Greek actors’ guild to honor traveling troupes

The Guild of Greek Actors will honor an unknown aspect of Greek theater, the traveling troupes, on Actor’s Day, at the Herod Atticus Theater tonight. «This year we will honor the ‘traveling thespians,’ a breed of actors that have been underestimated, although there were great names born in their ranks or passing through, including Emilios Veakis, Marika Kotopouli, Georgia Vassileiadou, Christophoros Nezer and others who are less known to the wider public,» said Andreas Varouchas, president of the union, at a recent press conference. The first traveling troupes appeared after the foundation of the modern Greek state, as the countryside was full of life and was seeking its own cultural expression. An absence of theaters, or other suitable venues, did not allow the establishment of permanent theater companies with their own stages. The Vassiliko (Royal) Theater, which existed in Athens at the time, was not able to host all the popular show, while other groups of the 1920s and 1930s could not absorb all the actors. «Those were difficult times, but also nice ones. Many people look down on the troupes and I don’t understand why. The groups were good and most of them had lots of sets and a varied repertoire,» said Vangelis Kommatas or Katsoulinos, the only troupe member who will be participating in tonight’s show. The Herod Atticus Theater stage will be transformed with lofts, where older and young actors will interpret extracts from the old troupes’ shows. The text selection and the direction are by Stelios Goutis. The Herod Atticus Theater is situated below the Acropolis. Tickets are available at the theater’s box office and the Hellenic Festival Box Office, 39 Panepistimiou, tel 210.928.2900. For credit card bookings, call the same number. Performances start at 8.30 p.m.