Axana Arts Company is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1996 by influential figures from the world of the arts, under the artistic and administrative management of the actress and director Tatiana Ligari. It aims to promote contemporary greek culture within and beyond the borders of Greece, to promote greek young creative forces and also materialize pioneering and innovative ideas in the sector of performing arts.
Starting point for Axana’s activities was the collaboration with Regional Academic Drama Theater of Tver (one of the most significant theatrical companies of Russia, founded in 1754), in co-producing the bilingual (greek and russian) theatrical performance “Anna Karenina”. But most of all, Axana has been related to the creation of the unique Railway Carriage Theater to Treno sto Rouf, which constitutes a worldwide cultural vanguard, a ground-breaking exploration of the aesthetics and functionality of cultural and theatrical spaces.
The Railway Carriage Theater to Treno sto Rouf opened in 1997 and “runs” since then as an innovative and integrated cultural venue. It is the only venue of its kind- a monument to modern Greek history and culture. You can find to Treno sto Rouf at the platform of Rouf Railway Station. It consists of nine lovingly-restored old carriages, including the “Greek Wagon” -an original Restaurant Wagon from the 1924 Orient Express- and a Breda type steam engine, which dates from 1953. These carriages are home to a theater stage, a music stage, a restaurant, a foyer, a bar, dressing rooms and utility rooms. The fully-refurbished carriages of the Railway Carriage Theater to Treno sto Rouf play host to theatrical, dance and music performances for children and adults, educational programmes, events, original entertainment, festivals, projects by young artists, exhibitions, screenings, lectures and romantic dinners and theme parties. During the summer months to Treno sto Rouf also expands onto the platform of Rouf station (Bar “Apovathra”).
Its artistic production is definitely non-negligible: till this moment it has staged eleven theatric productions (most of them for two or three succeding seasons), eighteen musicals, five children plays, twenty three literary meetings, seven personal or group art exhibitions and instalations and four festivals for young artist. It has also organized tours in municipalities of Greece and cities abroad (Casablanca, Rabat, Bucharest, Beirut etc.), it has cooperated with important cultural institutions, like the Museum of Contemporary Art, the French Institute of Athens, Goethe-Institut Athen, the Athens Concert Hall and the Thessaloniki Concert hall and has also participated in cultural festivals abroad. With a multifaceted interest in culture, it has translated and published newcoming playwriters and has also released three collectible music CDs. Both the public and the media have aknowledged Axana Arts Company as the supporter and promoter of young cultural groups and creators and as a nursery for young artists.
The Railway Carriage Theater’s repertoire covers a wide range of spectacles and theatrical genres. Keystone for its setup and inspiration are eath time the pursuits, speculations and agonies of contemporaty individuals within the greek and international community, on issues of equality, relationships, freedom of Art, female status, ecology, nurishment, economy, politics. At the same time, Axana Arts Company is active in many art sectors: music, visual arts, literature, cinema, video-art, photography etc.
Next to its cultural opus, Axana engages also in a year-long social commitment, in cooperation with institutions as “Floga” Pan Hellenic Parents Association of Children with Cancer, “Medecins Sans Frontieres”, “Friends of the Child” Charitable Association, the greek department of the international “Institution Against Juvenile Diabetes”, libraries of greek borderline vilages etc.
The Railway Carriage Theater to Treno sto Rouf with its ground-breaking presence not only put the previously rundown area of Rouf “on the map”, but also acted as a catalyst for the area’s resurgence, by attracting a variety of different cultural influences to the wider area, which is considered today as Athens’ avant-guard cultural center.
To Treno sto Rouf has now been “running” for 17 years and, thanks to the originality of the venue and the exceptional quality of the performances, it has received endless rave reviews in the media and has won over the hearts and minds of the public, hosting up to 300.000 guests so far.
Consistently following its initial goals, Axana continuously raises the artistic standards and offers its public –and mostly young people- qualitative and aesthetic education and recreation. But above all, through its cultural and educational actions and the upgrading of its infrastructure, it aims to preserve the unique in the world Railway Carriage Theater, a greek creation, but also sustain the workplaces connected to this operation.
29 Sygrou Avenue
117 43 Athens, Greece
tel. +30 210 9237076
fax +30 210 9240108