The International Player is an artist cooperative created by Harry Sullivan, Helen Bowen and Gabriel Grela Mesa in Togo (West Africa) in 2019. In 2020 the fourth member Essohanam joined.
A group formed by creators from different countries (England, France, Togo, United States and Uruguay)
The mission is to connect artists who are passionate about the arts without discrimination with the understanding that each has something unique to offer.
We set out to explore the possibility of merging a classical Greek work (Medea) with digital media. In this way we created a multimedia production that combined live theater and projected shortfilms.
During the CORONAVIRUS pandemic the members continued to meet regularly through Zoom, discussing how to carry out their planned performance, although the possibility of cancelling the presentation was not ruled out at any time.
The work was presented on November 20, 2020 at the French Institute of Lomé, Togo
At the end of the piece, a round table discussion was held about the play and the characters and challenges the company faced in carrying out the production during the COVID-19 pandemic.
THéâTRE/ INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS INTERPRETE WITH BRIO "MedeE" D'EURIPIDE
De Wella Bernard
Among the different modes of expression and artistic representation, the theatre features both a visual and sound spectacle. On a stage that recreates a place that is both real and fictional, and in front of an audience, the actors imitate life situations or take up the greatest tragi-comedies of the past. It is exactly in the adaptation of one of the tragedies of the ancient Greek playwright Euripides that the actors of the theatre company "International Players" presented on the stage of the French Institute on Friday, November 20, 2020.
The actors amazed the audience with words, gestures, movements, face games, a multiplicity of actions, mixture of emotions, and an appearance of a spontaneity while in reality the result of much preparation.
A brief synopsis: Medea, a magician, in love with Jason, son of Aeson, used magic to help him steal the golden fleece from her own homeland. However, after fleeing with him to Greece, Jason abandoned her to marry Creusa, King Creon's daughter. In revenge, mad with rage, Medea will kill Creusa and her own children she had with Jason.
Presenting a contemporary version of the play, including Internet conversations, the International Players troupe comprise the British Helen Bowen in the role of Medea, the American Harry Sullivan in the role of Aegean, the Togolese Essohanam Badoumnalou in that of King Creon, and the Uruguayan Gabriel Grela Mesa in the skin of Jason. The play also incorporated monologue (very well played by Helen Bowen) and a soft and elegiac music, the work of Gabriel Grela Mesa.
For the British actress playing Medea, Helen Bowen, it was a huge sensation to play on stage and perform this famous Euripidian drama:
"I really like the representation of Medea because of its intensity. Appearing in such a play with actors from different backgrounds was fun. The aim is first of all to entertain and offer a pleasant evening to the public in these moments of Covid 19, while respecting social distancing. I have performed various plays, especially those of Shakespeare and others, but this is the very first time I have taken the stage to play a Greek tragedy.," she enthused.
The virtual interpretation spiced up the actors' dialogues as they interacted with characters in Europe via video calls. For Harry Sullivan, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Togo and interpreter of Aegeus, Medea's play was chosen on purpose to convey those emotions
that still exist today:
"Our troupe chose Medea because the tragedy contains universal themes that spread across cultures. Although the events took place in ancient time, we witness these emotions and actions today: jealousy, anger, betrayal, and unkept promises. We have been preparing this play for 15 months, and it is a pleasure for us to perform it here at the French Institute," he says.
The public, subject to strict adherence to the barrier measures against the Covid 19, greatly appreciated the presence and quality of the actors.
"It was a very large representation, and you don't see it every day," exclaims Denis Agbodenou, a visual artist.
The cosmopolitan troupe International Players plans to expand the locations where it performs and does not rule out a Togolese play.