Getting ready to launch a new summer production with Aristophanes’ Acharnians, directed by Varnavas Kyriazis, and to reload the performances of Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, directed by Alexia Papalazarou, the Cyprus Theatre Organisation (THOC) gives the restart signal on theatre life, thus exiting lockdown in alignment with state provisions regarding health and safety.
Taking into account all health parameters THOC has decided in spite of possible adversities to step into the frontline and send a powerful message. With an eye to support the community of artists and in acknowledgement that the art of theatre, as an irreplaceable element of social civilisation can only be brought to fruition through live contact between actors and audience, THOC is preparing to stage two performances in outdoor venues. In doing so, we are positive that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the productions will initiate a gradual return to cultural normality. Challenging though it may be, this endeavour is encouraged by the artists themselves, as they have repeatedly expressed their support and intention.
Our town – a play about the importance of life– opened last February 2020, launching THOC’s newly-established stage “Beyond Premises” with performances on tour to remote areas of Cyprus including municipalities and communities in collaboration with the Commissioner for the Development of Mountain Regions.
The summer premiere of the play will be given on 9 June, first day of Phase III of the lockdown lift, where outdoor theatres will open. Our town will be presented at Makarios III Amphitheatre, on the 9 -12 June.
Acharnians, the earliest of Aristophanes’ extant plays, which castigates war and brings out the importance of collective responsibility and peaceful coexistence will give performances in Nicosia from the 28 -31 July. Performances on tour will be announced shortly.
Lastly, the eighth screening of Aristophanes’ Clouds marked the completion of THOC’s free online screenings (with more than 17.500 hits). The initiative gave theatre-goers the opportunity to watch some of the best highlights in the Organisation’s earlier and recent history, and to remember actors and performances that have determined its course through the years. In addition to extending warm thanks to all those who have made the free screenings possible, THOC has decided to offer €100 to each of the 140 artists as a token of gratitude for their contribution during the trying period of the pandemic.
Photo: Rehearsals of Our Town, Cyprus Theatre Organisation