and inclusivity, in terms of both artistic approach and the participants in the city festival. As many groups and neighbourhoods as possible in the modern polis of Ghent will be represented.
Some plays by NTGent and its urban partners will also be performed during the regular season and in the evening programme. These productions are asked to share at least an excerpt or interpretation (say a version without scenery, a debate or staged reading) with the festival audience in the open air in the morning.
🏺 Just as the ancient Greeks
NTGent is the curator and organiser of the festival but will not take on the artistic directorship and production of all the tragedies. Each partner will do their share of this. As for technical support; everyone will manage without sound amplifiers and stage lightning just as the ancient Greeks did. Neither will there be any particular scenography, unless a partner and their technical team choose to provide it themselves.
🏺 The performances are free
ALL GREEKS is a festival for the city, in the city and by the city. It reminds us how central theatre was to the democracy of ancient Athens. And how central art can still be in the city, in society and in everyone's life today.