Women seize power to save democracy at Herod Atticus

The play that essentially marks the transition of Attic Comedy from Old to Middle is being staged at the Herod Atticus Theater this evening in a production by one of the country’s most promising young theater troupes. The seven-year-old Municipal Regional Theater of Kozani, based in northern Greece, will be appearing at the ancient odeon with Aristophanes’ comic «Ecclesiazusae» (or the «Women of the Assembly,» taught possibly in 392 BC), directed by Nana Nikolaou and Vassilis Myrianthopoulos. This is the company’s 28th production in a roster that includes classical and contemporary plays. This caustic satire stars some of the country’s finest comedy actors: Martha Karayianni as Praxagora, Tassos Halkias as Blepyrus, Dimitris Mavropoulos as Chremes, and Eleni Gerasimidou as the old woman. Furthermore the music will be performed live. The sets are by Christina Costea, costumes by Anna Macherianaki and the music by Costas Haritatos. Household from within «Ecclesiazusae,» which was written between «The Frogs» and «Plutus» and is Aristophanes’ second-to-last surviving play, reveals a democracy in a deadlock, in which there is no collective agreement, to whose rescue come the women, marching onto the assembly as one united army. In the Hellenic Festival program (of which the performance is a part), Elsa Andrianou writes: «The female utopia of ‘Ecclesiazusae’ is about the household from within, the crushing defeat of ambitious – and unfortunate – politics by material comfort, the predominance of primary needs, gastronomic delight and sexual repletion over the obsolete ruling of grandiose ideas.» Tickets for tonight’s performance cost 55, 45, 34, 24 and 18 euros. They can be purchased at the Hellenic Festival Box Office (located inside the arcade at 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.928.2900) or the Herod Atticus Theater Box Office.

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