Cyprus Theatre Organisation


50 key events in Thoc’s history

8 October 1970
Law 71, the act of parliament founding the Cyprus Theatre Organisation, is passed. The Cyprus Theatre Organisation is now an official legal entity.

July 1971
Thoc’s first director is Nikos Chatziskos.

18 November 1971
Thoc’s opening production, at the Municipal Theatre of Nicosia, is Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, directed by Nikos Chatziskos.

20 November 1971
The first modern Greek play to be staged by Thoc, at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol, is Grigorios Xenopoulos’s Popolaros, directed by Vladimiros Kafkaridis.

The first competition to commission a Cypriot play is announced.

December 1972
Sokratis Karantinos becomes artistic advisor and director/teacher.

June 1973
Kostis Palamas’s Trisevgeni, directed by Sokratis Karantinos, is performed in Alexandria and Cairo. This is Thoc’s first foreign tour.

4 September 1973
Michalis Pitsillidis’s Theano is the first Cypriot play to be staged by Thoc. It is directed by Nikos Siafkalis.

September-November 1974
Loukis Akritas’s Omiroi (Hostages) and Michalis Pasiardis’s To Neron tou Dropi (Dropis’s water) go on an extensive tour of Greece. Proceeds go to the Fund for Displaced Persons and Victims set up following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The plays are directed by Vladimiros Kafkaridis.

December 1975
Evis Gavriilidis is appointed Director of Thoc, a post he holds until 1988.

11 April 1976
The inaugural Children’s Stage production is Brian Way’s Puss in Boots, directed by Monika Vasileiou.

13 May 1976
The Second Stage opens with Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker, directed by Andreas Maragkos, at the Little Theatre of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK).

22 October 1977
Thoc presents Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her children, directed by Heinz-Uwe Haus, It is performed in Athens in May 1978.

1978, 1979, 1980, 1994
Euripides’ The Suppliants, directed by Nikos Charalampous, is performed in the summer of 1979 in Thessaloniki, Athens and Heraklion. In 1980, it becomes Thoc’s first production at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. In June 1994 it travels to New York, as part of the Greek Ministry of Culture’s cultural events.

Thoc makes its first grants to independent theatres.

The first Pancyprian Amateur Theatre Festival is held.

The first Pancyprian School Theatre Festival is held. It takes place for a second time in 1991 and thereafter on an annual basis.

25 June 1983
Sophocles’ Electra is performed at the Epidaurus Festival. The production is directed by Michael Cacoyannis.

The Theatre Development Department is founded. On 1 January 1988, Andreas Michailidis is its first Theatre Development Officer.

January 1989
Evis Gavriilidis is appointed Director, a position he holds until 1993. He takes over the directorship again from 1998 until February 2007.

Thoc takes part in the Prague Quadrennial for the first time, with the work of set designer Angelos Angelis.

1993, 1994, 2012
Menander’s Samia is performed at Epidaurus. The production is directed by Evis Gavriilidis. It is also performed in 1994 at the Lycabettus Theatre in Athens. It is revived in 2012 for the inauguration of Thoc’s new theatre building.

3 December 1994
The inaugural New Stage production, at the Municipal Theatre of Agios Dometios, is Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias, directed by Varnavas Kyriazis.

February 1995
Christos Siopachas becomes Thoc’s Director until February 1998.

20 December 1996
Thoc’s first privately owned theatre, hosting New Stage productions, opens adjacent to the workshops. The new space is inaugurated with Hugh Leonard’s Da, directed by Christos Siopachas.

The Thoc Theatre Awards are established in memory of Melina Mercouri.

28 June 2001
Euripides’ Seven against Thebes is directed by Varnavas Kyriazis. In the summer of 2002, the production travels to China.

7 November 2001
The Experimental Stage opens with a production of Roberto Athayde’s Miss Margarida’s Way at the Theatre of the Agios Andreas Agora, directed by Andy Bargilly.

Three theatre grant schemes are introduced.

Thoc becomes a member of the European Theatre Convention.

February 2007
Varnavas Kyriazis becomes Thoc’s Director until February 2012.

26 January 2009
The foundation stone is laid for the new Thoc building.

7 October 2009
Thoc’s first classroom play is Katja Hensel’s Head or Tails, produced through the organisation’s participation in the ETC Young Europe programme. It is directed by Neoklis Neokleous.

5 September 2010
Aristophanes’ Clouds is staged at the Herod Atticus Theatre in Athens to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus

The Children’s Stage is renamed Stage 018.

March 2012
Giorgos G. Papageorgiou becomes Director until December 2013.

26 March 2012
The Cyprus Theatre Museum opens.

27 & 28 October 2012
The new Thoc building opens.

Autumn 2012
The PLAY programme to boost domestic theatre is launched in collaboration with the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute.

September 2013
The Theatre Shelter opens.

June 2015
The grant system changes and the Thymeli Scheme is introduced.

11 September 2015
Euripides’ Hippolytus is performed at the Ancient Theatre of Salamis under the auspices of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus. The production is directed by Neoklis Neokleous.

October 2015
The system for hiring actors changes (annual contracts are replaced by single-production contracts)

May 2017
Savvas Kyriakidis is appointed Artistic Director.

2017, 2018
Aeschylus’ Persians is performed at Epidaurus and the Herod Atticus Theatre in a production directed by Aris Biniaris. In the summer of 2018  it tours extensively in Greece.

October 2017
The first season of events at Thoc’s Theatre Apothikes opens with “Dubitanda” and “Living Room of Strangers” programmes. They are curated by Stefanos Drousiotis and Panagiotis Larkou respectively.

19 February 2020
The Away from Home Stage opens with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, directed by Alexia Papalazarou.

8 June 2020
Thoc signals theatre’s return after a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. It is followed on 29 July by Aristophanes’ Acharnians, directed by Varnavas Kyriazis.

March 2021
Thymeli Plus is launched. The scheme offers additional financial support to professional theatre companies affected by the pandemic.

6 & 8 May 2021
Two works of art for the Thoc Building, commissioned following a competition, are unveiled.