English-language Theater in Athens? Yes! At the Theater of the NO

English-language Theater in Athens? Yes! At the Theater of the NO

What’s the reason an Israel-born playwright leaves behind the US and his passion for the road to come to Greece and set up a theater? “The temperament, the weather, the food, and the natural beauty,” Yoel Wulfhart tells The Greek Vibe for this month’s Touched by Greece series.

“Fascinating Athens, one of the world’s oldest surviving cities and the birthplace of Western theater” is the reason Yoel decided to open the Theater of the NOwhich says “no” to convention and “yes” to dialogue, understanding, openness, acceptance, and cooperation.

For Yoel, who has visited over 150 countries on his adventures roaming the world for 18 years with a jeep, Athens is one of the few cities in the world where theater thrives

A Theater of Ideas in Athens

English-language Theater in Athens? Yes! At the Theater of the NO

And to be honest, this is great news for everyone, young and old, expats living in Greece, tourists vacationing in Athens, students learning English – who can all meet up over a drink and share views about everything from theater and life to philosophy and music.

“Our intention is to create a creative space for artistic expression and cultural exchange. It’s a theater of ideas, of broadening horizons,” he says. 

How to Spend a Perfect Day in Athens

And that’s why he encourages the audience to allow time before the shows to “introduce themselves” and after the show to “talk about the performance, its ideas, meaning, and the ways it can affect our lives”.

The cozy Theater of the NO is Athens’ first English-language theater venue and it made its debut earlier this year. In addition to theater, it also hosts concerts, poetry nights, and everything that can bring people together. 

Theater of the NO: Challenging Conventions  

English-language Theater in Athens? Yes! At the Theater of the NO

A visionary and a playwright himself, Yoel hopes the Theater of the NO will challenge us to become better versions of ourselves, and this, he says, starts with saying “no” to many things. 

“We wanted to present a new genre, the Theatre of the NO. NO to traditions, NO to borders, NO to political correctness, NO to rules, NO to stupidity, NO to duplicity,” he says. “Starting from infancy, society tells us ‘no’, it’s not possible, it’s not achievable, it’s not doable. We say to hell with society, we will create what we want, we will fail, and as Beckett says, we will try again and fail better.”

The ambitious non-profit project is a labor of love made possible with the support of 25 volunteers from 18 countries. The goal, says Yoel, is to support actors and creative professionals financially, recognizing their invaluable contribution to society.

Saying ‘No’ to Whatever Stands in Our Way

Beyond traditional plays, NO also aims to evolve into a platform for artistic exploration and dialogue. Yoel’s vision extends beyond the stage, aiming to cultivate compassion and critical thinking. He hopes to inspire audiences to challenge conventions and strive for a better world.

Getting the Genuine Rebetiko (Greek blues) Experience in Athens

English-language Theater in Athens? Yes! At the Theater of the NO

One of Yoel’s main concerns is to attract younger audiences to the theater who will open up and be inspired to “think about their lives”. To motivate them he has launched a “rush-hour ticket”, which costs 5 euros for the 20 first theater-goers who arrive one hour before the show.

“The Theatre of the NO will have been worth it if at least on one person learned compassion, critical thinking, and a way to make a better world for themselves and others. Now if there are two, I will be ecstatic,” he tells The Greek Vibe.

Guests and friends tell us how they’ve been ‘Touched by Greece’

English-language Theater in Athens? Yes! At the Theater of the NO

1. How were you ‘touched’ by Greece? 

I was taken by its natural beauty, its illustrious history, its influence on Western society, by its being the birthplace of theater, by the radical attitude of its people, by their friendliness, hospitality and cuisine. 

2. What does Greece mean to you?

Immersion into the vast ocean of ideas, thought and the creative and joyful pursuit of happiness and knowledge.

3. Your favourite place in Greece?

I love so many places in Greece: Delphi, the Peloponnese, Aegina, the Ionian islands. The list is just too long to mention.

 Visiting Athens, theater lover, learning English, or just a nostalgic expat? Don’t miss a performance at the Theater of the NO. Check out shows on Facebook. Tickets are priced at 15 euros and all performances are in English. The best part? The post-play discussion between the audience, the director, and actors. Truly rewarding!

 Through to June 24, catch musical tragicomedy “The Last Lunch,” written by Yoel Wulfhart and directed by Manos Tsotras featuring an international cast. Starts at 8pm – be there earlier. On Thursdays at 11.30pm don’t miss the K. Mitropoulos Gypsy Jazz Trio with lots of Django Reinhardt and Gypsy jazz.

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