On and off stage, an artist’s first play is a journey of self-discovery

Every Monday and Tuesday evening, or on Fridays just after midnight, Ioanna Michalakopoulou, daughter of the actors Giorgos and Athina Michalakopoulou, can be found sitting in the audience of the Vassilakou Theater in the Kerameikos area watching the play that is her directorial debut. Following several experiences as an assistant director – «Medea» with Nikaiti Koundouri, «Miss Julia» with Andreas Voutsinas, and «The Clouds» with Korai Damati, among others – she is now staging her own play. «Tita-Lou» by the French actress and playwright Catherine Anne is a tender play that follows the adventures of two sisters, Tita and the blind Lou, as they journey from Brittany in France to Palermo, Sicily. Spiritual fulfillment Guided by a magic stone given to them by their father, they seek a mysterious miracle-worker called Le Du. During the course of their journey, the two young women discover love, face abandonment and find spiritual fulfillment. «The relationship between sisters and all its manifestations are very familiar to me as I have a sister myself,» says Michalakopoulou. «The main thing is the bond between them and the way in which they both mature through all the difficulties they encounter. Of course, this could also apply to any relationship that involves only two people. I was charmed by Catherine Anne’s writing and by the hidden role of the man – who never appears on stage throughout the play – who proves to be the most wronged of all.» Michalakopoulou’s debut was rather stressful, though the director thoroughly enjoyed working with the two lead actresses, Thomaida Androutsou and Elena Lariou. What made her want to be a director? «It was not a conscious choice. The director’s position, the third eye that watches from below and from behind the scenes, is the most familiar vantage point for me as I watched my parents [both actors] ever since I was a child. To reveal myself openly as an actor is something completely foreign which does not suit me well at all. I found another way.» «Tita-Lou» is on stage at the Vassilakou Theater, 3 Profiti Daniil, Kerameikos, tel 010.346.7735, Mondays through Tuesdays at 9.15 p.m. and Fridays at 0.15 a.m. until April 28. The Count of Monte Cristo

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