The Fever: A play for some thought and humanity

Alone in a hotel room, a woman is running a high temperature. Her temporary ill health gives her time and a sort of feverish lucidity to think about the kind of world she lives in.

Wallace Shawn?s award-winning work ?The Fever? goes on stage at the Karolos Koun Technis Theater for three nights — Thursday, Friday and Saturday — with all proceeds from the performances going to the Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) humanitarian charity.

The play, which earned the New York City-born actor-playwright his second Obie (Off-Broadway Theater Award), stars Carrie Sharp Gerolymbos and is directed by Jeanna L?Esty.

??The Fever? deals with rather uncomfortable issues,? Sharp Gerolymbos told Kathimerini English Edition. ?It?s a monologue written for a female or male actor which basically examines a number of urgent social and political issues that are very apparent to all of us today. I think it resonates with a lot of us who have a secure life in the West and I would go as far as to say that we are living in an age of increased polarization between rich and poor and although after World War II there was a dream of greater equality and greater prosperity for everyone, we in the West have prospered at the expense of the people in the Third World. The gap has grown.?

For the British-born, Athens-based actress, the play is a continuation of her previous involvement in fundraising in the aftermath of the conflict that took place in the Gaza Strip in 2009.

Although no specific countries are named in the play — Shawn may well have been referring to the South American region at the time he penned it — the Technis Theater production does make one think of the tormented Middle East region.

Besides the theatrical event?s humanitarian character, ?The Fever? is a personal challenge for Sharp Gerolymbos, who is making her return to the stage after five years. Trained in London and Munich, the actress came to Greece at a young age. She subsequently married a Greek, raised a family on Greek soil and has over the years participated in various English-language productions with several theater companies.

At the same time, actress-director L?Esty is a frequent commuter between Greece and Britain. British on her father?s side, L?Esty?s mother, Thalia Kouri, was a prominent Greek stage actress and a founding member of the Technis Theater.

At the landmark Plaka theater, ?The Fever? acts as a reflection of troubled times, while the geographical proximity between Greece and Gaza adds another dimension.

?The play is a journey through the mind of the performer who is running a fever. The high temperature helps her to sort out things in her mind in a sort of dreamlike way,? said Sharp Gerolymbos, who added, ?Greece has suffered as well, people here can identify with the kind of suffering that the Palestinian people are going through.?

Technis Theater is located at 14 Frynichou Street in Plaka (tel 210.322.2464). For tickets, call 210.618.2624 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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