Art And Culture

Odyssey Marathon Reading at Tehran City Theater

Poster of the eventPoster of the event

Tehran City Theater will host the ‘Odyssey Marathon Reading’, a collective event to relive the 2,700-year-old epic poem by semi-legendary Greek author Homer, as part of the 35th Fajr International Theater Festival (FITF) to be held January 20-30 in the capital city.

The event slated for January 26, will see around 200 readers come together to perform a collective recitation of the Odyssey, according to the festival website

The masterpiece will be read aloud without a break at a marathon eight-hour session “in a magical multicultural atmosphere.”

Reciters of all ages and backgrounds will revive the ancient oral tradition of poetry recitation. The tradition will bring the participants together, with each being both reciter and listener.  

Enthusiasts and those who wish to participate in the event can register on the portal, the website of ‘Telemahos,’ a group which shares common passion and love for Greece and its culture. Slots for joining the event are available on a first-come basis. Participants need no special training.

In 2016, a few Iranian and Greek friends gathered together in Tehran to get to know each other’s culture better and establish new links between the two ancient civilizations through cultural and educational programs. They founded the group ‘Telemahos’.

 Any Language

Participants will recite or sing the great epic taking turns one after the other without breaking the process. They can do so in any language of their choice, or dialect in Iran and across the world.  

The performance will be enhanced with on-stage projection of texts and graphical contents. Music interludes and melodies from local and international music ensembles will be performed along with the recitation. Greek music instruments are included.

Parallel with the journey of the Greek hero Ulysses in the poem, “a Homeric feast” will add an extra Greek spice to the event.

The event is organized by the Embassy of Greece in Tehran. It is supported and inspired by the NGOs  ‘The Readers of Homer’ and ‘Elliniko Theatro.’ The former is a non-profit organization on literary arts based in New York dedicated to great poetry reading in communal settings. It revives classic epics and masterpieces such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey through marathon readings.

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

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