A theater becomes a refuge

«The protagonists here are the members of a family of immigrants, stemming from one of the countries of the former Soviet Union – it doesn’t really matter which one,» said author-director Nikos Kamtsis to Kathimerini recently. His play, «Horos, Aoratos, Vouvos» (Invisible, Silent Dance), awarded the 2nd State Playwright Prize in 2002, opened last Saturday at the Topos Allou theater – the venue it was originally written for. A dilapidated neoclassical building situated on Kefallinias and Kykladon streets only a few years ago has become one of the capital’s most welcoming stages of theatrical productions. «Three years have gone by. I conceived the idea for the play at the time when the Topos Allou theater was under construction,» said Kamtsis, who also undertook to direct the play. «I was inspired after meeting many immigrants during the creation of the Center for Popular Theater Studies as well as the renovation of Topos Allou. What do these people, who clean our homes and take on jobs that we don’t want to do, carry in their luggage? When we face each other, they appear all closed up… Yet if we go beyond the surface, we will discover a whole culture. This became my starting point.» A family of immigrants, therefore, stand center stage, including a mother and her two daughters, carrying the coffin of the dead husband and father on wheels. They cannot bury him, for they don’t have the necessary papers. Besides this, they have to dance for him, a tradition from the country they left behind – a final ritual before the great departure. They find refuge in a theater’s warehouse. The play’s first part takes place in the theater’s foyer, where the actors storm in as the public is waiting for the play to begin. The main action, however, takes place on the central stage, featuring old props and period costumes – an arc of feelings and memories. The cast Prominent Greek actress Olga Tournaki interprets the role of the mother, joined by P. Panagou, Mariana Lagourou, Mirka Kresteniti, St. Syros and G. Menediatis. The costumes are by Mika Panagou, sets by Panagou, Silva Buchvarova and Vasili Rocomanov, music by Platon Andritsakis and choreography by Aliki Kazouri. Topos Allou theater, 17 Kefallinias & Kykladon, tel 210.865.6004.