Archive for August, 2012

Summer 2012

Friday, August 10th, 2012

JUNE: It has been a truly rewarding summer.

It began with the conclusion of GF&CO’s Second Salon Season: Three Salons of our unique brand of work-in-progress showings where we put One-Thought-One-Action (OTOA)tm into Action in an intimate setting, along with wine and light refreshments and engaging talk-backs between company members and guests.

This season was extra special as we experimented with a mash-up of genre’s between Greek-Tragedy and Film Noir, creating our very own genre that we are calling Greek-Noir, Our experiments in Greek Noir with Euripides’s MEDEA, Anouilh’s ANTIGONE, and Sophocles’ OEDIPUS REX were received with great enthusiasm, and have lead to a project that we will be developing over the next year: To Be Announced! Stay Tuned!

JULY: Next was my 18 day visit to Greece where I was invited to teach 3 workshops of OTOA at the International Festival of Making Theater, in Athens -a truly joyous occasion!

I met international teachers and students of theater and was deeply gratified to have OTOA so well received despite language differences.

The students were wonderful: focused, eager to learn, courageous, supportive to one another and talented.

The faculty (some of whom are pictured below) was terrific: a brain trust of information, good humor, generosity, professionalism and intelligence from all over the world!

The Theater of Changes, the hosting institution, was superbly organized, accommodating, supportive kind and welcoming.

I also had the honor of performing a staged reading at the festival of one of my original movement-theater scripts: The Purpose of Existence or Should I Keep the Dog? And was honored to be accompanied by the wonderful acting and generosity of George Simondidies, with stage directions and support by Zoe Tsavdarides.

Before and after the festival I took the opportunity to do a little bit of traveling and visited two of the Greek islands, Spetses (with my former OTOA student and actress from Lee Strasberg in NYC, Athena Deliadi), and Santorini with my brother Jozeph Forakis.

I met distant relatives on my YiaYia’s (Greek for grandmother) side of the family and saw many significant Greek ruins: The Acropolis, Epidarus, Delphi, and Akritiri (the “lost” city of Atlantis).

My time in Greece was penetrating on many levels: I was warmed by the sun; Nourished by the food; Revitalized by the crystal clear Aegean waters; Invigorated by the engagement of theater in an international level; and I was inspired by the epic proportions of time that one experiences all at once -a the mythical and magical lure of the ancient history of my heritage.
The remainder of July was really spent mourning my having to return from such an enchanting journey.

AUGUST: GF&CO Training this Sunday, and this weekend a GF&CO Business Retreat to plan ahead for our activities in the coming year. More to come!

Post Script on Greece:
Yes, I saw the despairing crisis that Greece is facing in numerous examples. I saw it in the empty storefronts, the boarded up buildings, and in the crumbling infrastructure as modern day Greece seems to be joining its ancient ruins.
But, worse, was that I also saw it in the surprising numbers of drug addicts who populated the streets of Athens in the district near my hotel. It reminded me of the East Village, NYC in the 1980’s before you could get a cappuccino on Ave A, much less Ave D, when you didn’t walk in Alphabet City alone at night because you might accidentally stumble upon drug dealers, drug users, or gun fights—and/or get mugged (and I did, in 1982).

However, the Greek version was different. There was nothing covert about it. It was not hidden by a cloak of night. Late in the afternoon the zombies, as I came to call them, would come out into the streets lost in their heroin “dance” and balancing on the edge of reality. They were shooting up in broad daylight, just a block away from the police stationed on the corner in full SWAT gear ready to break up a protest or a riot. They did not care about the users or the dealers. The Zombies lay naked on the sidewalk in an act of interrupted sex, or “floated” in the oncoming traffic, or formed silent tableaux’s along the sidewalks –talk about theater! THIS IS THE REAL GREEK TRAGEDY!

This, along with it’s mythical past, it’s epic beauty, its charm, and spirit—kefee– is the current terrain of Greece.
The blatant signs of desperation are heart crushing. The crashing economy is no longer an abstraction. A country is more than its gross product, or its bank revenue. It is made of people and their life-force. These visions of Greece’s crisis are an outward expression of how a corrupt government can poison the soul of this once heroic nation.