Platos' Apology of Socrates Performance

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Plato's Apology of Socrates - a Classics with a Twist Benefit Performance for Topia Arts Center Nov 5, 2005 at Topia Arts Center at 8 pm Tickets $15, Seniors and Students $10 with valid ID, Group Discount for 10 or more - $12 27 Park Street, Adams ~ (413) 743-9600 for info order tickets online at or call (866) 811-4111 Toga optional Plato’s Apology of Socrates is a work considered to be among the foundations of Western thought, and Topia Arts Center is thinking about solid beginnings as they continue to rebuild their theater space. For this second Fundraising Benefit Performance in the still raw theater space, Topia is presenting a classic with a twist. Actor Yannis Simonides brings Socrates to life in this one-man show, staged uniquely within the current "voicepaper" sculpture installation of artist Ven Voisey. Simonides and director Loukas Skipitaris have come up with an accessible and engaging modern translation of Plato's original Greek text. Oscar and Tony Award-winning designer Theoni Vahliotis Aldredge designed Simonides’ costume and mask. Caryn Heilman will add live percussion. The Apology is Plato’s report of Socrates’ formal statement of justification or defense at Socrates’ trial in 399 B.C.E. Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.), is a philosopher who used a method known as the Socratic dialogue to elicit knowledge from his students by pursuing a series of questions and examining the implications of their answers. He discussed virtue, justice and attention to one's soul wherever his fellow citizens congregated, seeking wisdom about right conduct so that he might guide the moral and intellectual improvement of Athens. His criticism of the Sophists and Athenian political and religious institutions made him many enemies and he was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens through his teachings and for religious heresies. He resisted all attempts to save his life and willingly drank poisoned hemlock as his sentence of death. The Apologia, Crito and Phaedo are the three dialogues recorded by Plato that describe his life, works, trial and death. Simonides studied at the Yale Drama School and has produced Emmy-winning documentaries. He is director of the Greek Theater of New York and head of Mythic Media, a performing arts laboratory. Skipitaris has directed productions of Greek classics and plays by Anton Chekhov, Tennessee Williams, George Bernard Shaw, Neil Simon, Ira Levin and others. He is founder and director of Theatron, a not-for-profit Greek-American performing arts center in New York City. Simonides’ mask was constructed by Izquierdo Studios, Ltd. His costume was executed by Wallace G. Lane, Jr. Ven Voisey's site-specific interactive installation at Topia Arts Center is part of "An Artist is a Person in your Neighborhood", a series of exhibitions by Northern Berkshire artists, made possible in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, a local agency of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Space from CAC, Images Cinema, & Topia Arts Center was also donated by each respective organization. This will be the third benefit performance produced by Topia Arts Center to raise money for the renovation of the old Adams Theater at 27 Park Street. Following standing ovations at the Tony Kushner reading by Marcia Gay Harden, David Strathairn and Ajay Naidu in February, Topia Arts Center opened the doors to the old theater space for the first time in 40 years with a door opening ceremony and more standing ovations for the Nimble Arts Troupe composed of former members of Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers. Plato's Apology of Socrates will be the final 2005 benefit concert and the last chance to experience the theater at its most foundational stage. Opportunities for giving will continue with a silent auction and wine and beer tastings hosted by Cafe Topia, where you can continue to enjoy intimate live performances every weekend through mid-December.

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