ELENA PENGA (WRITER & DIRECTOR)
Elena Penga is an award-winning Greek playwright and fiction writer. Athens- Delhi-Athens (Agra Publications, 2019) is her first novel. She has published three books of short fiction and nine books of plays. Born in Thessaloniki, she studied Theater and Philosophy at Wesleyan University and Screen and Playwriting at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her previous book, Tight Belts and Other Skin (Agra, 2012), won the Greek Academy of Letters Prize; parts of it have been translated into Swedish and English as prose poetry.
Her short story The Untrodden was the official entry for Greece in Best European Fiction 2017, published by Dalkey Archive Press; selected prose poems of hers have been included in two recent anthologies published by Penguin. (In The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem- from Baudelaire to Anne Carson, 2018 and inAusterity Measures-The New Greek Poetry, 2017). Last year, she participated in the Unamuno Authors Festival in Madrid and was guest of the International Lorca Center in Granada. Her work has been translated in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Swedish, Dutch and Bengali.
She started her work as theater artist involved in the experimental theatre scene of downtown NYC. In the early 90s she returned to Greece, and continued making new work for the theater, while she maintained her ties to NYC, and often returned there for presenting her plays.
In Greece, her theater work has been produced by Notos Theatre, Fournos, Club +SODA, National Theatre of Greece, National Theater of Northern Greece, European Cultural Center of Delfi, Athens International Festival. It has been published & extensively reviewed. She has been guest at the Biennale of Young Artists, Lisbon (1994), the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in San Franscisco (1995), the Bonner Biennale of New European Plays in Germany (1998), Belgrade International Theatre Festival (1998), Theatertreffen in Berlin (2001), Gessneralle Theater of Zurich (2002), Verse Waar Festival, Holland (2003), International Monodrama Festival Fujairah in UAE (2005) and Menagerie Theatre Company of Cambridge, UK (2006). She has taught playwriting at the University of Patras, ITI, Athens, National Center of Books, Athens, Open University.
She has also written the screenplay for the Greek feature length Film His Only Journey In Life, directed by Lakis Papastathis. This film received best picture award in Saloniki Film Festival (2001), and was official entry at Toronto International Film Festival.