NEW YORK – Applause resounded in the Queens Theatre for the cast and crew of Euripides’ Medea, directed by Leonidas Loizides, on February 23, dedicated to the memory of Nikos Mouyiaris, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and benefactor of the community who passed away in January.
Loizides, in collaboration with his cast and crew, managed to capture the spirit of the well-known ancient tragedy by Euripides in English with a group of young, mostly American, actors and chorus who were convincing in their roles.
In particular, Michael Anne Hoffert Cone as Medea and Khris Lewin as Jason led the 17-member cast, including 7 actors and 10 members of the Chorus. The innocent “tragic faces” of story, the children of Medea, were represented by the youngsters Georgia Loizides and Evi Kreatsoulas.
The performers of the musical program also enjoyed the best impression, with Damian Dudu on the violin and vocals by Olga Xanthopoulou, Costas Tsourakis and Alyson Spina.
“The show is dedicated to Nikos Mouyiaris. He brought me to America, me and my family, to produce an ancient tragedy and to create a bridge between this culture and the Americans,” Loizides said, visibly moved, immediately following the show.
He warmly thanked PSEKA President Philip Christopher and the President of the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations, Kyriacos Papastylianou, who, in turn, congratulated him on the performance.
“It was a wish of Nikos Mouyiaris to bring Hellenism close to the Americans. We did the work in English and as you saw 80% of the audience was Americans. Organizations like the American Jewish Committee, which enjoyed this show, saw a project written by Euripides 2,500 years ago, and today this work still moves the people,” said Christopher.
Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras congratulated Loizides and the actors, while his counterpart from the Republic of Cyprus, Alexis Phedonos-Vadet, also noted the importance of the performance in English.
“The play we saw tonight was for the first performed in 431 BC, in the Greek language. Today, this talented group of actors and musicians, as well as the director, Leonidas Loizides, presented it in English, giving us the opportunity to promote the project to a non-Greek audience.”
In conclusion, Loizidis linked the widespread meaning of Medea’s detestable act to the current situation in Greece, which forces young people to leave their homeland.
“The countries that do not love and support children’s smiles are lost. You have to convey this to our homeland, Consuls, because many young people have immigrated and lost their smile. That’s what Medea did, and killed her children,” said Loizides, who then asked the musicians to play the contemporary song “We Are the world.”
On Friday, March 1, a tribute to Nikos Mouyiaris will be held at Terrace on the Park at 7 PM, according to Philip Christopher who said, “We’ll be there to celebrate his life. Not to cry, but to celebrate what he contributed to all of us.”
Admission to the tribute event is free.