Jan 042014


January 3, 2014

DIONYSIA: Celebration of Greek Culture

PLACE: The George Washington Masonic Memorial Theatre, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria VA 22301

DATES: Sat., Jan. 18, 2014 at 7:30 PM and Sun., Jan 19,  2014 at 5:00 PM and Jan. 30 – Feb. 2 (Anacostia Arts Center)

The award-winning Ambassador Theater is presenting the second in a series of annual cultural festivals at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Old Town Alexandria. The performances take place on January 18th and 19th and feature traditional Greek dancing by the Georgetown-based dance company Dynami along with a performance of the ancient Greek comedy, Dyskolos. The performances are sponsored in part by a grant from the City of Alexandria and are presented in association with the Embassy of Greece.  Following the performances in Old Town, the play will be staged at the Anacostia Arts Center in Southeast DC.

The first cultural festival hosted by Ambassador Theater, Hopa Tropa Kukerica, featured Bulgarian culture and won the 2012 best family show award from MD Theatre Guide. This year’s Dionysia festival follows in the successful footsteps of Hopa Tropa Kukerica by bringing together Greek dance, theater, and culture in an enjoyable event for a wide audience. The auditorium of the George Washington Memorial Masonic Temple, with its Greek and Roman influenced style, is a fitting venue for this festival. Dynami showcases the best of Greek dance through their authentic and engaging performances. Truly pan-hellenic, Dynami performs an assortment of diverse dances, accompanied by music and costumes from all across Greece and its many islands.

Ambassador Theater proudly presents its own production of Menander’s Dyskolos, an ancient Greek comedy of romance, fools, and schemers. Menander, although not well know to general audiences today, is considered by many scholars to be the most influential writer of antiquity after Homer, and the inventor of modern comedy. The play was first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in Athens in 316 BC where it won first prize. Despite Menander’s popularity, his works were all lost by the end of the Roman era and not discovered again until, amazingly, a papyrus of some of his plays was discovered in the sand of Egypt in 1957. Everyone from Shakespeare and Moliere to the Marx brothers and the Three  Stooges owes a debt to Menander and Dyskolos. The play follows the adventure of a wealthy young man who falls magically in love with a poor farmer’s daughter. With the help of friends and servants he struggles to overcome the objections of her misanthropic father. Meanwhile, servants try to prepare a feast nearby, but are met with endless difficulties. Full of slapstick comedy and light-hearted jokes, Dyskolos is just as fun today as it was thousands of years ago.

In addition to the performances in Old Town, Dyskolos will travel to Southeast DC for shows on January 30th to February 2nd. The performances will take place in the beautiful new Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Rd, SE.

DYSKOLOS at Anacostia Arts Center Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2014

Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM, Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM


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If you would like more information, please contact Hanna Bondarewska at (703) 475-4036 or email at ambassadortheater@aticc.org.