Graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1975). Additional theatre directing and drama studies at the Wűrtemberg State Theatre (1980-1981).
Actor at: The Open Space Theatre, London (1975), Karolos Koun Art Theatre, Athens (1975-77), Theatriki Syntechnia, Athens (1977-1980).
Joint founder, director and actor of Theatriki Syntechnia (1977-1980). Tours to many festivals in Greece and abroad (United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland).
Freelance director: From 1977 until 1990, Yannis Houvardas steadily collaborates with national and state theatres in Greece and abroad, having directed more than 30 plays by –among others– Euripides (Alcestis, The Trojan Women, Phoenician Women, Medea, Electra, Hippolytus, Ifigeneia in Aulis), Sophocles (Electra), Herondas (Mime-iambics), Ben Jonson (Volpone), Tirso de Molina (Don Juan), Fernando de Rojas (Celestina), Moliere (Tartuffe), Racine (Phaedra), Kleist (Penthesilea), Strindberg (The Ghost Sonata, The Storm), Wedekind (Lulu), Brecht (The Good Person of Szechwan, Man equals Man, Baal), Genet (The Balcony, The Maids), Williams (Summer and Smoke), Xenopoulos (Temptation), contemporary playwrights, musicals etc., staged at theatres such as the National Theatre of Greece, the State Theatre of Northern Greece, the Athens and Epidaurus Festivals, the La Mama Theatre of New York, the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden, the National Theatre of Norway, the Norwegian Theatre of Oslo, the State Theatre of Trondheim (Norway), the Municipal Theatre of Stockholm, the State Theatre of Wiesbaden, the Lilla Teatern (Helsinki), and the Tribühne Theatre (Stuttgart).
Founder and Artistic Director of Notos Theatre Company, a company dedicated to producing new work and pursuing international theatrical collaborations (1991-2007), where he directed plays by Shakespeare (Othello, Twelfth Night, Macbeth), Goethe (Stella, Clavigo), Euripides (Ifigeneia in Aulis –coproduced with the La Mama Theatre of New York), Racine (Phaedra, Berenice), Bruckner (The Disease of Youth), Ibsen (Hedda Gabler), Chekhov (The Three Sisters), Horvath (Zur schoenen Aussicht), Zola (Thérèse Raquin), Webster (The Duccess of Malfi), Sternheim (Die Hose), Euripides (Helen), Lesage (Turcaret), Dimitriadis (The Diizziness of Animals Before the Slaughter), Kawabata (House of the Sleeping Beauties), Coward (Private Lives), Fosse (Beautiful), Lessing (Miss Sara Sampson).
At the same time he organised and directed the venue, collaborating with the most prominent Greek and foreign artists. For 17 years Notos was the leading subsidized private theatre in Greece, with many participations in international festivals.
Since 1999, he has also been directing plays and operas abroad, working among others at the Gothenburg Opera, the Geek National Opera and the Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden, the National Theatre of Norway, the Neumarkt Theatre of Zurich, the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Residenztheater in Munich, the Thalia Theater in Hamburg etc.
He has directed the following operas: Strauss' Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier and Die Frau ohne Schatten, Pοulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites, Offenbach's Hoffmanns Erzählungen, Wagner's Parsifal, Mozart's Don Giovanni and Haendels Alcina.
From 2007 to 2013, he served as Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Greece, where he directed the following plays: Tales from the Vienna Woods (co-production with the Athens Festival), The Nightmare of Happiness, Uncle Vanya, Orestes (for the Epidaurus Festival), Emilia Galotti, Pericles, Mourning becomes Electra. During the same time, as a free-lance, he directed Ibsen's The Masterbuilder and Fosse's Death Variations.
As a free-lance, he recently directed Shakespeare's Hamlet for the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Richard III for the National Theatre of Greece, and Brecht's The Threepenny Opera for Pallas Theatre in Athens.