A Special Play Performed by the Team “En Dynamei” at Mandoulides Schools
Mandoulides Schools hosted the experiential and educational program conducted by the team “En Dynamei” and entitled “Society of Octopuses” at the Theater of the Cultural Center, abiding by all necessary protective measures. The program comprises a play based on the short story “Goutou Goupatou” by Alexandros Papadiamantis as well as an experiential workshop which discusses the notion of otherness.
Alexandros Papadiamantis’ short story, which was written 100 years ago, relates to real-life stories of children and teenagers living in the 21st century. The story provides encouragement to every individual who has experienced the feeling of being “different.”
Through this play, we engage in the world of Manolios of Tapoi, a boy at whom other boys of his neighborhood threw stones, a boy who was mocked by the girls of the same neighborhood and treated with fear by toddlers and babies. In the story, bullying and mockery are interwoven with tenderness and affection.
It’s a story about being different, disabilities, the “other” and the “self.” It demonstrates instances of bullying as opposed to moments of friendship, trust and love. The actors of the six-member theatrical team transform into the characters, sing and narrate the story of little Manolios, who reminds them of themselves in a way. Two actors with disabilities and four actors without constitute the theatrical team and narrate the short story all together. The director of the play is Mr Giorgos - Zisis Mpilionis, whereas another very important figure contributing to the conduction of the program is the director, actress and former Art Director of the Municipal and Regional Theatre of Kozani and Ioannina, Mrs Eleni Dimopoulou. During her introductory speech, Mrs. Dimopoulou made reference to the strong link between her and Mandoulides Schools. The purpose of the play is to urge students to think about social issues, such as human rights, diversity, bullying, disabilities and equality. These issues were the main focus of the discussion that followed between the students and the members of the theatrical team. Dr Aspa Chasioti, General Director of Mandoulides Schools, coordinated a fruitful conversation between Junior High School students and the members of the theatrical team, who exchanged opinions regarding diversity among adolescents. Together, they tried to identify the reasons why people sometimes perform extreme actions and discussed the value of equality. Junior High School students expressed their concerns, recognized a lot of similarities between the play and their everyday life and warmly congratulated the performers, ackowledging that it was a wonderful experience for all of them.