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Samothrace Improv Retreat 2023

Therma, Chora, Kamariotissa
Island of Samothrace, Greece

6th Samothrace Improv Retreat - 31 July to 6 August 2023

Retreat Courses and activities


View Our Programm of Courses & Shows.


Intensive & Extra courses per level of experience

Introduction Intensive


Ιntensive course for ABSOLUTE beginners (no experience at all, up to six months of training).  Course lasts 3 days and 12+hours. This course will go through very basic introductory theory and practise of simple fun games.

fee: 50€ / Available slots 20
teachers: Stelios Anatolitis, Eirini Xigkaki, Panagiotis Koudas
duration: 12+ hours in three days

Beginners Intensive


Ιntensive course for beginners (six months up to one year and little show experience).  Course lasts 5 days. Participants perform at Show #2. This course will go through theory and practise of basic improv prinicples, specific short form games structure and will prepare trainies for their performance.
* Students of this level can also register for extras.

fee: 100€ / Available slots 20
teachers: Stelios Anatolitis, Eirini Xigkaki, Panagiotis Koudas
duration: 20+ hours in five days

Intermediate Intensive A

The Character

A way to create a character by exploring own’s body
We will explore the physical path which leads to the identification of a character, and focus on how we can recognize its nature through the analysis of our body. “What is my body telling me? What do you its posture and position in the space suggest?”
We will work on a corporeal approach and on what my body is communicating to me, through a process of listening and through the perception of non-verbal signals. We will also reflect and explore how others see our non-verbal language.
We will work on the body and physical contact trying to make our limit our strong point.
Our senses and our animal instinct will be at work, through contact and perception.

* Students of this level can also register for extras.

fee: 70€ / Available slots 20
teacher: Mico Pugliares
duration: 12hours in two days

Intermediate Intensive B

Emotional Palette:  Revealed and Concealed

Emotions determine the quality of our lives; they are what motivate our every move. They can override what we think are basic fundamentals like food, partnership and survival itself. Most people want to appear balanced, unchanged but inside so much can be going on. Other times we use emotions to misdirect, or defend ourselves overtly. These are our emotions revealed and concealed. Audiences know this inherently. Like most people they want to spend more time feeling positive emotions than negative ones in day-to-day life. However, the theatre is the place where they very willingly experience anguish, fear, disgust, anger, envy as excitedly as joy, revelation or contentment. Because for them it is a safe confine for exploration. That is why us actors have to ensure them that the stage is a vulnerable and dangerous space. We will look at suppressing feelings or exaggerating them, painting with them for affect. Looking at the mimicry, physicality and tonality of emotion to heighten our self-awareness when they arise. To call on them somewhat consciously. Understanding how varying behavioral responses works to create harmony or dissonance. To make things obvious or more mysterious. Responding to and heightening our awareness of other emotional cues and states and being more vested in your partners and your relationships. Then using all this information to transform. There will be lots of practical exercises to access emotional tools and expressions. Establish vocabulary both universal and for individual actors on their independent expressive blueprints.  Also, significant relationship-based scene work with specific personal feedback.

* Students of this level can also register for extras.

fee: 70€ / Available slots 20
teacher: Andrew Hefler
duration: 12hours in two days

Advanced Intensive A

Relationship & Game

Maybe you are a bit like me? I want the audience riveted, moved or even unbridled, hurdling through the galaxy when they see a scene. I want them talking about one another after they have left the theatre.
What makes the audience move closer to the edge of their seats? What makes them squeal with anticipation? Roar together with laughter? What makes them sigh in unison? What makes them look for each other’s
expressions? Maybe this is ambitious? The good news is, it is often the same exact thing that makes playing the scenes such a joy and feel like every moment is fluid and obvious. It is what makes the work theatre. It
is what gives the work a chance to be art. This workshop will look at all the components of a scene and particularly what the characters are involved in, do, suffer and solve:
Game and Relationship, the two mechanisms we actors discover that can be separate and autonomous operating the scene alone or they can work in beautiful harmony combined accentuating, aggravating or foiling each other.
This workshop will work on the skills to strengthen work on game and relationship in scenes. Identifying the differences and similarities, and when the two blend seamlessly into one. Through very practical exercises and scene work the course will explore how to let the game become something you and your partner can obviously discover and joyfully heighten. Through scene work and exercises we will explore the ease, focus and confidence necessary to allow relationships to unfold. Being committed and vulnerable together for the audience will give them
characters that lure them in and make them care

* Students of this level can also register for extras.

fee: 70€ / Available slots 20
teacher: Andew Hefler
duration: 12hours in two days

Advanced Intensive B


My heart is bigger than my mouth!
Often, we find ourselves witnessing scenes of theatrical improvisation lacking scenic awareness, as though the fact itself That they’re taking on a theatrical internship had little importance.
Is that my work of making the experience of traditional text-based theater available to the improvised scenes. This workshop focuses on the importance of the character intention and awareness, and on the concept that the text comes as a consequence. Improvisers should discover the text and don’t look for the words because it does not matter so much what you say as how you say it.
It is a workshop based on non-verbal communication, pauses and silences and pantomime.
Which are paramount and indispensable to convey truth and credibility to a scene or a character. We will work on intentions before encountering words, on expressive silences and pauses as a basic part of acting, and on proxemics in general. In particular, we will
focus on:
- intention as the heart of the texts line
- the silents as a help to let grow up a scene

* Students of this level can also register for extras.

fee: 70€ / Available slots 20
teacher: Mico Pugliares
duration: 12hours in two days

Extra Course A

Quirky, witty key characters

You know a quirky character when you see one. Better off, you know a quirky character when you become one. From extraordinary-everyday people to fantastic, smirky, disgusting yet adorable creatures, all characters have something to give and teach us, as long as we let them live through us for a while and, most importantly, have fun. In this 8-hour seminar, we will explore the quirkiness of the made-up characters on stage. Why, when, and where can we find one, and how can we be one and learn to love them?

fee: 45€ / Available slots 12
teacher: Eirini Xigkaki
duration: 8 hours in two days

Extra Course B

Where’s the fun in that?

If you are one to take all comedic chances in a storytelling scene, then this course is for you. The chance for comedy is nearly always there, but it lives in a danger zone: too much and it ruins the scene. Too little and it comes off as watery, soupy garbage. Join me and follow me on an adventure: to get the last drop of comedy out of storytelling. When should I tell a joke? When do I interrupt the story? Can the characters be funny without being a nuisance? If you want eight hours of bone digging in story structure and the comedic element, if you want to learn to be funnier, more explosive and of course, more idiotic than ever, then this course is for you! Summarise the course in three words? EXCITEMENT, COMEDY, STUPIDITY, WHO PRESSED THE CAPSLOCK KEY?

fee: 45€ / Available slots 12
teacher: Stelios Anatolitis
duration: 8 hours in two days



Three hour introductory lessons for people who want to take a small peak at the world of improv. Registrations are not available online.

fee: 10€/ Available slots 20
teacher: Eirini Xygkaki


Three nights of Improv shows, available for all students

Show A

Intermediate Students / hosted by Mico
Advanced Students / hosted by Andrew
An amazing show with all our teachers
fee: FREE

Show B

Beginners rock the stage
Intermediate Students / hosted by Andrew
Advanced Students / hosted by Mico
An amazing show with all our teachers
fee: FREE



A Jam night open for all practiotioners, of all levels. You will get the oppurtunity to play short form games with everyone else, try stuff, have fun and end your retreat experience with a night full laugs.

fee: FREE / available for everyone
Host: We don't know yet :)


Retreat time table Download the full program here


Retreat Instructors

Check out our awesome Instructors for 2023.

Mico Pugliares

Advanced / Intermediate Intensives

Domenico (Mico) Pugliares was born in Sicily in 1967 but then moved to Milan in where he has lived for the last 25 years. As strange as it might seem, he holds a master's degree in Political Science.  After dedicating many years to music (he started to be on stage as a musician in 1985), he began devoting himself to the theatre.  He began studying acting at the Cooperativa Theatre in Milan with many important names of the Italian theatrical scene.  Mico started his experience of theatrical improvisation studying at the Improvisation School of Milan "Teatribù", where he became a teacher after three years of training and then Artistic Director. He continued studying improvisation with the most important international names. In the last 20 years he's been teaching theatrical improvisation techniques and acting around Italy and Europe. He’s been teaching and he has been part of many theatrical improvisation show at festivals (and private schools) in Sweden, Ireland, Portugal, England, Spain, Finland, Germany, Turkey, Switzerland, Holland, France, Denmark, Bulgary, Austria, Greece and USA. As an actor, author and director he takes part in many productions of "official" theatre, working with various theatres in Italy. Improv “philosophy” His professional path and inspirations come from merging the tools of improvisation with those of physical and text-based theatre and the idea that no-verbal is stronger than words. Improve Theatre hasn’t rules but tools and these tools should give us, with training, the necessary attitude to have a coherent improvisation on stage. How can we achieve this? With the desire to read the proposals instead of writing them

Andrew Hefler

Advanced / Intermediate Intensives

Αndrew Hefler is a performer, director, trainer working in theatre, music, film and television for nearly thirty years. He was first introduced to Improvisational theatre at the age of 10 in grade school in Los Angeles. Since then he has worked with theatre groups in the US, Canada, Europe and since 1994 in his homebase of Budapest. He was a member of the experimental impro trio Scalabouche and later he founded Grund Theatre in 2008 developing a company and training methods for actors and shows for performance. He has directed scripted and improvised theatre for repertory theatres in Hungary and Romania. He has written and produced TV for Comedy Central, AMC and RTL. He was an actor at the National Theatre of Hungary for 16 years and has taught improvisation and acting at various Universities, Bauhaus, CEU and SzFE. He travels the world running workshops, acting and directing. In his spare time he writes screenplays, songs and sings in his band. More information:

Stelios Anatolitis

Extra Course / Where is the fun in that?

Stelios is an improviser, stand up comedian, and a writer. He's been performing for more than a decade as an actor, improviser, comedian and musician. He has been teaching improv since 2014 and his main focus is characters and storytelling. He's been a part of a vast array of shows, some of them sold out, all over Greece and a founding member of House of Improv. You can find his ramblings, solo shows, music, techniques and books all over the internet, mainly on Youtube and Bandcamp.

Eirini Xygkaki

Extra Course / Quirky, witty key characters

Eirini Xigaki is a professional actress and improviser. Has studied drama at “Voutsinas drama school”. Has also studied cinema at the department of Fine Arts, of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Started performing improv in 2015 when was accepted in “Felizol improve group”. Since then has performed and teach improv in Thessaloniki and Athens. Since 2020 is teaching improv at “House Of Improv”. She is also a voice actress, a singer and had worked as an animatrice. With the theatrical group “prosehos subway’’ had studied and performed physical theater based on Anne Bogart’s methond “view points”. She is also performing ‘’Stand up comedy’’ since 2016.

Panagiotis Koudas

Organizer / Runnning Errands

Starting training in improv in 2011. Attended workshops and intensive seminars with Greek and Foreign teachers and is still does. Created his first troupe in 2011. In 2013 starting teaching in two different cities. With some of his first students created a troupe called DeMaNaiKaiNai that played continuesly in local scenes for years, toured Greece and performed abroad from 2015 until 2018. In 2015 co-created the troupe Felizol that performed in Theaters in thessaloniki for two years and regrouped in Athens in 2019. He regurarly taught classes in 4 cities in North Greece from 2015 to 2019, and also as a guest in various other cities. He is currently living in Athens where he runs School of Improv with Eirini Xigaki and Stelios Anatolitis. He has performed in numerous improv shoes varying from theater games, to long form, duos, experimental formats. He is now one of the few improvisers in Greece with nearly ten years of experience who is still active in teaching and performing.

Costs and Discounts

Costs of courses are detailed above. When registrations open, you will given access to a registration form. If you take a full course and one Extra Workshop you will get a small discount. Also for more extras there will be a discount. Final cost will be shown to you automatically at the form, so just be a little patient. You can take whatever combination of classes you want according to you need. 
Bare in mind, that these costs are ONLY ABOUT the workshops. Travelling and accomodation are not included, and are your responsibility. You will find a lot of helpfull information at the general retreat page information.

Registration Procedure

This page gives you a preview of what will take place at the retreat. At 1sth of May, we will publish a registration page with ALL the nessecary information and a form to register. You will then select the courses that interest you, you will automatically see the full cost and your registration will be sumbitted. After submission you will receive an email with a paypal link. If all is ok, after you pay your fee in the next 12 hours, you register you slots. When you send your sumbission, some or all courses might be allready full, since we will give slots accordingly to the date/hour that the submission was made. In that case, we will come back to you, with what slots are open for you, and the fee will also change accordingly. Last year most courses where fully booked in less than ten days, so dont waste time.

Also, please register for classes that are suitable for your improv experience. This is not a raceof who is the best. Our goal is to offer you the best, most suitable workshop experience according to your needs. So to make it easy for you.
1) One year or less of improv lessons, and no significant performance experience, please pick the beginners course. You also get to perform at Show B, and the Jam night.
2) One to two years of experience and a few shows on your resume, please pick the intermediate courses (one or both). You can also register for one extra course. You will perform at both shows and the Jam night
3) More than two years of experience, lots of shows on your resume and some long form experience? Pick Advanced courses (one or both). You can also register for one extra course. You will perform at both shows and the Jam night.
4) You can also skip the intensive courses and only register for the extra courses. You will perform at the Jam. 
5) In case courses of your level are booked, and you still want to come and attend a lower level course, thats ok with us. Never hurts to go back to basics.
6) If all courses are booked, and you still want to come, we will allow to attend as a spectator, at a much lower fee. Spectators do not perform at shows, or actively participate during workshops.
7) In case we receive too many applications over our courses capacity, we will add one more extra course, with its content depending on the level of you aplications. Lets see..

Got Questions?

Read all the above carefully. If you still got any question, read it again. If you still need to know something not mentioned or clarified, please feel free to contact us.
You can do so by our contact page, or our facebook page. We will get to you as soon as possible.