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For Stelios Maya, there is no worse thing to lose your memory
By Maria Kryou - 19/10/2018
Shortly before World Premiere of Bruce Goochs' The Garden at The Machine Theater, Stelios Maya talks about the subject of the project, the loss of memory, and commented on the contemporary theatrical reality.
You play with Katia Sprelaki in Bruce Guts' Garden. Who is the hero you interpret?
Bari is a very lonely man, alcoholic, unemployed, ex-builder and veteran of Vietnam. The project unfolds in the 1970s, a few years after the end of the Vietnam War, and has to do with one lifeless, a working class unemployed in New York. A person without a person, without identity, who, after an intervention, heals his wounds in his apartment eating canned food. An employee from "Care at Home" visits him, paid by his ex-wife's nephew purely from philanthropy. Katia interprets this woman who goes to take care of him. He reacts violently, aggressively, but after he retires, he thinks of his mistake. She tries to find her in a cultural center and so she discovers a new world, the world of words, tenderness, tranquility, a world she does not know. They meet in a park, trying to approach her, but she gets a stroke. In the second part of the show, the roles are reversed. Now this man-beast is the one who wants to help her. The two of them are trying to communicate under the status of memory loss. And all this happens with terrible humor, since the play is a comic eye on the misery of the people.
Loss of memory is what worse can happen to a person?
For me it has always been a huge fear. There is no worse thing than losing your memory. It's about cutting off your personality. You can not live without the past, since this is your starting point. When the axes connecting you to your memory are cut, you forget where you started, so your continuity is lost.
How did the work reach you? An Englishman who lives in Canada has created New Fangled Stages with Bruce Gouts, an American actor and screenwriter of many Hollywood films, who left New York and moved to Canada. He suggested it, we liked the work and Dimitris Mylonas decided to make production and direct it. Our show will travel to Toronto, while the time we play at The Machine Theater, the work will be presented in English, with Greek superstitions, by Guts himself.
What is the particular thing that drew you? His comity. The play is a tragic comedy, a dragon. The kind of comedy is demanding; it requires precision, immediacy, imaginativeness, glowing mind and reflexes.
Artistic collaborations, while important, always carry a risk ... Indeed, the decision to implement this collaboration is a private initiative of Dimitris Mylonas and is a big risk. He is a producer and director who invests in his theater, he wants to create an artistic portrait to win the respect of the audience but also of the people of Shinaf. Today everything is also thanks to the self-sacrifice of the artists. Artist fees are very low. In fact, the concept of "pay" is imaginative for the younger, they do not know it. Early in the schools came Voulhoritis, Volanakis, Vogiatzis to choose students for their performances and to pay for them. Now it is understood that no one is paid. The value of human labor has been degraded.
"The kind of comedy is demanding; it requires precision, immediacy, imaginativeness, glowing minds and reflexes."
Do you think a change in the political scene could bring about significant changes in all areas? The problem is not governments. There is a solid result of many years that has to do with our own imaginary world in which we lived and unfortunately awakened abruptly. The prevailing situation can only change with persistence and principles. They can be slow, methodical steps in principle. We have to start learning how to walk like a baby. The impact of politics on our lives is catalytic? Politics has always influenced our lives because it is the response of everyday life, it is not something in the sphere of imagination. And that is something that we feel in Greece today.
Why do you say this; Do not forget that about 25% of GNP is lost in the years of the crisis. We have dropped to a degree of efficiency with respect to the rest of Europe unbelievably and where we thought we were Europeans, we were again the Balkans. Economics is psychology. Also on the occasion of the performances of "Garden", I see a fascinating documentary about Vietnam and it seems that the Americans knew from the first minute that their feet were there that the war was lost. They came to him for psychological reasons, to stimulate anti-communism in the world. Patriotism has not only a bad side, it's good. There were children who thought they went to fight for their homeland, for their ideals, and did not come back again. The simple person, the working class always pays the price, and that's what the hero I am interpreting.