A live, modern scene, which will listen to the new generation, advocates the "Little Folk", according to the director, the patriotic director Sofija Vigenopoulou, who this year welcomes children and teenagers in her new "home", a refurbished ground floor of the REX theater.
With performances and proposals for young people of all ages, the renovated national and theater theater for children and adolescents for this year chooses to focus on "we" and dedicates their repertoire to our knowledge of each other. There are four works in it, each of which, from its own perspective, helps research human relationships, the concept of empathy and the mirror, which is our every contact with others.
After a decade in the US, where she studied drama, drama and drama therapy and child psychology, she returned to Athens in 2001 in Athens. She came to the teenage theater of 2009. She is co-founder of Grasshopper (2005) and her artistic leader Young from Grasshopper, who led our teenage theater in our country. She thinks that the theater has the "power to activate young people, bring about changes that all ages and every society needs."
Sofia Vgenopoulou talked to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency and Nadia Bakopoulou for the artistic and educational actions of a small nationalist and her ambition to inspire and encourage young people to discover the potential they have in themselves.
– How important is the fact that this year's Little National has its own home?
After a great effort, a dream comes true. Because the whole story of renovation, protection of infrastructure, life and without life was not a simple matter. I believe that this decision of the National Theater for the creation of the venue lives for children and adolescents, a scene that will talk with an active educational program and will attempt to take young viewers and become co-creators has a huge symbolic sign. It shows the way in which priorities need to be made and how young people in this place have access to culture, stimulus, good theater experience and very clear opportunities to be creative too.
– When Stathis Livathinos suggested that you take a bike for Mali National Theater, did you face him as a challenge?
At first, I responded with fear, and then I rejoiced because it was a big responsibility. Otherwise, if you are a private director who decides to put your work at a different risk and completely different when trying to see the course of the national theater in the educational community and the urban community.
It is very important that Stathis Livathinos is the artistic director of the theater, because he really believes in him. That was the reason he cried me. During the first five minutes of our meeting, she cleared me to create a scene that will be filled with children of all ages from Monday to Sunday evening. Support for artistic management is particularly important, because the potential of the theater and its infrastructure can not always withstand such openings, and therefore requires all of us commitment and commitment to the advancement of this effort.
– At the press conference where you presented the program, you said that Mali Mali proposes a wide repertoire, not only based on well-known and tested texts. What criteria were selected for this year's program?
The only way to communicate art is to deal with the demons of the society in which we live, injustice, inequality, marginalization by cultivating empathy. That is why all four projects that we present this year in the Small National Theater are a work that we hope to take "young souls" as well as the souls of adults. Something needs to be anxious, something that has "moved" in us to change things. The theater can do it. If you want to mobilize a new person to see things and think differently. Why are young people, those in whom we hope that things will take a further step. This was also the main criterion for choosing this year's repertoire.
Stuart Melton's "Trumble", directed at very young children, is the work that Unicorn tested in London, and wondered about his form and the way he talks about early relationships in the child's life. "Prince and the Poor" Mark Twain (in the theater adaptation of Tse Kennedy) is a work that talks about justice, abuse of power, social inequalities, as well as friendship, solidarity, hope and the right of all of us, and especially children, in dreams. "Journey" is a performance in collaboration with UNICEF, which joined our repertoire, thanks to the warm welcome of the audience last May. It is a project in which teenage refugees squeeze on stage that has lost almost everything except their imagination. And "Little Stories about Wolves" are based on the work of French writer and pedagogue Bernard Fry, who has a unique way of shaping children's feelings.
-You have stated that your most important concern is that they do not act as fireworks, but as a springboard for children and adolescents. Become co-creators. How to achieve this?
We try to do this through the workshops of the National Theater. There are currently 35 different weekly workshops for babies, children, adolescents and adults, whereby participants are more actively involved in the creative process. Adolescents and children participating in the workshops have the opportunity to attend open-ended exercises of professional performances and talk with the directors of Little National and its actors. In fact, at the end of the year, children and adolescents create their own performances and repertoire with young people and young people. Our goal is the extrovertibility of the educational program to end the annual celebration of collective creativity and the bridge of communication with the rest of the world.
-How do you have a long-term relationship with teenagers and young people, as directors, how do you estimate the course of theater theater in Greece?
On the one hand, I can not deny that the path that has been removed so far has been enormous, but on the other hand, I can not say that I am excited because there are many more. In my opinion, every major theater should have a teenage scene that will actively, self-sustaining, visit schools, and teens will love the theater and recognize it as their own. But nothing is happening. I believe that their future goals and the ceiling that we have not yet captured.
How easy is education for future viewers?
It's not that difficult, but it's complicated because it's a recipe with many materials. Stratifying the structure of our culture requires multi-level cooperation. You can not walk alone as a theater without education. But education can not dictate to the theater and the artist how to go. The state should help theaters so that they would not be subject to market rules. Cultural organizations, the state and education are the three pillars that need to be harmonized and mutually reinforcing in order to lay the foundations for the cultural education of young people.
Why did you decide to take care of a children's and teenage theater?
Maybe because I think too much about the potential ability of this age to move the world. I think that the forum and the unusual passion of young people can be extremely creative and lead society to overstep. For me, it's an excellent inspiration to be able to talk to this life-cycle, because I find things that I regret to leave for an adult. Of course, there is a great responsibility in the sense that you have to set the direction as an artist and at the same time you have to think in mind that you are turning to people who are now shaping and who are in danger and that you are fully embroidered on them. But you also have the opportunity to inspire them.
What do you think they are looking for?
I think they're looking for the truth. The mirror of your life. A mirror of this little confusion, which is very normal for you to feel rising, so that the skein slowly begins to develop. The point is that childhood and teenage scene are at the heart of all the care and concern that a child has when growing. The truth is that children are currently exposed to a lot of information in a often uncontrollable and dangerous way. And sometimes parents themselves do not know how to protect them, and we feel that we must protect them from all the unpleasant and real things that are happening around them. But this is another thing, that culture is only to glorify the surface of the fun and not to the depth of thought.
Moreover, children are not gentle at all. Not even viewers who will sleep in their chair quietly, then go to the restaurant to eat and forget the show they've seen. Instead, they will show their dissatisfaction and respond to what is not being said. There are no fashion trends and well-known brands in the teenage theater that will save the performance. It is therefore important for success to talk about what they have deep inside.
– How do you think about the future of Little National?
I want a small nation to become a meeting in the heart of Athens for the new generation. We're still at the beginning. I would like to see that we will strive to achieve this goal and we can make the following steps on it. My wish is this year's repertoire, as well as the educational programs that we propose to acquire the audience of young people.