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Born in Constantinople and raised in Athens, Yannis Simonides is a Yale Drama School trained actor/writer and Emmy-winning documentary producer. He has served as professor and chair of the New York University Tisch School of the Arts Drama Department, as executive producer of Greek Orthodox Telecommunications (GOTelecom) and as the executive director of Hellenic Public Radio – COSMOS FM in New York. He is the founder and director of the Greek Theater (Elliniko Theatro) in New York and of Mythic Media, a performing arts lab.

His performance work includes plays by Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Brecht, Korres, Kambanellis and others, along with solo and ensemble pieces culled from the writings of C.P. Cavafy, General Makriyannis, Nikolai Gogol and others. He has received the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, The Greek Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs, The S. Onassis, I. Kostopoulos, S. Niarchos, M. Tsakos and A.G. Levendis Foundations, Time Warner and the Mobil Foundation. He co-produced Mikis Theodorakis’ 75th Birthday Celebration at Lincoln Center with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and has been associated with the Annual Festival of Greek Music and Dance at Symphony Space in New York City, presented by the World Music Institute and AD&M Productions. He narrated the PBS specials Axion Esti, Visions of Greece and Return to the Homeland. He recently wrote and directed the docudrama SMYRNE for the Maliotes Center in Brookline, MA, and is touring worldwide with his solo performance of Plato´s Apology.