Photo by Theofilos Tsimas  
Photo by Theofilos Tsimas  
Photo by Theofilos Tsimas
Photo by Theofilos Tsimas
Photo by Nasia Stouraiti


By Mario Banushi

Miresia is Albanian for kindness


A neon restaurant sign in a Tirana suburb sheds light to the history of a family. An unexpected incident under the light of this sign has a crucial effect on Mario’s life. Years later, now an adult, director Mario Banushi, who had been traveling from Greece to Albania for years to meet his family and return to the family taverna, now carries that same sign from Albania to the Festival, placing it in a prominent place, at the center of the world he creates on stage. Through a performance, he welcomes his memories and nostalgia in order to confront the absence of his father who recently passed away; the cook and taverna owner who used to welcome customers every night.  
As the performance unfolds, the sign unfurls a series of emotions, a melody of unspoken sentiments, fragments and  memories, the poetry of things left unsaid. It embodies a profound farewell to the father, the custodian of the taverna’s secrets, and a warm embrace of adulthood, amidst the existential riddles that accompany the passage of years.
Related artist

Arifa Akbar, The Guardian, July 2023

Mario Banushi, a Greek playwright of Albanian heritage, is a rising star who represents the new face of Greek theater. His play, Taverna Miresia: Mario, Bella, Anastasia, as part of the Grape strand of the festival, explores loss, family and immigrant identity, drawing on personal experience of watching his sisters and stepmother grieve his father’s death.

— Nikos Xenios, Bookpress

What matters above all is sensitivity, the antennae finely tuned to human passion, the original processing of images, artistic excellence, the transformation of experience into a cry for more human ways to approach pain, separation and death. There’s no need for words to convey the remarkable stage performances of Mario Banushi. It suffices, as a spectator, to accept that the creator’s memories have the character of the ineffable: conveyed solely through facial expressions, light, sound, and stage. And in some magical way, they can connect with your everyday life.

— Argyro Bozoni, LiFo Mag

Banushi weaves together all the elements, at times comical, at times tragic and mournful, that accompany absence. Grief, lament and awkwardness, the void and loneliness are intertwined with the human need for survival, with a triumph of life over death, with bodily needs pressing unbearably and with hunger and thirst linked to the violence of mourning.

— Stella Charami, Monopoli 

Another significant moment for an artist – one who, though just beginning to gain recognition, signs a piece titled “Taverna Miresia,” which can easily travel abroad; because it can move and touch hearts just as profoundly, everywhere.
Tour dates:
  • Athens Epidaurus Festival  [world première], Athens, Greece:  Jul 18-20,2023 
    Tour stops will be announced soon
Conceived and directed Μario Βanushi Cast: Savina Yannatou, Chryssi Vidalaki, Katerina Kristo, Mario Banushi, Eftychia Stefanou Costumes design: Sotiris Melanos Lighting design: Eliza Alexandropoulou Original music: Jeph Vanger Vocals improvisation: Savina Yannatou Dramaturgy collaboration: Aspasia-Maria Alexiou Assistant director: Sofia Antoniou Assistant to the costume designer: Vassiana Skopetea Wardrobe & props assistant: Emmanouela Mastora Stage manager: Vassiana Skopetea Lighting console programmer & operator: Kostas Bethanis Sound engineer: Kostas Chaidos Lighting technicians: Michalis Carlos, Dimitris Sarris Stage technicians: Antonis Lambrakis, Christos Tsiropoulos Production Management: TooFarEast – Nikos Mavrakis Line Production: TooFarEast – Aristidis Kreatsoulas   Photography: Nassia Stouraiti, Theofilos Tsimas Produced by the Athens Epidaurus Festival 2023 In collaboration with Theatro sti Sala   Special thanks to: The National Theatre of Greece’s team, Amalia Bennett, Caneplex, Dimitris Koutas, Christos Papadopoulos, Dimitris Papaioannou, Ioanna Papakosta and Theodoros Terzopoulos.