CULTURE

Albanian actors to go on stage at the Neos Cosmos Theater

Making an early start this season, the Neos Cosmos Theater opens its doors on September 23, featuring no less than five productions, a co-production, a guest production and quite a few surprises. Using a temporary two-month extension in an adjacent industrial building, the theater will welcome actors such as Dimitris Piatas, Mania Papadimitriou and Dimitris Kataleifos, as well as Albanian artists. How did this year’s challenging program take shape? «The thinking behind our choices this year was rather political,» says Vangelis Theodoropoulos, the Neos Cosmos Theater’s founder, ticking off some of the theater’s productions. «We have chosen the following works: Martin McDonaugh’s ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore,’ a black comedy on terrorism which I’m directing; Julian Exea Martinez’s ‘Nicaragua: Incident 315,’ which will be directed by Mania Papadimitriou, was based on the confessions of a Sandinista. Initially published in El Pais, they were subsequently adapted for the stage. Equally political was our decision to offer the stage to Albanians. This is the third time in six years we will be dealing with immigration issues.» Both languages Slavomir Mrozek’s «Les Emigres» will go on stage on October 1 in the theater’s lower level. Featuring an all-Albanian cast and crew, performances will take place in Greek on Thursdays and Fridays and in Albanian over the weekend. (Performances will run to January 4, 2004). «There are many economic migrants from Albania living in Athens,» says Theodoropoulos. «They have the chance of going to the theater just as they might go for a beer. In any case, you never start working on a production knowing it’s going to be a success. The point is to work on things that matter. I’d rather have this kind of challenge than to employ these people to work on my land and for me to take advantage of them. Taking a political stance in the theater is not a bad thing to do.»