Mountain Landscape and Mythologies – Sydney Johnson

The goal of today is simple. Hike through the deepest gorge in the world to a tiny village and do a play we’ve never done before in their village square. This is what we’ve been preparing for these past three weeks. Tonight we open Theogony. 

On one of our first days in the mountains we did an 8 hour hike through the Vikos Gorge. We were still getting to know each other and the intense hike catalyzed our ensemble building in a really exciting way. Today we do a shortened version of that hike in the opposite direction.

This is an Apprentice Company tradition. Our first performance is Vikos, which is about the size of Mikro Papingo. We used to take the bus in, do our thing, and leave, but that felt obtrusive and alienating. It was decided that we should instead migrate on foot so we arrive softly and have a strong sense of where we are. 

We left Mikro at a sweltering 12 o’clock and made our way down the same path we came up at the beginning of this program. At the bottom of the gorge is a spring of the cleanest, ice cold water I’ve ever seen. This was our lunch spot last time and it was again today. Some of us jumped into the water, but I opted to just dunk my head in. We spent probably a little too long relaxing in the shade, snacking, and cooling down. 

The next leg of the hike is 45 minutes straight uphill in this remarkable heat. I was in the front of the pack even though nothing intimidates me like steep uphill climbs. As we rose higher and higher, the shape of the gorge became clear and we could see how it snakes between the mountains and comes to a point at the pool we just swam in. 

We trickled into the town square panting and soaked in sweat. We were sent to the dusty old schoolhouse which we used as a dressing room of sorts. We took some time to explore the space and eat dinner, then it was off to rehearsal. We respaced what we needed to and managed to almost get through the whole thing. 

9 o’clock was rolling around and Ianthe and Meropi taught us to say “the play is starting.” We ran to all the little restaurants to tell the people and then we were set to go. 

All 20 seats we put out filled up and we started our play right as the sun set behind us. And in one of those miraculous theatre moments, it actually went really well! After the show we spoke to the very kind widows and hopped on the bus to go home. We ate some pie and felt quite satisfied, but not too satisfied, with our work for the day. 

-Sydney Johnson, 8/12

vikos gorge

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