Tantalus World Premiere in Denver:
Flag raising marks first day

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts
March 28, 2000
Media Contact: Suzanne Blandon 303/446-4886
  A new page in theatrical history began on Monday, March 27 when a flag raising ceremony celebrated the first day of TANTALUS rehearsals. Mr. Mercouris following the flag raising ceremony with John Sofos, Ted Critikos and Socrates Sklavenitis. Sir Peter Hall is in the upper left corner.

Flags of Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States and The Denver Center for the Performing Arts were raised to music by a brass quintet. The ceremony took place at the corner of Speer & Arapahoe at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Brief addresses were given by Dolald R. Seawell, Chairman of The Denver Center for the Performing Arts; Sir Peter Hall, Director of TANTALUS; Adrian Noble, Artistic Director of Royal Shakespeare Company; Spyros Mercouris, member of the Executive Committee of Cultural Capitals of Europe, and Donovan Marley, Artistic Director of the Denver Center Theatre Company.

Donald Seawell recognized the significant contribution of Greece to the development of theatre: "TANTALUS is all about the birth of that great country which gave [rise] to Western civilization, to democracy and, importantly, gave us the theatre." "The great thing about [TANTALUS], " said Sir Peter Hall, " is it's funny, it's ironic, it's disturbing, it's moving, and it's a hell of a good story. On one level it's about a terrible little war that no one can any longer remember why it started, how they got into it or how to get out of itů So it's modern, it's contemporary, it's looking at problems that we have today through the prism of the past. And it's that, I think, that has been so wonderful for the whole of Western culture-what the Greeks have given us."

Spyros Mercouris (brother of the late Melina Mercouri) discussed the importance of cultural collaborations by saying, "At a time of increasing globalization with our overriding emphasis on technology and economy, it reminds us of the need to maintain balance and to hold to our humanity. The need of culture today is critical-knowledge, education, exchange of ideas, communication, freedom of expression, respect of the other's opinion, accepting the diversities of different cultures. [These] could be better achieved and understood through cultural exchanges and constructive dialogue."

Mr. Mercouris went on to say, "John Barton, Sir Peter Hall, the Poyal Shakespeare Company and the Denver Center Theatre Company are guaranteed that this will be an enormous success and make TANTALUS a world event."