Loizides Theatre Group to stage ‘Helen of Troy’ Sept. 24 at WCSU
Danbury performance of Euripides play sponsored by Macricostas Foundation
DANBURY, CONN. —The internationally acclaimed Leonidas and Eftychia Loizides Theatre Group will stage a performance of the classical Greek play “Helen of Troy” by Euripides on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, at Western Connecticut State University.
The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited. The presentation has been made possible by a grant from the foundation of Brookfield industrialist and philanthropist Constantine “Deno” Macricostas and his wife Marie.
The Loizides Theatre Group, founded by Greek director and actor Leonidas Loizides, will bring “Helen of Troy” to Danbury after the production premieres in the United States with an off-Broadway run during September at the First Floor Theatre in New York City. The company, a nonprofit group dedicated to sharing the achievements of Greek culture through theatrical performance of ancient Greek drama, will continue its international tour this fall with presentations of the Euripides play at venues in the United States, Canada and Europe.
The celebrated classical Greek actress Eftychia Loizides will direct an American cast in this fall’s production of “Helen of Troy.” Renowned in Greece for her acting performances in Greek dramas on stage and television, she also has garnered critical praise abroad for her leading roles in previous touring productions by Leonidas Loizides of “Oresteia” by Aeschylus and “Iphigenia in Tauris” by Euripides. In her blog notes about the current production, she observed that the tragedy of “Helen” is rooted in a hopeless human quest for the ideal.
“With this play, Euripides tried to teach us that our absolute tyrant is our utopia,” she said. “Our whole life is the chase of an ideal situation that we will never reach, but still we torture ourselves being its servants. Yet we should realize that we serve a tyrant that rules over us and to whom we will never be able to say ‘no,’ because Helen has a beautiful face.”
Leonidas Loizides studied acting in New York and earned a degree in film directing at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts before pursuing a successful early career as an actor of Greek stage and cinema. Over the past two decades, he has emerged as a prolific, award-winning director of theatre and film productions ranging from contemporary works by some of the world’s most celebrated playwrights to the classical Greek tragedies. His founding of the Loizides Theatre Group has brought the plays of Euripides and Aeschylus to international audiences in North America, England, France and Cyprus.
This year’s “Helen of Troy” production is based on a new poetic adaptation of the play in English by Dr. Louis Markos, professor of English and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist College. Program notes for the “Helen of Troy” performance observed that the play was written by Euripides in 412 B.C. and first performed in ancient Athens at a time when the population had grown disillusioned with military ventures abroad, echoed in the lament of one of the protagonists in the play over the useless sacrifices made and years wasted in pursuit of the ideal expressed in Helen.
“Euripides condemns war and considers that it only brings destruction,” the program notes said. “The war is a madness, a fallacy that has pitiful results. His faith in peace and repulsion for war led him to write this tragedy as a cry of the heart of a pacifist.”
The performance marks the third consecutive year that Western has hosted the presentation of a Loizides Theatre Group production sponsored by the Macricostas Foundation. The group’s previous WCSU performances have included Aeschylus’ “Oresteia” in fall 2010 and Euripides’ “Iphigenia in Tauris” in fall 2011.
For more information, call (203) 837-8793.
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