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Culture

Caterina: Last Queen of Cyprus Impresses NY Audience

November 13, 2017

NEW YORK – Caterina: Last Queen of Cyprus is an original stage play by Anthie Zachariadou, directed by Andreas Araouzos in 2015 in Nicosia, Cyprus, on the beautiful terrace of the Centre of Visual Arts and Research (CVAR) overlooking the old town, including parts of the Turkish-occupied section of the city.

Toronto-born Cypriot actress Christina Marouchou portrays Queen Caterina Cornaro (1454-1510). Her costume is a historically precise replica from a Cornaro portrait and is an actual exhibit at the CVAR, taken from its exhibition stand only for this theatre piece, now traveling to New York especially for this presentation.

In the play, Caterina Cornaro of Venice recounts her story, from the age of 14 until her death, her life on the island of Cyprus and her bond with the people, as well as her tragic and oppressed status as a pawn of ruthless politics aiming at the island’s domination.

The fascinating play featuring the talented Marouchou begins with the young Caterina facing an uncertain future, and yet she is full of hope. Marouchou captures the essence of the young lady as she is about to leave her home in Venice for a throne in Cyprus. The compelling, true story is told with a remarkable subtlety and skill by Marouchou who never resorts to tricks to share this tale.

Caterina’s dramatic journey captures the imagination, drawing the audience with her as she transforms from a hopeful, young woman into a majestic queen. From the devastating losses she suffers, to her love of Cyprus and its people, Caterina is a survivor above all else. The range of emotions throughout the play allows Marouchou to showcase her talents even though the play is just under an hour long. Playwright Zachariadou has created a fascinating look into the life of a Part of this year’s United Solo Festival, Caterina: Last Queen of Cyprus brings history to life through the skillful performance of Marouchou who spoke to The National Herald after the performance. She told TNH that the show will be performed next in Paphos, Cyprus, and she is looking forward to bringing the play to an even wider audience.

Caterina was painted by the famous artists of her day, Durer, Titian, Bellini, and Giorgione. She spent 16 tumultuous years on the island of Cyprus. Her efforts to give back to the people of Cyprus by granting titles and lands lasted only a short time as the Venetians pushed for more control on the island. Eventually, Caterina was sent back to Venice where she lived out her days on her estate which became known as a court of literary and artistic distinction. She was granted the right to keep her title, Queen of Cyprus, Jerusalem, and Armenia, and she remains the last queen of Cyprus.

Caterina: Last Queen of Cyprus was performed in English on November 9 at Theatre Row – The Studio Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, in New York City.More information is available online at: http://unitedsolo.org/us/caterina-2017/.

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