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GreekReporter.comGreek News"Women of Zalongo": Play Inspired by Brave Greek Women Opens in CA

“Women of Zalongo”: Play Inspired by Brave Greek Women Opens in CA

Women of Zalongo play
Hannah Sulak (left) and Peter Nikkos are among several guest artists who perform alongside students in Maria Cominis’ original play, “Women of Zalongo.” Credit: Facebook/Maria Cominis

The contemporary theatrical play “Women of Zalongo”, written by Maria Cominis and directed by Kari Hayter, premieres regionally on March 3-12 in Fullerton, CA and on March 18 and 19 in Santa Monica.

The performance is inspired by the playwright’s Greek grandmother and her childhood memories prior to her immigration to the US in 1915. Family secrets and intergenerational dynamics are woven into the lives of four generations of women whose family line reaches back to the heroic women of Zalongo.

The legend behind the Women of Zalongo play

The Dance of Zalongo is considered to be a monumental act of bravery and defiance against the Ottoman rulers by the women of Epirus and stands as one of the most colorful pages in Greece’s history.

According to the legend, the women trapped by the Ottoman army in the village of Zalongo, in northwestern Greece, jumped to their death with their children to flee a life of enslavement and humiliation. But before they jumped, they sang and danced (Dance of Zalongo).

Writer Maria Cominis

Maria Cominis is a first-generation Greek-American actor, author, professor, and playwright working in Los Angeles and Orange County, California.

She spent a decade in New York City, acting and also teaching at the renowned HB Studio. Accomplished in both theatre and television, her recent credits include Hacks, New Girl, and Desperate Housewives. Cominis has published for Routledge and Kendall Hunt Publishing and is a professor of acting at CSUF.

This production is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and is presented under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C., and the Consulate General of Greece in Los Angeles.

The play will be presented at the Clayes Performing Arts Center (James D. Young Theater at CSUF), on the campus of California State University, Fullerton, on March 3, 4, 10, 11, at 8 p.m., and on Sundays, March 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. For tickets, follow the link here.

To reserve tickets for the Santa Monica Playhouse performance on March 18 (March 19 is already sold out), supported by the Basil P. Caloyeras Center for Modern Greek Studies at LMU, follow the link.

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