Salonica theater tribute

“Days of Expression and Creation» is the name of the small theater festival organized in Thessaloniki by the Friends of the Melina Mercouri Foundation as a tribute to theater nine years after the actress’s death. The festival’s main feature is the Exhibition of Theatrical Expression with material revealing the history of 10 Thessaloniki theater groups as well as the work of great stage and costume designers, both young and old, including Spyros Vassileiou, Liza Zaimi, Vassilis Fotopoulos, Dimitris Mytaras, Dionysis Fotopoulos, Ioanna Papandoniou, Denny Vachlioti, Yiannis Kyrou, Giorgos Patsas, Phaidon Patrikalakis and others. Models of stage scenery, costumes, photographs, posters, publications and accessories (hats, jewelry and masks just to mention a few) pay tribute to the 50-year history of theater activity in Thessaloniki. The material has been provided by the National Theater of Northern Greece (NTNG) and the city’s opera house but also by experimental and research theaters, namely the Parathlassi Theater, the Thessaloniki New Theater, the Anazitisi Theater, the Nees Morfes theater group, the Liki Vithou Theater, the Art Theater Aktis Aeliou, the Nemesis Team and the theater section of the Fine Arts Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. There is also material from Thessaloniki’s progressive theater groups, the Free Theater of Kyriazis Haratsaris and the theatrical workshop and the Supervision of Dramatic Arts of Roula Pateraki. The NTNG has contributed 20 costumes, painted models and other accessories selected from various performances between 1962 and 2000, in an attempt to point out the different approaches to ancient and modern theater. Two costumes by Liza Zaimi from Sikelianos’s «Sybilla» in 1962 and costumes by Denny Vachlioti from Volanakis’s «Medea» in 1976 are on display along with costumes by Yiannis Kyrou for «The Birds,» staged in 1973, and other costumes by Titi Kyriakidi, also from a 1994 production of «The Birds.» There are also photographs from the 20-year-old Dance Theater, as well as stage scenery, costumes and models from the Thessaloniki Opera House. The exhibition opens today at the Helexpo fair grounds. Theatrical shows will be put on simultaneously by the groups that have participated in the exhibition, while the International Theater Institute will celebrate International Theater Day (March 27) in Thessaloniki.

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