LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes, adapted by Costas Montis

THEPAK (Theatrical Workshop of the University of Cyprus), Cyprus
Parallel Event for the “Costas Montis’ Year”

7 July, Archontiko of Axiothea
8 July, Archontiko of Axiothea

The 18th International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama honors the memory of the Cypriot poet Costas Montis and presents as a parallel event, in the context of the “Costas Montis’ Year” celebrations, Aristophanes’ famous antiwar comedy
Lysistrata, translated into Cypriot dialect by Cyprus’ most prominent contemporary poet. The production is presented by THEPAK (Theatrical Workshop of the University of Cyprus) and is directed by Michalis Pieris at the Archontiko of Axiothea. The entrance for this event will be free.

 

Adaptation and stage direction: Michalis Pieris
Music: Evagoras Karagiorgis
Set and costumes: Christos Lysiotis, Eliana Chrysostomou
Movement coaching: Michalis Pieris
Choreography: Elena Christodoulidou
Lighting: Giorgos Koukoumas
Sound supervision: Stamatia Laoumtzi
Technical support: Kyriakos Kakoullis
Production manager, assistant director: Stamatia Laoumtzi

Cast
Lysistrata: Christina Pieri
Magistrate: Dimitris Pitsilis
Myrrhine: Myria Hadjimatthaiou
Cinesias: Stavros Aroditis
Coryphaeus of Old Men: Michalis Yangou
Coryphaeus of Women: Eftychia Georgiou
Lampito: Miranda Nychidou
Calonice: Angela Savvidou
Old Man: Chariton Iosifides
Old Woman: Michalis Michael.
Chorus of Old Men / Chorus of Women: all members of THEPAK


Director’s note:

[…] Working with this masterpiece of a text, we discovered new virtues of the Cypriot dialect, we tasted the rare literary juices of Montis’ creativity, and enjoyed the flexibility and adaptability that characterise this beautiful dialect of the Greek language. But above all, we saw in practice how vigorous Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is as a theatrical text, but also how powerful is its translation into modern Cypriot dialect by the most prominent contemporary poet of Cyprus. So powerful, yet so effortless that it breathes with the breath of the people of Cyprus.

Thus, the director’s approach was based on the understanding that Montis’ Lysistrata should be staged in the context of the demotic and folk tradition, not least because the Cypriot poet’s language and choicespoint to this precise direction. However, we set on ourselves two conditions. First, not to interfere in any way with the meaning and the dramatic structure of the ancient text (which Montis fully respected), and second, not to fall into the trap of turning the play into a parody by overemphasising folk elements. With these thoughts in mind, I asked my collaborators to enter into a creative dialogue with the timeless values of the rich Cypriot tradition in all aspects of stage realisation: articulation, music, costumes, movement and dance. We sought to identify elements of the ethos, which characterised the traditional Cypriot society, that we believed had survived, albeit partially, in modern times, we studied them carefully, and we tried to benefit from them without resorting to slavish imitation. […]

Michalis Pieris

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