NEW YORK.- On December 4th, the court of ancient Athens comes to life once again, in a presentation of Plato’s classic The Apology of Socrates, which will take place at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral Center in Manhattan, and which will mark the beginning in a series of nation-wide performances.
Taking on the role of Socrates is Emmy award-winning producer and former chairman of the NYU Drama Department, Yannis Simonides. The founder of the Greek theatre of New York and current director of Hellenic Public Radio, COSMOS FM, relishes the thought of portraying the ancient Greek philosopher and gadfly: “In this character, I recognize myself at every turn – my strengths, my frailties, my failures – so anytime I pick up the script or utter a line it fairly makes my hair stand on end.”
Loukas Skipitaris, founder and current artistic director of Theatron, a New York based Greek-American performing arts center, is set to direct.
And adding a touch of Hollywood to the set will be legendary costume designer Theoni V. Aldredge. A three-time Tony recipient and winner of an Academy Award for her designs in 1974’s The Great Gatsby, Ms. Aldredge brings enormous talents and a world-renowned reputation to the production.
Both Simonides and Skipitaris are clearly overjoyed to be able to bring to life a performance so near and dear to their hearts. Yet both would be quick to point out that the term Apology should not be taken literally. Indeed, Socrates’ is not an apology in the contemporary sense, but rather a defense before the officials of Athens, who viewed him as an agitator and threat to Athenian society. Now on trial for his life, Socrates stands rebellious, even incriminating himself and making his famous pronouncement that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
The Apology of Socrates will begin at 8:00 PM, and lasts approximately one and a half hours; there is no intermission. The THEATRON and MYTHI MEDIA project of The Apology, supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture, is presented by the Cultural Committee of the Holy Trinity Cathedral and by the Cathedral Fellowship. The Cathedral Center is located at 337 East 74th Street in Manhattan. For more information, contact the Cathedral office at 212-288-3215.