CULTURE

Avalanche of drama falls on Athens

At a time that is somewhat difficult for the arts due to the tense international environment, Athens prepares for the theatrical winter season with over 300 plays that are scheduled to continue into the spring. Though many of the halls will have to be air conditioned in this late-September heat wave, indoor theaters are preparing to meet the public. Kicking off the season The first rendezvous is tomorrow night at the Alkyonida Theater where the Moderno Theatro company is staging Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman. The story is based around a power- and cash-hungry banker, played by Giorgos Messalas who is also the play’s director. The two female leads will be performed by Aphrodite Grigoriadou and Demi Themeli while the sets and costumes are designed by the talented and prolific Yiannis Metsikoff. On October 3, the Moussouri Theater will open its doors once more to William Russell’s Shirley Valentine, a play directed by Nikos Karagiorgou which stars Mirka Papaconstantinou and which had a successful run at the Ivi Theater last spring. On October 4, comedy takes the stage at the Athinon Theater as director Yiannis Iordanidis presents Ken Ludwig’s Will Someone Get the Phone? which stars Anna Panayiotopoulou and Pavlos Haikalis. The main heroes of this story are a couple of second-rate 1950s actors touring with two plays, while dreaming of grandeur and the opportunity to play in an Alfred Hitchcock film. They are thwarted when the great director prefers Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. The Technohoros ipo Skian theater will open on October 10 with another run of The Lamenter, directed by Stathis Livathinos. With this play, the Ithopion Theatro company pays tribute to novelist Alexandros Papadiamantis, celebrating 150 years since his birth. Laengsfeld also talked about the problems in Greece regarding education in film. It is a shame that there are no state-run film schools in Greece. At the International Festival of the Munich Higher Institute of Film [which Laengsfeld founded and directs], Greek films are always in the mediocre category. New directors do indeed learn something in private schools, but they need much more. Schools must go after the people with talent. Talent is something that cannot be taught, but it can be nurtured and developed. The role of a school is to provide technical knowledge and a theoretical background; somewhere in between a school becomes an art academy that helps its students develop as artists and individuals, argues the German film professor.