Festival spotlights municipal plays

There was much to dream about when DH. PE. TH.E., an ambitious network of regional municipal theaters, was first established. After a difficult but nonetheless creative period that has lasted some 20 years, the network of marginal theaters has finally come under the spotlight. Beginning this Saturday until September 12, five regional theaters based in various parts of Greece will be staging their productions at the Herod Atticus Theater in the capital as part of the Hellenic Festival. Every year, I hear that the DH. PE. TH.E. theaters are going to close. But, with great joy, I see that they are being upgraded and continuing their course, despite the difficulties, Yiannis Karahisaridis, the Hellenic Festival’s general manager, remarked at a recent press conference. This is the first time that the regional theaters, now officially included on the Hellenic Festival’s agenda, will not be paying to appear at the Herod Atticus, he added. The week’s series of plays will begin with a production by the Kozani Municipal Theater, Mias Pentaras Niata, a modern comedy written by Asimaki Gialama and Costas Pretenderis. To be presented at the Herod Atticus for the first time, it will star Eleni Gerasimidou, Harris Sozos, Christos Evthymiou and Christos Kelantonis, with music by Giorgos Zabettas. The following evening, on Sunday, the Roumeli Municipal Theater will present Moliere’s Le Medecin Malgre Lui. Directed by Yiannis Margaritis, it will star Panos Skouroliakos and Maria Kanellopoulou. The Volos Theater’s rendition of Fellini’s La Strada will follow on September 10. The play is directed by Yiannis Diamantopoulos, and stars Spyros Fokas, Titika Stassinopoulou, and Giorgos Nimnios in the main roles. On September 11, Sophocles’s Philoctetes will be presented by the Municipal Theater of Ioannina. The production is directed by Pantelis Papadopoulos with Thodoros Grampsas, Nikos Arvanitis, and Stefanos Kyriakidis in the main roles. Finally, on September 12, the series will end with a play by Andreas Thomopoulos, Socrates: Fire and Air, produced by Kavala’s Theater. It is directed by Giorgos Siskos, and stars Yiannis Mortzos as Socrates. ‘A Week of Theater’ at the Herod Atticus Theater, Dionysiou Areopagitou, tel 323.2771, 323.5582. Tickets are available from the Hellenic Festival box office, 4 Stadiou, in the Spyrou Miliou Arcade, tel 322.1459.

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