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''A CHILD COUNTING THE STARS'' Youth Stage of NTNG, Moni Lazariston (21/10/2011)

«A CHILD COUNTING THE STARS»
Youth Stage of NTNG, Moni Lazariston
Opening: Tuesday, November 1, 2011


The National Theatre of Northern Greece presents the play “A Child Counting the Stars”, based on the familiar and beloved autobiographical novel of Menelaos Lountemis, which is transferred for the first time on stage, in a theatrical adaptation by Lakis Lazopoulos, and is directed by Giannis Rigas. The play will be presented by the NTNG Youth Stage, at the Moni Lazariston Theatre (Sokratis Karantinos Stage), from November 1, 2011.

A journey to adulthood. A journey towards knowledge. A child getting into conflict with social reality in order to achieve his goals, to make his dreams come true, having as only weapon his determination and passion for learning.

Menelaos Lountemis’s work “A Child Counting the Stars” supports children’s right into equal opportunities in education and touches the hearts of both children and grown-ups, as it concerns every human who, regardless of the era they live in and in spite of all obstacles, will do anything to satisfy their thirst for knowledge and learning.


A NOTE BY LAKIS LAZOPOULOS

“It has always been a deep desire of mine to make adaptations of great literary texts, which have left their mark on us, which have left their mark on me, transferring them in this way to the theatre. “A Child Counting the Stars” was the beginning.

The characters are so transparent, the discourse so exquisite. I didn’t touch anything. I kept the novel’s core, the plot’s course, as well as the main characters, simply integrating them into a theatrical temporal frame.

I chose this work of literature, as it was the first literary book that fell into my hands when I was young, and I can still remember the beautiful feeling that I had when I got lost into its pages for the first time. I can still remember how I had let myself wonder in Lountemis’s flowing speech, almost being able to see people, feelings, thoughts and an entire era coming to life before my eyes.

Today, more than any other time, humans need to know how to love knowledge and how to love it all over again. They need to learn how to think. How to find their lost thoughts, and through real knowledge, find a way back to the heart’s justice. And above all, they need to believe that even if they expel us from all schools of life, our clear souls will flawlessly lead the way.

“A Child Counting the Stars” is undoubtedly one of the most important works of our literature. Paying my utmost respect to the creator Menelaos Lountemis, I let you get lost in Melios’s sky, to count stars with him!

“A Child Counting the Stars while at the same time Greece is counting wounds”.


IN THE PLACE OF A DIRECTOR’S NOTE

My dear Melios,

I read your story very carefully and I can’t hide it from you, I was moved. The headmaster, the mathematician, the gym teacher, the priest, the music teacher, your favourite teacher, but also all the others, were all my own teachers as well, or any way, they really resembled my own teachers. Under different names. Your teacher was Skamvouras, mine were Antoniou and Ganotis. Our headmaster, we used to call him “Maouka”, because he liked that island dance, which was going like this “I will go find Maoukas…”. And the children, your classmates, were so much like mine. In the place of Dakritzikos, I had “Bits” and “Ko”, as we also used to give nicknames to our classmates. And in the place of Agrampeli, I had Vangelitsa – but in my case, I never managed to confess my love to her. My own uncle Anestis was called uncle Giannis and every afternoon, he used to come back from the coffee shop bringing me Turkish delights wrapped in a paper, which he had won playing cards. And he would patiently sit and listen to my stories. He wondered at my questions, my passion to understand and conquer the whole world.

I also remember my aunts, Styliani and Nina. Nina made me wash myself in the trough and she used to chase me around with a stick in order to convince me to do it. I remember once, when the kings came to our village and they had us all clap by force and look happy and well fed, while they were waving at us like puppets. And I remember grandma – Maria nibbling happily some greenery we had for lunch and talking to herself, “not even the King enjoys such greens”.

I remember everything you write about. It’s like we grew up together.
Of course, it’s really been a long time since then. We grew up, shouted, fought, bled in the streets, studied, fell in love, saw the kings leaving, saw the colonels leaving, saw the chosen-by-the-people leaders leaving as well…

And, Melios, I’m under the impression that we have been left in a station waiting for the next dream.
Has nothing changed? Did we do some mistake? Have we been carrying all our lives an empty box? Is it our dumb heads?
I’m sorry Melios and I’m apologizing for all this.
I am giving you a promise though: we will keep counting the stars no matter how old we are, no matter how much this costs us, no matter how long it takes.
GIANNIS RIGAS
Performance Opening: Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Performances:
Tuesday - Friday: 10.30 (for schools), Sunday 11:00 (for the public)

Ticket prices
General admission: Sundays 10 €, School tickets: Tuesday – Friday 8 €

Contributors:
Theatrical adaptation: Lakis Lazopoulos
Director - Scenery: Giannis Rigas
Costumes: Christos Broufas
Music: Giorgos Christianakis
Choreography – movement instructor: Alexandra Tsotanidou
Assistant director: Iordanis Aivazoglou
Production manager: Rodi Stefanidou

CAST (in alphabetical order): Marianna Avramaki (Evanthia Mouschoura, Ntountou, Zoumpoulia, Matoula, Kalliopi Kalliontzi), Iordanis Aivazoglou (shepard, Konstantinos Karlaftis, Stamatis Chamolias), Pavlos Eleftheriadis (inspector), Chrysa Zafeiriadou (Aglaia, Nionia Liagkoura, mother, Kalliopi Vourachmani), Giannis Karamfilis (headmaster, Bithros, Vrasidas Chatziasteriou), Giannis Karaoulis (Melios Kadras), Matina Koulourioti (Veliko Prinola, Efterpi Xypolytou), Dimitris Morfakidis (teacher, Albert Anachoridis, Dakrytzikos), Roula Pantelidou (Areti, Strigko, Erasmia, Ms Raoul), Charis Papadopoulos (Dimitrios Stamiris, Bampis Sikalos), Sakis Petkidis (Anestis), Michalis Sionas (priest, Christoforos Aposperitis), Giorgos Sfyridis (Uncle-Thodos), Amalia Tatarea (Ourana, Agrampeli Stamiri), Giannis Charisis (Sotirios Skamvouras).

Students, Teachers, Villagers, Soldiers, Workers, Passers-by:
Tryfonia Angelidou, Adamantios Adamantidis, Lila Vlachopoulou, Nikolaos Kepesidis, Eleni Kilinkaridou, Giannis Sampsalakis, Orestis Chalkias – Alexandropoulos


Under the auspices of the Municipality of Pavlos Melas



TRANSLATED BY THOMI GKAMAGKARI

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