The women take control at Epidaurus
Aristophanes’ «Ecclesiazusae» is the only play by the ancient satirist never to have been staged by the Karolos Koun Theatro Technis, or Art Theater, at least until today. This is about to change as the Greek company is set to stage the play at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus this Friday and Saturday. At a press conference earlier this week, Diagoras Chronopoulos, the new director of the theater company and of the play, explained his approach to «Ecclesiazusae» and also outlined some of the changes he is planning for the ailing company, saying that «the Theatro Technis will get back on its feet.» One of the things the director wanted to do most with this production – and this is reflected in the cast – was to highlight the theater’s human dynamic again. Therefore, veterans Alexandros Mylonas is Blepyrus, Theodoros Grampsas is the neighbor, Yiannis Degaitis is Chremus and the 14 girls in the Chorus are all graduates of the Theatro Technis Drama School. The lead role is performed by Eleni Randou, who, although not a graduate of the Theatro Technis, «is a very popular comedienne who is well up to the task of taking on Aristophanes,» according to theater critic Yiannis Varveris, who also translated the play into modern Greek. «It was like taking on a huge beast but I fought it on equal ground. This is one of the most important experiences of my life,» said the leading lady. According to Chronopoulos, «Praxagora is not a woman of her times, but a she-devil who dreams of women taking over the power structures.» For tickets and information on transport to the theater, contact the Hellenic Festival box office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.928.2900.