‘California Dreaming,’ the adventures of four adults who refuse to grow up

Vassilis Katsikonouri’s «California Dreaming» takes a look at the pathology of the young generation. Directed by Takis Tzamargias, the play is currently on at the National Theater’s Experimental Stage. Chosen by Experimental Stage director Stathis Livathinos, the play received the Best Play prize at the 2002 State Awards. «’California Dreaming’ is about the adventures of four young adults (all aged between 23 and 24), two boys and two girls, living in a state of prolonged adolescence,» says Tzamargias. «Faced with life’s new challenges – such as getting an education, working or completing their military service – all of which they consider as threatening to their existence, they choose to avoid reality, something which leads them to marginalization. When it comes to their military service, they conceive a plan which includes immigrating to California and living in a commune. As they don’t actually have the money for something like this, the group’s leader Dinos urges the others to rob his aging uncle, who, though never appearing on stage, is a very interesting character with a metaphysical presence. The two girls fall under his spell and the same happens to the guy, who takes over when they fail to get the money…» «The public is bound to enjoy the play,» says the director. «It is based on this kind of attitude inherited by the young today, the idea that you can achieve much more when making less of an effort. On the other hand, I was very anxious to see how representative these kids were of a whole generation, as opposed to just being members of a marginal group. With the playwright’s permission, we removed some elements, while stressing others.» The director worked with talented yet particularly young actors, all stemming from the Experimental Stage’s workshop. According to Tzamargias, Dimosthenis Eleftheriadis, Stathis Mantzoros, Katerina Fotiadi and Evi Saoulidou all «worked on demanding dialogues for virtuoso actors.» The production also benefited from Platonas Andritsakis’s music, Maria Konomi’s stage and costume design, Zoe Hadziandoniou’s movement direction and Simos Sarketzis’s lighting. The play is being staged at the National Theater’s Experimental Stage, at 22 Aghiou Constantinou Street. For information, call 210.522.3242.