Zemphyra or The Secret of Pasifae


Athens & Epidaurus Festival ,Athens, Greece

Set Construction

The t r i s theatre group was founded in the spring of 2015 by Christina Garbi, Kostas Kounellas and Vasilis Safos. The group made its debut with a production of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz’s Histoire du soldat, presented at the Athens Conservatoire, the Porta Theatre, and the Thessaloniki Concert Hall, in collaboration with Kyklos Ensemble and Konstantinos Arvanitakis. t r i s went on to adapt Heinrich von Kleist’s novella Michael Kolhaas for the stage; the performance was presented for two consecutive seasons at Bios. For this year’s Athens Festival, t r i s will adapt Andreas Embirikos’ short story Zemphyra, or the Secret of Pasiphae. Written in 1945, amidst the bleak Greek Civil War, this story forms the second part of Embirikos’ trilogy The Amulets of Love and Chariots.

Zemphyra, a young lion tamer, performs her celebrated show. Suddenly, a male lion refuses to obey her command and attacks her. The audience is transfixed. Much to everyone’s surprise, the beast’s deadly attack turns into an erotic approach. The heroine comes to terms with the inner, dark world of instincts. Akin to the mythological Pasiphae, she is confronted with the mystery of passions. The untamed Amazon is tamed; the circus is transformed into a locus of mystery and ritual; death anxiety is replaced by joi de vivre.

Direction - Performance - Dramaturgy: Christina Garbi, Konstantinos Kounellas, Vasilis Safos (t r i s theatre group)
Original music: Kornilios Selamsis
Lighting design: Sakis Birbilis
Movement: Katerina Foti
Dramaturgy consultant: Nikos Ziogas
Set design: Artemis Sierra
Costume design: Dimos Klimenof
Photographer: Christos Symeonidis
Assistant director: Gina Stavroulaki
Sound engineer: Alexandros Aretaios
Technician - Assistant to the lighting designer: Panagiotis Fourtounis
Set construction: ReCompulsive Behaviours Creative Studio

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