I have the privilege of talking with some world-renowned artists and walking around galleries that show significant, with an enormous historic charge, cutting edge art on a daily basis. I also work with some avant-garde educators and policy makers in museums and schools around the country. Yet I know, that art is something different for everyone. It's a personal thing, you know.
I also became a mom 6 months ago.
And I am a first-generation immigrant, trying to find my place in the world.
And you just read the reasons why I am so eager to see this play, traveling in the States from my home, Greece: My mother's sin by Georgios Vizyenos.
I remember a friend of mine, first-generation immigrant himself, talking about the frozen culture phenomenon a couple of months back. Frozen culture refers to people that left their country and, in their deep, pure agony to maintain their identity and keep their memories alive, pushed that button that leaves every new cultural stimulus blocked and, at the same time, plays continually the old cultural images on repeat. Needless to say, this creates a new pseudo-culture, a new reality of its own. A pendulum trying to stand still between the past, and the past.
I have seen this Greece of the 70’s trying to stay alive, here in Chicago. Our beloved immigrants of almost half a century ago, did their best (in a world without internet) to keep their home sacred. This button served their mission, but they failed the following generations along with the exo-observers.
But here we are, bringing the new, fresh air of a country that is fighting in crisis, yet creating cutting edge art, staying provocative, relevant and definitely inspiring.
I have high hopes about this work. Pure anticipation. The story takes place in Greece of the 19th century. Written in first person, the author talks about his mother and her struggle to keep her daughter alive, along with three girls she later adopted, while neglecting her boys. Delving deep to a man’s soul, this work is one of the first ones of its time that approached life and its darkness in a more psychoanalytic way. Loss, grief, adulthood and mania against an idea, a sin-an immigrant's tale pretty much. But what is a sin after all?
A play not for everyone, you might think.
I am so curious to see this play in English. Rena Kyprioti herself described this journey as a one-way approach when we talked over the phone recently; she envisioned this work in English in order to touch the souls of the natives, speak their language. I found this so honest, brave and accurate. A sunbeam of our current culture touching American ground.
Here is the information by the creators:
THE PLAY “My Mother’s Sin” is an experiential work, with autobiographical elements. The narrative speaks of forgiveness, guilt and atonement in a confessional manner. The play's characters embody all features of tragic heroes who become involved in a mutual tragic fate.
PLOT The story's central figure is Annio, a sickly little girl, around whom the plot is developed. We follow the course of the girl's illness and the mother's vain efforts to save her, in order to redeem herself from a hidden sin. Absorbed in her daughter and her illness, the mother seems to have forgotten that she has three other boys, as well. After the death of her daughter, she proceeds to successive adoptions of little girls, evoking reactions from her remaining children. Throughout the story we witness the mother's sense of guilt and its effect on the narrator's psyche. Her guilt springs from a deeply hidden secret. A sin committed in the past.
CREDITS Director: DANAE ROUSSOU Starring: RENA KYPRIOTI Composer: NIKOS KYPOURGOS Costume : VANA GIANNOULA Lighting: DANAE ROUSSOU Assistant director: EIRINI VOURLAKOU Video Director: DIMITRIS BAVELAS Video editing: HARIS STATHOPOULOS Director of Photography: GIANNIS FOTOU Trailer: GIORGOS NIKOPOULOS Music Editing, Mixing & Mastering: GIANNIS VILIOTIS
Graphic design: PARIS MEXIS
Production Manager: EIRINI VOURLAKOU Production Coordinator: ILEKTRA KALAITZAKI Production: POLYPLANITY PRODUCTIONS
University of Illinois at Chicago
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 Location: 1044 W. Harrison Event time: 7.30 p.m. to 8.45 p.m Contact: UIC Theatre Box Office at 312-996-2939