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As if the streets of Athens were not entertaining enough, the 1st International Street Theatre Festival in Greece is taking to the streets of historical Athens beginning October 16, 2009 and continuing through October 20, 2009.

And although performance art has long been a part of the Athens street scene, this Festival legitimizes the importance of creativity and art being accessible, free and available for everyone. There are currently 45 Greek groups and 12 groups from abroad scheduled to give 180 different performances, so if you are in Athens between October 16 – 20, 2009, the odds are pretty good that you’ll catch at least one Festival show – I’m guessing that they’ll be spread out along the Apostolou Pavlou and Dionysios Areopagitou pedestrian promenades, as well as in the squares around Plaka, Thisseio, Makrigianni and maybe even Monastiraki. If you’re interested in learning more about the performers, there is a particial list of them here.

There will definitely be something for everyone, as performers from Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria will not only act, pantomime, sing and dance, but there will also be puppet theater (not sure if that’ll be kid oriented puppet theater, but I’ll keep researching and update as I find out). And, since street theater is all about bringing art and performance to the people, all performances are free, no tickets or reservations are required. You can stay as long as you’re interested in staying, and leave when you wish.

The free performances are part of a competition sponsered by the Greek Ministry of Culture’s National Centre Theatre and Dance with the support of the city of Athens, the cultural agency of the city of Athens, and the International Theatre Institute (iTi) and will include four award prizes ranging from 2000 to 4000 euro including one for best director and one for best puppet theater. Awards will be presented on the last day of the Festival, after which a procession of artists will parade through the streets of the historical center of Athens from Makrigianni Street to Theseum for the closing ceremony at Asomaton Square (where of course, in true Greek fashion, there will be a big party!)



By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!

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