Imagine a city where young people feel confident enough with many opportunities to prosper, where there isn’t such thing as marginalized groups and where the artists and the creative people are given the leading role of inviting guests and locals to co-experience the beauty, culture and history through a variety of events. Sounds too good to be possible? Well, nothing was impossible to imagine for the participants in the 4th creative workshop in Thessaloniki, Greece as part of the Erasmus + co-funded program The Pitch: Theater of Ideas, where they had to uncover the city’s best potential and show it in the form of a short presentation.
The week-long workshop was kindly hosted by the NGO Teatro Aratos, which provides theatrical courses and performances. Although the performance hall is small in size, the stage merges with the audience area thus giving the opportunity to experience in a more direct and intimate way the play. Lights on! Ready-set-pitch!
The program of the workshop carefully incorporated classical drama techniques to address and develop skills that will help participants to feel more confident to pitch their ideas in 30 sec. Every day started with an artistic representation by the participants of the past day which was followed by special warm-up activities. “Imagine you’re walking on a thin ice”- instructs us one of the leading actresses Maria Vlahou to raise our body awareness and interaction with the others- “now walk and watch out for a movement change and do as the rest”. After we feel ourselves and the others in the space, it’s time to let our voice out. “Mmmaaa…Open to the audience, find your low, normal and high voices”, tells us Kiki Spirou, another face of the creative force behind Teatro Aratos, whose vivid expressions were easy to follow. Breathing, moving, shouting and whispering- unfreezing body and throat- led us to the last but not least important feature of the good actor and public speaker: diction. “Like any other organ and muscle the tongue needs exercise too in order to form proper words”, continues Kiki,” Straight the back, relax the jaws and repeat tik-tak in different tempos”. T i k-t a k, tik-tak and the moment for the real show unnoticeably slipped in!
The lights shone over the anticipating stage and a suitable music background facilitated the process of unveiling the very best of each and every participant. We were airplanes, works of art, famous musicians only to reach our true selves. And Thessaloniki got transformed through each and every story (including fruit and Greek mythology festivals, living library tour, treasure hunting and open-air art gallery and theatre) told by the different characters, revealing a city bubbling with energy and offering better opportunities for life, work and entertainment for its people!
The Theater of Ideas will continue its tour in 2020 in Athens, Zagreb and will end in Sofia. Until then, catch up with the previous workshops in Krakow, Antalya and Maribor and watch the final pitch forum from Thessaloniki here.