Stelios Sofos, director for Forkinas Theatre Group, as part of it's celebration for 20 years, put on this meaningful play about the women of Ithaca, an idea he came across many years earlier when he discovered a book by the same name in the municipal library. The book marked happy, poor, hard and lonely times for the women of Ithaca who were left behind while they fathers, husbands and sons sailed for shores elsewhere to find work or to go to war, as told by some of the women themselves through stories and letters they wrote to their loved ones. This play tells some of the stories through the decades from early 1900's through to the 1953 earhtquake
Like Odysseus, Ithacans have left the island to look for wealth and fortune elsewhere for centuries. It is part of the island's core and thus the great connection to Odysseas, but for the women left behind, sometimes for a lifetime, with the only connection to the men who left, through money sent, or the children that were conceived on the rare visits home, life was a constant struggle through unbelievable hardships and loneliness. They worked hard like men and raised their sons to leave like their fathers and their daughters to be given away with a dowry, and through arranged marriages. Sometimes the daughters would be sent to distant lands, like Australia.
One of the most poignant moments for me was when Golfo Tarkaziki sang. Her tender voice had all the emotion of what this play stood for. Excellent.
The simple stage settings were so effective in showing the stark reality of that time. Difficult and simple times well portrayed until moody lighting.
Cast in order of performance
Photographer - Alexandros Taflampas | Woman 1 - Maria Andrianatou | Woman 2 - Tomi Paizi | Ioulia - Maria Koughiannou | Gerasimos - Tasos Grimpiotis | Kimon - Spyros Mpouas | Dornika - Tomi Dendrinou | Young Gerasimos - Alexandros Tofalos | Woman 3 - Georgia Kontomixalou | Man 1 - Gerasimos Deftereos | Eugenia - Dionisia Vittoratou | Woman 4 & Argyri - Rosa Baxevanou | Woman 5 - Nikolettta Kakareli | Woman 6 - Litsa Diamantatou | Ioulia of Antoni - Mina Papoulia | Barba Panos - Mixalis Kartanos | Young Ioulia - Tina Koumpoura | Argyri - Pistoula Marouli | Woman who Sang - Golfo Tarkaziki | Man 2 - Loukas Voulgaris
Behind the Scenes
Director - Stelios Sofof | Script - Yiota Kontogeorgopoulou | Video - Omiros Kostopoulos | Lighting - Evstathia Drakontaeidi | Costumes - Tomi Dendrinou | Music and sundry - Maria Andriantou | Photographs - Yiannis Mpouas - Themilis | Hair - Dodoris Katsarelias and Antigoni Tsigona | Poster design - Matina Saranti
Special Thanks to: Ithaca Council | The Cultural Committee of Ithaca | The Vathy Cinema | KAPI | The Environmental Education Center | Erika Bach | Tilemahos Karavias for photographic materials/printing