The Fever: A play for some thought and hu­man­ity

Award-win­ning mono­logue to ben­e­fit Pales­tinian med­i­cal aid char­ity

Kathimerini English - - Life - BY ELIS KISS

‘We in the West have pros­pered at the ex­pense of the peo­ple in the Third World. The gap has grown’

Alone in a ho­tel room, a woman is run­ning a high tem­per­a­ture. Her tem­po­rary ill health gives her time and a sort of fever­ish lu­cid­ity to think about the kind of world she lives in.

Wal­lace Shawn’s award-win­ning work “The Fever” goes on stage at the Karo­los Koun Tech­nis The­ater for three nights, to­morow, Fri­day and Satur­day, with all pro­ceeds from the per­form- an­ces go­ing to the Med­i­cal Aid for Pales­tini­ans (MAP) hu­man­i­tar­ian char­ity.

The play, which earned the New York City-born ac­tor-play­wright his sec­ond Obie (Off-Broad­way The­ater Award), stars Car­rie Sharp Gerolym­bos and is di­rected by Jeanna L’Esty.

“‘The Fever’ deals with rather un­com­fort­able is­sues,” Sharp Gerolym­bos told Kathimerini English Edi­tion. “It’s a mono­logue writ­ten for a fe­male or male ac­tor which ba­si­cally ex­am­ines a num­ber of ur­gent so­cial and po­lit­i­cal is­sues that are very ap­par­ent to all of us to­day. I think it res­onates with a lot of us who have a se­cure life in the West and I would go as far as to say that we are liv­ing in an age of in­creased po­lar­iza­tion be­tween rich and poor and al- though af­ter World War II there was a dream of greater equal­ity and greater pros­per­ity for ev­ery­one, we in the West have pros­pered at the ex­pense of the peo­ple in the Third World. The gap has grown.”

For the Bri­tish-born, Athens­based ac­tress, the play is a con­tin­u­a­tion of her pre­vi­ous in­volve­ment in fundrais­ing in the af­ter­math of the con­flict that took place in the Gaza Strip in 2009.

Al­though no spe­cific coun­tries are named in the play – Shawn may well have been re­fer­ring to the South Amer­i­can re­gion at the time he penned it the Tech­nis The­ater pro­duc­tion does make one think of the tor­mented Mid­dle East re­gion.

Be­sides the the­atri­cal event’s hu­man­i­tar­ian char­ac­ter, “The Fever” is a per­sonal chal­lenge for Sharp Gerolym­bos, who is mak­ing her re­turn to the stage af­ter five years. Trained in Lon­don and Mu­nich, the ac­tress came to Greece at a young age. She sub­se­quently mar­ried a Greek, raised a fam­ily on Greek soil and has over the years par­tic­i­pated in var­i­ous English­language pro­duc­tions with sev­eral the­ater com­pa­nies.

At the same time, ac­tress-di­rec­tor L’Esty is a fre­quent com­muter be­tween Greece and Bri­tain. Bri­tish on her fa­ther’s side, L’Esty’s mother, Thalia Kouri, was a prom­i­nent Greek stage ac­tress and a found­ing mem­ber of the Tech­nis The­ater.

At the land­mark Plaka the­ater, “The Fever” acts as a re­flec­tion of trou­bled times, while the ge­o­graph­i­cal prox­im­ity be­tween Greece and Gaza adds an­other di­men­sion.

“The play is a jour­ney through the mind of the per­former who is run­ning a fever. The high tem­per­a­ture helps her to sort out things in her mind in a sort of dream­like way,” said Sharp Gerolym­bos, who added, “Greece has suf­fered as well, peo­ple here can iden­tify with the kind of suf­fer­ing that the Pales­tinian peo­ple are go­ing through.” Tech­nis The­ater, 14 Fryn­i­chou, Plaka, tel 210.322.2464. For tick­ets, call 210.618.2624 be­tween 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or send an e-mail to HMolfe­tas@ccc.gr.

Jeanna L’Esty (left) di­rect­ing Car­rie Sharp Gerolym­bos in Wal­lace Shawn’s award-win­ning work ‘The Fever’ at the Tech­nis The­ater in Plaka.

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