Friday, October 26, 2018

Spotlight On...Lyto Triantafyllidou

Name: Lyto Triantafyllidou

Hometown: Thessaloniki, Greece 

Education: I studied theater at the School of Drama of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece, with a major in theater directing and dramaturgy. After a year of academic research on New York’s avant-garde theater scene, I moved to New York for the MFA Directing program at The New School for Drama, from where I graduated in 2015.

Favorite Credits: In May 2016, I directed a solo performer adaptation of Mistero Buffo by Dario Fo, featuring Panos Vlahos, produced by Natasha Katerinopoulos. The first presentation of this work was a site specific performance at The Balcony Theater at West Park Presbyterian Church, in New York. Mistero Buffo’s journey continued with performances in Los Angeles, Chicago, Israel and the UK, where it was last presented at The Cockpit Theater in London, in February 2018.

Why theater?: Theater is the most unpredictable art, as it’s as imperfect as the people creating it. As a result, it constantly surprises us, keeps us in our toes. As a theatermaker, I enjoy the endless possibilities of an empty space. It’s a study on freedom.

Tell us about I Want a Country?: I Want A Country is the story of how to be a citizen of a country. Andreas Flourakis wrote the play as a response to the Greek economic crisis in 2012, while the country was in a political turning point. In Andreas Flourakis’ play the protagonist is not a single character but “we the people,” a public responding to times of social change. The characters of the play realize that their country is not build by them or for them. There is much to learn by observing them in their quest of a new country, and even more by their failure to find it. They don’t accept responsibility, instead they blame the previous generations, their government or the “others”. The truth is that their new country would be as broken as the old one. However, we need them to keep dreaming of this new world. Through Eleni Drivas’ translation and a diverse cast of actors, this production of I Want A Country connects the play with the current socio-political state of the USA and the popular demand for representation for all. This is the story I would like to share with FringeNYC’s audience through this play. It’s important in this particular political moment to accept defeat; and then speak, fight, dream!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I am fascinated by theater that integrates political conflicts into the context of a personal story (and the opposite). This balance between public and private also contains the tension between objectivity and subjectivity. This double point of focus makes every story fragile and somehow more personal. Lately, the news unfortunately…

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would love to work with people from tech industry, in order to expand the limits of theater as we know it!

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The last show I recommended to a friend was Philip Glass’ Satyagraha, opening in November at BAM.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I really don’t know… let’s wait to see!

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Probably a theater piece of avant-garde theater. Cage’s Theater Piece No. 1, Schechner’s Dionysous 69 or Foreman’s Miss Universal Happiness.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I don’t feel guilty by any pleasure.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Sleeping earlier at night 

What’s up next?: A multi-lingual theater adaptation of Euripides’ Trojan Women, in English, Greek, Turkish and Arabic. I Want a Country runs until October 27 at The New York International Fringe Festival. More info at