The 2009 Greek-American Performing Arts Festival started on the 24th of September. The four-day festival, celebrates the rich history of Hellenic culture and the contributions of its many contemporary and traditional talented artists, writers, and performers September 24 through 27, 2009. The festival is held at Queens Theatre in the Park at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NY. It will feature concerts, staged readings, film, an agora-like fair with music and folklore workshops, children’s shadow-puppet show, as well as culinary demonstrations and samples.
“As a third-generation Greek-American, it’s been an honor once again to bring some amazingly talented Greek and Greek-American artists to the attention of the Queens and NYC community, and to have the opportunity to showcase this talent at QTP’s wonderful facility,” said Jay House Samios, Artistic Director of the Festival.
“This year, we are happy to announce that we will have full use of our facility, which has recently undergone a $23 million dollar publicly funded expansion and renovation to better serve the cultural needs of the growing and diverse community of New York City,” said Jeff Rosenstock, Executive Director of Queens Theatre in the Park.
In its second year, the festival aims to foster greater cultural awareness and appreciation among the diverse ethnic community in New York and the tri-state area. Queens Theatre in the Park, presents and produces 300 events annually that reflect this diversity and features international, national, and local artists in its Dance, Theatre, Cabaret and Children’s Series. Its signature programs include the Latino Cultural Festival and Series, International Movements Project, Black Cultural Arts Series, Immigrant Voices Project, Asian Cultural Festival, Greek-American Performing Arts Festival and the Arts in Education Programs. This year’s festival sponsors are the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation and Antenna Satellite, media sponsor. The Plessas in New York concert is sponsored in part by JGN Construction, Sanford’s, Marathon Bank, Foxx Capital, the National Herald, Hellenic Public Radio-COSMOS FM, and NEO Magazine (media sponsors), among others. Queens Theatre in the Park, is an institution dedicated to building bridges between the surrounding ethnic enclaves and the world of international performing arts and to fostering artistic creativity in the local community. Despite an economic crisis that has hit arts organizations hard, the Theatre is continuing its long tradition of commissioned dance, cultivating up-and-coming local groups, poetry and stage readings, and even some free shows at the Festival.
Additional funding for the Greek-American Performing Arts Festival has been provided by Assembly Member Michael Gianaris and Senator George Onorato.
Saturday, September 26 @ 8PM, Sunday, September 27 @ 3PM
U.S. Debut Concert Performance
PLESSAS IN NEW YORK
Mimis Plessas, Greece’s acclaimed multi-award winning composer and pianist, with Greek vocalist/performer Evi Siamanda and New York-based vibraphonist Christos Rafalides
Presented under the aegis of the Consulate General of Greece in New York
This debut appearance celebrates Plessas’ 50-plus year musical repertoire including songs from their recent recordings, echo-the music of Mimis Plessas and We Two, presented in cooperation with Emarel Music, Inc.
Thursday, September 24
An evening of uniquely arranged Rembetika, Smyrneika and Entehna music.
8PM, Tickets $25
1:1 PLEASE REMOVE SHOES
Choreographers/Performers: Despina Sophia Stamos and Wen-Shuan Yang
Pre- and Post-Show Performances 7:30PM and 9:30PM, Free event
Friday, September 25
OPA! THE MUSICAL (Open Rehearsal/Meet the Creators)
Attend a special open rehearsal of a new musical about life and love on a forgotten Greek island. Be the first to get a sneak peek at this musical which will run for three weeks beginning October 8th at QTP and meet the creative team behind this production in a post-show discussion with the artists. 8PM, Free event
MARSEILLES, A GREEK PROFILE (DOCUMENTARY)
A portrait of Marseilles and its Greek community through telling life stories. Filmmaker: Marco Gastine [Greek/French, with French subtitles]
8PM, Free event
Saturday, September 26
YEIA STA HERIA SAS!
A Greek ‘agora’ of dance, costumes, embroidery, cooking workshops, weaver Christine Yampanis House, musician/folklorist Demetri Tashie
11AM–3PM, Free event
KARAGIOZIS: THE IMMIGRANT
Traditional folklore shadow-puppet theatre for adults and kids of all ages (in English)
1PM, Tickets $12, multiple $10
ATREIDES, END (Staged Reading)
Iphegenia’s magical powers bring the dead Cassandra back to life in order to foretell Orestes’ future. Play written by Andreas Flourakis and Directed by Tomi Tsunoda
8PM, Free event