Of all the great epics, the Indian epic Ramayana is one of the most enduring and durable, an action-packed saga dear to millions around the world, a fable of romance and adventure passed from age to age through the millennia.
Now RODA theatre going to perform “Ramayana”-the timeless Indian epic, Stage direction by Maria Peretzi at Melina Mercouri Open Air Theatre (Theatro Vrachon – Vyronas) – Athens on July 8, 2022. By this attempt the Indian story comes alive in greek theaterical adaption.
RODA Theater was established in 1991 by Maria Peretzi. As in all of its performances, it creates a bridge between the myth and the present situation of the world. In “Ramayana” the balance has been disrupted. Therefore, the focus is on the constant battle between Good and Evil. The lyricism of the great Indian epic dresses the stories of the heroes and shows the way to the sanctuary. The ordeals Rama and Sita have to go through become an allegory of humanity’s suffering.
Like “Odyssey”, “Ramayana” narrates the adventures of the mythical warrior prince, Rama, who wanders in the forests of India until he regains his lost kingdom. Like “Iliad” it tells a story about the battles and struggles to rescue his beloved wife, Sita, his own soul, through the intense element of adventure and fighting of demons to avoid the kilings of innocent people.
The epic has greatly influenced art, culture and education in the Indian subcontinent and South East Asia. In terms of history, it concerns the traditions of two powerful tribes: the residents of Ayondhya and those of Mithila in North India, governed by the families of Rama and Sita, respectively. Rama leads an allied army of North and Middle India against Rakshasa -the residents of contemporary Ceylon.
“Ramayana” contains the teaching of the very ancient Hindu sages. Its esoteric aspect concerns the constant fight of the human being against his/her lower nature, and the demonic temptations that disturb his/her relationship with the forces of the Sacred. Rama beats the temptations. His triumph peaks with his victory over Ravana, the demon of the flesh. He regains Sita, his soul, and reclaims the right to reign over Ayondhya.
The director Mrs. Peretzi puts special emphasis on the participation of everyone in the group in the shaping of all steps of the theatrical process. Besides the acting and the live music accompanying all performances, the costumes, the lighting of the stage, the sound and electrical engineering and the settings, are all designed, produced, manufactured, transported and fit to each stage’s demands through the personal work of the RODA members.
RODA’s work has received wide favorable reviews by all major theater critics in the Athens area. Its performances were presented three times by CNN, the international TV channel, and a documentary about the group has received distinctions in several Film Festivals. Two books have been written about Mrs. Peretzi’ s theater teaching methods, published in both Greek and English, and the group has been the recipient of theatrical distinction awards, including the 2016 Carolos Coon award for leading theater performance.