Experimental at Rouf

The National Theater of Greece is to transfer its Experimental Stage to a new private venue in the Rouf neighborhood, which is also to house the Directing School. The place is already well equipped as this is where the Theater’s Stage Sets Workshop is currently housed. The foundation of a Directing School was a joint decision by the National Theater’s director, Nikos Kourkoulos, and the director of the Experimental Stage, Stathis Livathinos. The Experimental Stage is scheduled to move to Rouf at the end of the theater season, sometime around March or April, when restoration work on the National Theater building will also begin. The move is rather urgent as the Experimental Stage has thus far been situated in a garage-like venue and also because of the need to find sufficient space for the Directing School. The new school will not open this year, despite Kourkoulos and Livathinos’s desire. Like so many other institutions, the National Theater is facing great financial problems; no move has been made toward the materialization of the Ministry of Culture’s public promises a few months ago regarding the promotion of the National Theater’s projects. In a laconic statement, Kourkoulos merely said that, unfortunately, the theater lacks the necessary money for the school to start its work at the beginning of the season, but that the school will definitely be founded. Plans for a workshop on ancient drama, to be headed by Lydia Koniordou and scheduled to start this year, look more promising. Details will be finalized at the beginning of November, upon Koniordou’s return from the US, where she is heading to perform in Aristophanes’ «Lysistrata» (in San Francisco and New York), as well as another show at Los Angeles’s Getty Museum. Koniordou’s desire to stage Aeschylus’ tragedy «The Persians» at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus next year largely depends on whether this workshop gets going or not. Regarding the restoration work, the deadline for applications to participate in the architectural competition ends tomorrow. Construction work is expected to begin around March, so, according to Kourkoulos, the New Stage, initially proclaimed closed for this season due to the expected restoration, will be able to function normally. It will house the production of Lars von Trier’s well-known – from the cinema – play «Dogville,» in a world premiere, since the director wrote the script for the play but then decided to put it straight on film. The play is to be directed by Antonis Kalogridis and Nicole Kidman’s character will be played by Natassa Kalogridi. Hence, the National Theater’s schedule for the upcoming season has now been completed: The Kappa Stage will host Henrik Ibsen’s «Hedda Gabbler,» directed by Niketi Kontouri and starring Filareti Komninou, Sophocles Peppas, Irini Igglessi, Melina Vamvaka, Themi Panou, Chryssa Spilioti and Costas Zacharakis; as well as Bertolt Brecht’s «Caucasian Chalk Circle,» directed by Costas Tsianos and featuring Lydia Koniordou, Nikos Bousdoukos, Yiannis Degaitis, Periklis Karaconstantoglou, Alexandra Pantelaki, Maria Kadife, Vasso Iatropoulou and others. The Kotopouli Stage (Rex Theater) will first repeat last season’s «Helen, Who?» written and directed by Thanassis Papathanassiou and Michalis Reppas, starring Jenny Papoutsi with last season’s cast. The comedy will be followed by Emmanouil Roidis’s «Papissa Ioanna,» (Pope Joan) adapted and directed by Dimitris Mavrikios and starring Maria Nafpliotou and Nikos Karathanos. The National Theater’s Children’s Stage will present Shakespeare’s «Midsummer Night’s Dream,» under the direction of Yiannis Iordanidis.

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