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Production Approach -- Behind Our Story
Although the story-line for Athens & Knossos does indeed depend and draw heavily from the historical circumstances surrounding it - this is by no means the entire focus of the production. On the contrary, the backdrop was chosen because of its ability to reflect recurring political and economic themes that persist all the way through history; even up to today.
The character motivations are geared to reflect basic human issues that have always been there and never really go away: friendship, faith, acceptance; romance, loss, survival - short-term and long-term goals.
From the beginning, the story proceeds on the assumption that "people are people"; no matter what the time period - and therefore the characters are intended to act and sound much like we ourselves would - if we were living in that time. Specific references to modern times are, of course, not used - because it would undermine the authenticity. However - teenagers do sound like teenagers; political meetings do sound like political meetings - and romantic stories arise out of the recognizable needs of the characters involved; in psychological patterns relatable to today.
As for the factors of humor, warmth, camaraderie - we think there is a great deal of that here. Most directly it comes from the interplay of the younger characters both between and within the rival groups; and in the romantic stories - but also indirectly: in the undertone of recognizability in many other areas portrayed - especially the political situations.
But the assumption overall is that humor must come from within the story - from the very human aspect of the leading characters; not by the insertion of the convenient "comic relief character"; nor by making ridiculous out of period analogies for the isolated laugh. The humor of this production must stand or fall on its own terms - on credibility.
As for the areas of costume, style, and visual look - there is more than enough evidence to indicate that large segments of the population did wear pants and boots at this time - much like the Scythians of the Asian steppes, or the Vikings of later Northern Europe. But beyond that one of the key concepts of this story and this production: the concept of "style relatability." Pants and boots are used not only so that the characters will look and feel vital and dignified in the military/gladiator situations; but also in the political and romantic situations as well. And the key point is that the audience must feel comfortable in projecting themselves there too - especially the younger audience.
Therefore, with the younger characters - the Bulldancers - (guys and girls) - we would present a "projected authenticity." : Cossack-pants, boots, wide belts, wrist-bands, arm-bands, long-flowing hair, earrings, headbands - all in a variety of colors and configurations; true to their situation - vital, athletic and self-expressive.
And for the older, political characters, especially the Cretans - we project a look reflecting their extensive contact with Asia - the long flowing "Eastern" look: Arabian pants, boots, sash, tunic, cape "over-robes", jeweled rings and status headbands. For the Cretan ladies of the court, however; we do return to the more "expected" and traditional forms: gowns, robes, hair and jewels with the Greek, Roman, Arabian overtones. And this would be accurate as well.
In the areas of dance and athletic movement - which occurs primarily with the Bulldancers, or "Vadedores" - once again the concept is key. While the dance s can be compelling and attractive -- they are never sexual or explicit in purpose -- as opposed to most of what is seen in the current media. We would project a dance style with a decidedly clear martial-arts motif; and ballet-Celtic overtones as well: A mode of dance reflecting not only the danger and urgency, but also the constant life and death edge pervading the existence of the Vadedores on Crete.
Finally, on the spiritual/religious side; and as to the public expectation or perception of Greek Mythology in general - we are not presenting Mythology here at all - but rather, the reality behind it. History is the rule.
Therefore, obviously - there is no presentation of magic or superhuman powers. Only real people reacting to real situations in a setting realistic to its time. Although there are references to the Earth Goddess and Skyfather religions which prevailed at that time - they are only in true context. There is a range of adherence to these among the characters - or non-adherence. The assumption is that like us, the precepts for their religions would have been founded long ago in a prior age. They would have to find their inspiration in much the same way we do - or don't.
The real Myth or Magic of the show, we think - arises much more from the values of the characters themselves - in the choices they make; their seeming connection to some higher purpose - and, of course, the romantic sweep of the events themselves.