In April and May of 2010, Eamonn Farrell, Jessica Weinstein and Liz Davito will be going to Athens, Greece for a month to work with an ensemble of Greek artists on a new piece of theatre. The new (as of yet untitled) project will re-imagine Euripides's "The Bacchae" as a "rock doc" tracing the return of a Greek/American rock star to Greece amidst a world tour circa 1993. The piece will draw from the ancient text's theme of an invading foreign culture clashing with the pre-existing one; we intend to use this narrative in a non-polemic way to explore issues surrounding the spread of the English language and Anglo/American culture and the effects that it has on local culture, both positive and negative.
The aesthetic of the production will draw heavily from documentary films of the early nineties - especially American documentaries following touring bands and Greek documentaries about Rebetiko music. The staging will largely be composed of the makings of a continuous documentary video, projected live for the audience to see. Cameras will frame actors portraying characters in the story as though they are being interviewed or captured live for the documentary. Cameras will also visually amplify performances of the live musicians and dancers.
Last summer, Athens-based composer William Antoniou came to New York and worked with the three of us on an original piece of music theater called "a Wonderland" and an exciting new collaboration was born. More
recently, Skype has been crackling with our collective excitement about this new project that uses Rebetiko music, a style of 20th century Greek music often times referred to as the "Blues of Greece." Will has a background in theatre composition, but his passion is for Rebetiko and he regularly works with the amazing musicians in Athens' current Rebetiko scene.
The project has backing from the Hellenic/American University in Athens, and this support will cover much of the production costs (venue and equipment rental, artist fees, publicity etc.). Also, our Greek collaborators have secured a donated rehearsal space for the month and an apartment for us to stay in. The University funds will not, however, cover the costs of bringing the three of us over to Greece for the month. We need your help to get there!
Two other potential funding sources failed to come through for us — a Greek governmental agency (we all know what happened there) and an American foundation. So now, here in the home stretch, we're coming to you to help us make this amazing opportunity happen! Our $3,000 kickstarter goal will just cover our three flights and metro passes in Athens. Our real goal is to raise $6,000 which would mean we could each have a modest per diem of $250 a week to cover less essential costs (like food) while in Greece. Any funds over $6,000 will go towards the production costs. Basically, every little bit helps. We hope you can help us make this dream a reality!
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