That show, The Gods Of Strangers, will also be presented in a mix of three languages – English, Greek and Italian.
Inspired by the oral histories of Greek, Cypriot and Italian migrants to regional SA, the historical fiction by Greek-Cypriot descendent Elena Carapetis will premiere in Port Pirie this month, with the support of Country Arts SA.
“The Gods of Strangers represents a significant moment for State Theatre Company,” State Theatre Company artistic director Geordie Brookman says.
“The debut of a large-scale new dramatic work is always to be celebrated, but in this case we also celebrate the fact that we are premiering a work made through drawing on the stories of two of ourmigrant communities and their experiences in one of our regional centres.”
The Gods of Strangers is the result of a major commission through the Regional Theatre Strategy which is the basis of a four year partnership between Country Arts SA and State Theatre Company of South Australia (funded via Catalyst). The premiere of this new large-scale work in Port Pirie exemplifies the commitment of both Country Arts SA and State Theatre Company of South Australia to producing the regional and diverse stories that deserve a greater presence in our cultural canon.
The show, starring Dina Panozzo, Eugenia Fragos, Deborah Galanos and Renato Musolino, will have a three-week season at the Dunstan Playhouse after opening in Pirie, where Elena’s family first set foot in 1947.
The work is heavily inspired by Elena’s own family history, which she has been researching for almost two years.
“I am a descendant of people who left everything they knew behind them, to travel to the other side of the world,” Carapetis says. “They were after a better life, not only for themselves, but for the lineage of children and grandchildren who were to come after them. What I do with my life, anything I achieve or create, is ultimately their legacy; I would not be here, if not for them. Their stories run in my blood and live in the air around me.
“I am so proud to be able to share some of this history now, via my play The Gods of Strangers. I doubt they ever imagined their humble lives would make the stage, but their stories rival any classic. These people may have felt ordinary but they were as extraordinary as Willy Loman or Antigone. I know audiences will recognise them and I hope their stories will resonate.”
As funny as it is heart-warming, this multicultural drama honours the stories of hardship, perseverance and love that flow through our communities.
The production will have English surtitles.