CULTURE

An artistic director for the New Stage

The National Theater’s New Stage has named its first-ever artistic chief, prominent actor and director Dimitris Lignadis. National Theater director Nikos Kourkoulos chose Lignadis in order to give identity to the New Stage, which was developed to promote new ideas and artists in world theater, according to Kathimerini’s sources. Kourkoulos’s sudden decision was welcomed by the theater community. Entrusting any one of the National Theater’s stages – especially the New Stage – to an artistic director is a sensible thing to do. It could bear truly imaginative fruit compared to random work staged on shapeless and impersonal stages. This happened with the National Theater’s Experimental Stage, which Stathis Livathinos took on four years ago. As a result, the Experimental Stage flourished and imparted a general spirit of renewal to the National Theater. Lignadis can offer similar hope for the New Stage. He is an artist with a solid theatrical and artistic background. He also has considerable experience in both classical and contemporary theater, and he is always willing to explore – something he has shown consistently in his career. «I was equally surprised by the proposal,» Lignadis told Kathimerini. «I’m honored, of course, but at the same time I do have a few reservations, due to my character, which is not particularly orderly. «Above all, however, it has to with the fact that my career in the theater has been somewhat anarchic, and I don’t want the responsibility of running a particular stage to put an end to that,» he said. «I want to be able to do my crazy stuff, as much as possible.» Lignadis said he initially thought about turning down the offer, but then changed his mind after considering the possibilities. «My initial reaction was to say, ‘No, don’t accept being somebody you’re not,’» he said. «But immediately, I said to myself, ‘What do you mean you’re not that person?’» He says he is talking with young colleagues about coming up with ideas that will give the stage new life and character. «Needless to say, the first period will be somewhat experimental, acting as a pilot,» he said. «All I can say at this stage is that one of the upcoming productions will be directed by Nikos Mastorakis.» Meanwhile, the National Theater has temporarily moved its headquarters to the Hora Theater in Kypseli while its offices at Aghiou Constantiou are being renovated.