Last month, the Hellenic University clubs of Wilmington and Philadelphia co-sponsored via Drexel University’s Greek Studies program “Smyrna” an original docu-drama. The theatrical/multi-media event explored “the themes of genocide and population displacement through the prism of the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922 and the burning of Smyrna, as described in the promotional flyer.
Created and directed by Yannis Simonides, the event explored and wove together the testimonies and stories of the descendants of those ancestors during what historians recognize as one of the most cataclysmic events in modern Greco/Ottoman history. Performed by Yannis Simonides and Anthoula Katsimatides, the duet captivated the crowed with black and white projected imagery, that accompanied their oral presentation. Sharing the stage from opposing angles, the performers used a various mediums to sensitize the audience to the times and conditions of that period. Simonides and Katsimatides concluded the evening uniting in song and dance in memory of Smyrna, followed by a question and answer series with the audience.