In a time of coronavirus and given people cannot take theatre lessons in person, the head of the theatre department of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Mrs. Katerina Poutachidou, was not left with folded arms.
From the beginning of May, the Creative Drama & Arts Centre of the Greek Community of Melbourne co-organised with the Theatrical Visual Arts Centre “Poupoulo” of Thessaloniki, and the Motivation in Arts Foundation of Paphos, the 1st International Internet Conference : “Child and adolescent theatre groups perform roles in front of a microphone”.
The main source of inspiration for this particular initiative was the Radio Theatre, a genre of dramatic art that was very successful in the 1920s and was one of the first choices for the newly established Western radio stations, led by the British BBC.
Through the project, a number of amateur theatre groups have the opportunity through the radio to chat, explore new forms of expression, as well as to experiment creatively with new technologies. At the same time, this experience, unprecedented for all participants, acts as a vehicle for the Greek language, which travels through radio frequencies to different parts of the world, moving the ubiquitous Hellenism.
The project naturally has multiple pedagogical and linguistic benefits, as it gives children the opportunity to practice their oral speech in a creative and fun way.
“The children themselves enter the process, to listen and recognise any mistakes they make, to give colour to their voice and to find the style and the way of the correct interpretation of their role”, says Ms. Poutachidou.
“It’s a creative and fun way to learn to give life to their storytelling and speech, a skill useful not only for theatre.”
So far, the works “Around the world in 80 days” and “The false shepherd” by Greek children in Australia have been recorded and broadcast, and “Tzitzikas and Mermgikas” is being prepared and will be broadcast in 2 weeks.
The radio that broadcasts the recorded plays in Australia is SBS, every Wednesday 5- 6. Respectively, in Greece the plays were heard by ERT 3’s 102fm and 9.58fm, and in Cyprus by the First Program of RIK.
The recordings remain available to the general public on the internet at the website: www.dramacenter.gr
This program does not end here. Ms. Putahidou continues, in collaboration with Greek schools, to prepare new projects. Some of the expected titles in the coming weeks are from the “Odyssey”, the Myths of Aesop and from Greek mythology, e.g. “The Rapture of Europe”, “The Pandora’s Box”, “The Heroes of Hercules”.
This innovative action aims to become an initiative that aspires to be a bridge of communication and “voice” for all Greeks abroad, bringing together even more amateur theatre groups from Greece, Cyprus and Australia.