CULTURE

Political drama still relevant today

“How powerless can human nature be when it is called upon to defend the important questions of life?» This is the central theme running through Friedrich Schiller’s 1800 play «Mary Stuart,» one of the most famous political dramas of all time, which will be opening at the Kefallinias Street Theater this evening. The production is directed by Nikos Mastorakis and stars two top Greek actresses; Reni Pittaki in the title role and Betty Arvaniti as Queen Elizabeth I. History repeated «I have a feeling that history is repeating itself,» said Mastorakis at a recent press conference. «The reason we selected this play to stage was that we wanted to readdress certain fundamental questions.» The plot of «Mary Stuart» is centered on the conflict between two great queens: Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I who become caught up in a dance of death, weighed down by political interests and religious fanaticism – elements that can easily be found in today’s world. Arvaniti described her character, Elizabeth, as «a woman who has dedicated her life to politics. An iron lady who hides the intense insecurity and fear she feels deep inside.» On the role of Mary, Pittaki said: «We observe the last three days of her life. We encounter her in prison, where she has sunk into a pit of despair and guilt. The religious facet of the play is not what interests me but the testimony of human dignity. This is what Mary Stuart defended.» The sets for the production are designed by Eva Manidaki with costumes by Yiannis Metsikoff. The other roles are played by Alexandros Mylonas, Demosthenes Papadopoulos, Nikos Arvanitis and Babis Sariyiannidis, among others. «Mary Stuart,» at the Kefallinias Street Theater, 22 Kefallinias, Kypseli, tel 210.883.8727.