Dec 302014

20110930_DSC_3593I have been thinking and thinking and dreaming over the last few days about how may I summarize all of our accomplishments in 2014 and thank all of our artists, partners and supporters for all they do to continue Ambassador Theater’s international cultural dialog.  How may I  attract more attention to all great work that the whole team of tirelessly working talented artists have devoted to our performances and events. One thing is very clear to me as to many other colleagues around Washington DC and around the world,


And I thank you  from the bottom of my heart for all your help, friendship and support and wish you


Let me then quickly share with you what we have accomplished in 2014! We have produced 5 new productions and events from Spain, Greece, Canada and Poland, some of them were the World Premieres and US Premiere.  We have developed friendships with the Embassy of Spain, Greece and Canada and continued our successful educational programs.  Let me list some of our programs and its accomplishments with you!


DIONYSIA: Celebration of Greek Culture at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater in Alexandria VA with a partnership of the Embassy of Greece and Greek Taverna 12051307936_8eae983f4e_z

DYSKOLOS by Menander at the Anacostia Arts Center


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HAPPILY EVER AFTER by Cristina Colmena – Best Play of 2014 in Professional Theaters by DC Metro Theater Arts

Click on the photo to see the Trailer!




RAGE by Michele Riml – Helen Hayes Recommended and Top 5 Shows of the week by MD Theatre Guide

Click on the photo to see the Trailer!

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SEEKING SANTA by Jeannette Jaquish – World Premiere presented successfully at the Residence of the Ambassador of Poland









LITERARY CAFE CELEBRATES LOVE with poetry, music and more in February 2015 TBA

Ambassador Theater joins the 250th Anniversary of the Polish Public Theater

LITERARY CAFE introduces the poetry of Tadeusz Rozewicz

 THE TRAP by Tadeusz Rozewicz…the most provocative and original playwright of the post-war period….enigmatic works that “sets up traps” for literal-minded critics, directors and audiences… …Anxities and nightmares of Franz Kafka…

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST SERIES: FISH SOUP IN ODESSA by Szymon Bogacz with Sebastian Rys, an interesting story of Jan Karski, a PolishWorld War II resistance movement fighter and later professor at Georgetown University. Professor Karski brought information to president Roosevelt about the extermination of the Jews of Europe. July 2015





Thanks to many wonderful teachers we have successfully completed another year of our Outreach program at the Hoffman Boston Elementary School supporting their Edison Program with the final performances of


1st Graders learned about recycling under the leadership of Ms. Lilia Slavova and performed their final showcase in May 2014

10338726_475350899277124_8347943972779950919_n2nd Graders learned about the scientific tools, science, underwater creatures and the universe. and presented a final performance “Aliens Among Us” in June 2014 under the direction of Hanna Bondarewska and Julia Tasheva. Showcased in their artwork, theater games and performance, this program connects to the students’ studies in school, improving their overall academic performance, reading and comprehension skills, and concentration and memorization ability.

This year, we have started a program about the Native Americans and as we go, we work on developing a play to be produced in May 2015th!

We would love you help us, JOIN OUR SUPPORT GROUP – BRING A SMILE TO A CHILD - Add your dollar to the group

SUMMER CAMP at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater in Old Town Alexandria



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Oct 142014

ArianaMarlowebattle (350x205)Thursday, 9 October, two weeks to the opening – we are at Flashpoint theatre, almost half way through rehearsals. The set is almost ready, complete enough for the re-creation of scenes to take place. The Director and the Actors are now ‘separated’ and away from the discussion table – a crucial stage of deconstructing the characters of Laura and Rage through analysis of their personalities, motivations and behaviors. The process of ‘decoding’ the protagonists both in their private and school contexts allowed the Director to reveal the characters’ personas and bring them to life; and was necessary for the Actors to understand Laura and Rage as human beings they were going to impersonate.

Rage is a two character play with an extremely intense plot, based around complex issues and conflict, and a gun as the actors’ companion. Such was the scenario the Actors entered when they were cast in the roles of a pacifist teacher and a radical, suicidal student. Based on my chats with both Ariana Almajan and Marlowe Vilchez, sorting out their initial instinctual and rational reactions towards the characters they were going to become and the roles they were to play, was crucial in being able to move forward toward rehearsing and perfecting scenes.

Ariana commenced her adventure with Rage overwhelmed by how intense the play was, and how exposed she would be on stage as one of only two players. Playing a female subjected to physical violence only added to her pre-rehearsal jitters and a list of challenges she had not faced in her previous roles. Also, there was a barrier Ariana felt existed between her and the character – she simply did not feel comfortable in Laura’s skin. Whilst being able to relate to the teacher’s personal life, the actress was not accepting of Laura’s blind idealism and naive trust in a non-violent way of life, a stance which seemed to her to be totally devoid of realism.

Marlowe had his own set of issues to deal with, such as the age factor and complexity of the character. Rage is not your average teenager, but a well read, intelligent and articulate person with maturity well above his years. To add to the challenge, he also happens to be a sociopath, and as such brings an extra layer of complexity to his already diverse identity – quite a challenge for Marlowe, who is no longer a teenager and who never impersonated a young sociopath before.  He also never handled a gun, a task requiring practice and getting used to, which next to working on voice modulation, language and mannerisms became one of many challenges to overcome.

Ariana and Marlowe tell me that whilst they are now much more relaxed having had the opportunity to get used to the characters and reconcile with the personalities they had to become on stage, the challenge of bringing Rage and Laura to life is very much on and the nervousness has not left them yet. They must have internalized the tension, as I cannot detect it when observing them practicing and perfecting scenes, under the guidance of Joe Banno. What seems obvious is that Joe’s directing style is very much team based. The actors feel comfortable responding to his comments, advice and instructions, as well as asking questions and offering their input. There is always time for impromptu discussion, if necessary, and humor, which gives all a much needed respite from a very intense effort.

Most of the director’s work is done from outside the performance space. As an experienced, highly skilled director and an amazing withaguncommunicator, Joe rarely needs to join the actors on stage to demonstrate specific movements, gestures or the Actors’ positioning. His input is smooth and transparent, his intentions clear, and his rapport with the actors exceptional. The three make an amazing team. I am excited to be able to witness a great director and two talented actors bringing the play to life, adding new layers and depth to the characters with every repetition of a line or a scene, every instruction, question and response, and every digression,  exploring new dimension of a dialog or the Actors’ interaction.

It is still a work in progress, but the end result can already be seen and sensed. Cannot wait for the premiere!

October 22, 2014 Preview at 8 pm

October 23, 2014 at 8 pm, Opening  & Reception Follows

Saturday, October 25, 8 pm Press Night

Wednesdays – Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Matinees: Sundays at 2:00 pm

TICKETS: $8 – $40 Online:

For 16 + Audiences

WHERE: Mead Theater Lab at Flashpoint

     916 G Street NW, Washington DC

WHEN: October 22 – November 16, 2014

Oct 092014

PMP_8947 (3) When I first got the script, it was evident to me that Rage was going to be a pretty complex character. It is not say that  the other characters I have played were not complex, but simply that there are aspects of Rage that are difficult to  gauge and manipulate in order to present him believably. During that first week of rehearsals, our Director, Joe  Banno, helped me with finding the right balance in the many aspects of Rage’s character. The aspects of his character  that I had to consider and be mindful of were Rage’s anger, his age, his maturity level, his intelligence, and of course  his level of “crazy” and “creepy”.
I knew from the start that his anger had to fluctuate. I did not want Rage to come off as solely angry the entire length  of the play. Joe and I also agreed that we did not like the idea of Rage’s burst of anger to come out of left field. We came to the consensus that there had to be smaller bursts of anger towards the beginning of the play that build at certain points throughout. These bursts of anger, however, have to be strategically placed or else they might not coincide with the progression of the show. I think this allows Rage to be less stagnant. I think it is a lot more interesting and more real for a character to have different levels. As an audience member, if an actor is yelling every line, I find it hard to empathize with them. And honestly, it is boring to watch a one dimensional character.
When I tried to focus in on Rage’s anger, Joe pointed out to me that what I was doing with my voice really matured Rage beyond his 17 years. He mentioned that the register of my voice had gone much deeper than my natural voice. Subconsciously, I must have made the connection that a deeper voice was much more serious and sounded angrier. It is not a huge stretch, but it just does not fit with who the character is. I had been given similar notes in the past regarding my voice; I realized that because my natural voice was a bit high, I was compensating for it by bringing it down to a lower register. However, by doing so I was compromising Rage’s age. It’s something I will definitely have to monitor much more closely. There is a quality of my voice that I have to tap into to make sure he sounds young but also mature. More than likely, I will have to decide when in the show it would be appropriate to sound one way or the other. That will be dependent on how comfortable and confident Rage is with what he is saying.
Despite the fact that Rage is quite intelligent and formulates mature arguments in his discussion with Laura, his age cannot be ignored. If we forget to address his age, the audience cannot be expected to believe that he is 17. The show also loses that element of innocence being overpowered by anger and violence. It is something I have somewhat been struggling with because what I naturally gravitate towards usually comes off as a bit older. I might deepen my voice, change my posture, or even move in a grandiose fashion. Again not necessarily way off track as these mannerisms can reflect Rage’s confidence in his intelligence or his assertive personality, but not exactly what I should cling to if I’m 17 years old. I’ll sometimes catch myself and realize I might be coming off a bit older, and compensate for it. The problem is I find myself overcompensating and lose the threat level. It is truly a matter of finding the delicate balance of youth and maturity without compromising either.
When considering the threat level, I thought I would benefit from doing some research on psychopathy. Specifically, I wanted to look at the characteristics that come with psychopathy as well as those associated with it. I thought psychopathy would be a good starting point, because the shooters to which Rage relates were described as psychopaths by psychiatrists. Rage also shows signs of being a psychopath because of his lack of empathy and his bold behavior. I found that self-assurance, cruelty, and disinhibition were the main characteristics in psychopathy. My goal thus far is to highlight these characteristics in Rage but only to the extent that a juvenile would be able to address them. I say this because he “still a kid” as Laura puts it, and similarly to what I mentioned before despite his violence and anger we cannot forget he is a teenager. I hope that has the rehearsal process continues I will get more comfortable with the voice, physicality, and anger that comes with playing Rage.

Marlowe Vilchez

rage_200x200 (2)                                                                 Ambassador Theater Presents


By Michele Riml

Will “justifiable” violence or passive resistance win the day? Who will survive?

Directed by Joe Banno

Helen Hayes awarded director

Featuring: Ariana Almajan as Laura Whalen

                                     Marlowe Vilchez as Raymond Stitt

October 22 – November 16, 2014

Flashpoint, 916 G Street, NW, Washington DC 20001

Wed – Sat at 8 pm; Sun at 2 pm


Jul 032014
Photos from SUMMER

Ambassador Theater’s campers, most of whom, were awarded scholarships to attend a International Youth Theater Production Camp at the George Washington Masonic Memorial are busy putting together a play, where they will be showcasing their pottery, costumes, paintings, amongst other crafts

Students learned much about the many stories and attributions regarding the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greek Times! They worked diligently to learn about these figures to better assume their roles in the play, The Gods & Goddesses Bake Off. A comical and descriptive production, where all the Gods of ancient times meet to compete in the one thing they’ve never had to do, a bake off! IMG_0263

During the summer camp, students, along with the help of Ambassador Theater staff, especially Ms. Lilia Slavova, made paintings, depicting the Gods and their characteristics, to better learn more about their role. They designed pottery, with Ancient Greek designs. Also, they used crafts as props to compliment their Godly wardrobe.

In addition to the many crafts, students have strengthened their acting skills, being directed by the Ambassador Theaters Artistic Director, Hanna Bondarewska. For all students, it’s their first time entering the George Washington Masonic Memorial, where they were awed by the paintings, architecture, and overall elegant atmosphere. Soon, they will show their friends, family, and all who come how godly they can be.

Don’t miss the performance of “The Gods and Goddesses Bake Off” on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 12 pm at the George Washington Masonic Memorial Theatre, 101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria VA

Yorman Amador

Mar 272014

World Theatre Day, 27 March 2014

 From Literary Associate, Eliza Anna Falk


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DSC_0535Theatre matters; it entertains, educates and transforms. Theatre is immortal; it will live as long as we have the ability to create and the freedom to perform. Theatre is an exchange of live energy between actors and spectators, an experience which, as history shows, has proven irreversibly addictive and irreplaceable with neither film nor TV.

Let’s celebrate theatre quoting the words of its co-creators: writers, directors, actors and spectators and through their thoughts, reflect on theatre’s origin, relevance, force, magic, challenges, struggles and its relationship with the audience.

Let’s also take this opportunity to extend a well-deserved, and never sufficiently deep ‘THANK YOU’ to all whose efforts, passion and determination keep the theatre alive despite the ever-present obstacles, challenges and difficulties: to the theatre professionals, enthusiasts, supporters and audiences!

On Origins and Relevance

“As to the origin of the poetic art as a whole, it stands to reason that two operative causes brought it into being, both of them rooted in human nature. Namely that habit of imitating is congenial to human being from childhood (…) and so is the pleasure that all men take in works of imitation.” – Aristotle, Poetics

“The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time.” – Stella Adler, Actress and Acting Teacher

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.” – William Shakespeare, As You Like It

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”. Oscar Wilde, Playwright

On Force and Magic

“Theatre is a form of knowledge; it should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” – Augusto Boal, Director and Playwright

Great Theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to.” – Willem Dafoe, Actor

“I long for simplicity of theatre. I want lessons learned, comeuppances delivered, people sorted out, all before your bladder gets distractingly full(…) Life just isn’t so, nor will it be made so.” – John M. Ford, Writer, Casting Fortune

“Theatres are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramatic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurrences on and off stage.” – E.A. Bucchianeri, Writer, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

“The stories are centuries old. They shout of discovered love and lost hope, of humor and anguish, of mystery and maidens and tragic farewells. Within three plain walls and a curtain lies a world in which we’ve never lived. A world we think we know. The Performing Arts are beacons of the times. They reflect the best of us and the worst of us, as they tell their tales, on a stage, shining in the light.” – Anonymous Spectator

On challenges and struggles

“The theatre is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.” – John Steinbeck, Writer, Once There Was a War

“I love the stage, I love the process of acting in theatre, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills.” Kabir Bedi, Actor

 “There are many actors who (…) don’t like theatre. What they are saying is that they’re afraid of theatre because they know it will separate those who can from those who can’t.” – Ken Stott, Actor

“Theatre is really difficult, so it’s important that you have a director that kind of understands and is really hands on.” – Jimmi Simpson, Actor

“The theatre is a tragic place, full of endings and partings and heartbreak. You dedicate yourself passionately (…) to a project, to people (…) you think of nothing else for weeks and months, then suddenly it is over, it’s perpetual destruction, perpetual divorce (…) It’s like falling in love and being smashed over and over again. ” – Iris Murdoch, Writer, The Green Knight

On Relationship with the Audience

”The theatre is a weapon, and it is the people who should wield it.”- Augusto Boal, Theatre Director and Writer

“The audience is the most revered member of the theatre. Without an audience, there is no theatre (…) they are our guests, fellow players, and the last spoke in the wheel which can begin to roll. They make the performance meaningful”. – Viola Spolin, Actress and Teacher

My task is to build “a necessary theatre, one in which there is only practical difference between actor and audience, not a fundamental one.” – Peter Brook, Playwright

“A playwright is the litmus paper of the arts. He’s got to be, because if he isn’t working on the same wave length as the audience, no one would know what in hell he was talking about. He is a kind of psychic journalist, even when he’s great.” – Arthur Miller, Playwright

Mar 122014


Welcome to the opening of World Premiere of Happily Ever After at FLASHPOINT’s Mead Theatre Lab.  This is our third in a series of New Work from around the world, discovering new voices of young authors and at this case, thanks to Karin Rosnizeck, I am thrilled to work with a talented young Spanish author, Cristina Colmena.  I am especially grateful to our longtime friend and supporter, Mr. Boguslaw Jerke, as well as Embassy of Spain and its Spain arts and culture, artists and many friends who help us to discover many interesting plays from around the world.  The Ambassador Theater’s 5th season is rolling on!  During the past 4 years, we produced 10 main stage productions in addition to various “Bare Bones” and Staged Readings, New Work Series, Literary Café programs, play-reading workshops, summer camps, Studio Classes and outreach programs.  All of our programs have introduced our audiences to the cultures of several countries across multiple continents (Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Macedonia, and Poland). We have worked with over 100 actors, artists, authors, translators, directors and designers, in addition to over a thousand students and interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. We have even taken students abroad to perform at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the First Lady of Poland.  Our productions have been seen by over 7,000 spectators in many venues around the area.  We are fortunate to have developed valued friendships and partnerships with the diplomatic representatives of countries from where our productions originate.  Most recently, we received the MD Theatre Guide 2012 Award for Hopa Tropa Kukerica!, as well as the 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Grant Award.  I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors, artists, designers, partners, friends, and, most of all, our audience for helping us to fulfill our mission to continue facilitating international cultural dialogue.

We have a thrilling season ahead of us as we celebrate our 5th year.  March is a special month for us as we celebrate World Theater Day March 27, 2014 with a special message from International Theater Organization and a reception after our show.  In April we invite you to a special stage reading at the Embassy of the Czech Republic and to Literary Café at the Kosciuszko Foundation.  We also offer our 3rd Summer Theater Production Camp at a beautiful Memorial Theatre in Old Town Alexandria with a final showcase From Greek Myths to Stage June 23-July3.

And now, I would like to invite you to enjoy Happily Ever After, “snapshots of love stories, or better said, “un-love” stories”-does it sound familiar?   Thank you so much for your continued support. We hope to see you soon as we venture forward throughout this exciting 5th season. Enjoy the show! Hanna Bondarewska

Mar 122014

By Cristina Colmena

It’s complicated.

Life is not a fairy tale, that’s why love is not always a happy ending. The play shows three different couples and their struggle to be happy even when they don’t know how. Sometimes it seems so complicated that you even prefer to keep a distance, and stay

DSC_1210alone instead of taking the risk of falling in love. On the other hand sometimes what should be a happy couple is just only a fake, where people feel even more lonely and scared than living alone. Love and loneliness seems to be the two sides of the same emptiness. Desire and troubles. No clue about how to do it well.

Love and the difficulties of communication between people is something that appears always in my short stories. I started to write this play in New York as a challenge to explore the possibilities of theatre to show how tricky this love thing is. I think that a stage is a kind of  lab jar where you can observe human behavior dealing with issues like loneliness, fear and dissatisfaction. Theatre also allows you to look into  how the dialogue sometimes can become an obstacle instead of a bridge to connect with the other.


Most of the time everyone of us live in our own bubble, unable to understand other realities. That isolation is a kind of protection but also a wall that separates you from the person who sleeps besides you.

I always use a sour and sweet humor and also a surrealistic look about everyday life. I think that everyone experiences some kind of estrangement  about reality that open spaces for reflection about what we call normal. Mixing laughs and feelings of awkwardness make you realize how absurd is life. And love.


Happily Ever After opens on Thursday, March 13, 2014

At Mead Theatre Lab at FLASHPOINT

916 G Street, NW, Washington DC 20001





Jan 292014

CAM00496Ambassador Theater was extremely honored to accept the Proclamation from Mayor William D. Euille and the CAM00495City of Alexandria Council recognizing the Extraordinary Arts Organizations in 2014!

Ms. Lilia Slavova, ATICC’s Board Member and I among many accomplished arts organizations, including Metro Stage, Little Theater of Alexandria and others accepted the proclamation and introduced their organizations to all guests.

The Arts organizations celebrating extraordinary anniversaries include the Old Town Theater 100 years; The Little Theatre of Alexandria 80 years; Alexandria Symphony Orchestra 80 years;  The Art League 60 years; Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association 50 years; Torpedo Factory Art Center 40 years; MetroStage and the Alexandria Commission of the Arts 30 years; Washington Balalaika Society 25 years; First Night Alexandria and Ten Thousand Villages 20 years; Choreographers Collaboration Project 15 years; Arts on the Horizon, Ambassador Theater, and the Youth Arts Festival, 5 years.

Mayor William D Euille, and on behalf of the Alexandria City Council, do hereby proclaim 2014 as





Jan 272014

December 3, 2013 By Rebecca Silva

Senior Photo Before attending Ambassador Theatre’s production of Protest, I read most of the play, leaving the ending  untouched so that I would be surprised during the show.  The text is, after all, the crux of activist Vaclav  Havel’s play about two men who choose different paths in their lives to address and fight for social justice in  their country.  I must say, this production was extremely unique, well-done, and thought-provoking.  Director  Dr. Gail Humphries-Mardirosian’s vision certainly came to life in the parallel stories of Stanek/Vanek and  Stankova/Vankova as she expertly explored the realities of working towards social justice by using the  relationships between each set of characters as a vehicle to demonstrate the choices one must make  throughout one’s entire life.

In Protest, Stanek and Vanek (as well as their female counterparts) are foils to each other.  Throughout the play, Stanek and Stankova seem to remain the dominant characters, each having the vast majority of the dialogue and being the character who has to make a choice.  Vanek and Vankova, on the other hand, seem more submissive yet steadfast each in their own regards.  Ironically, it is perhaps Vanek and Vankova that are dominant because, ultimately, they are the ones who provoke Stanek and Stankova into a downward spiral of doubt, thought, and intense questioning of both the self and of others.

There is a single difference between Stanek/Stankova and Vanek/Vankova: Vanek and Vankova remain steadfast in their political 1426413_10152043199732419_1564594405_nactivism.  They adhere to their beliefs and never surrender, even though it means that they are in danger, as made evident by this character’s recent release from jail.  Stanek and Stankova, on the other hand, have compromised their beliefs for security.  These characters were previously artists who gave up their passions, dreams, and activism to protect their family.  Stanek and Stankova remain partially politically active (when it interests them), as they operate from the sidelines anonymously.

The question which Protest asks is this: what is the best way to champion social justice?  Is it better  to stick hard and fast to your values even though this decision may leave you incapacitated, rendering you to unable to contribute to the ongoing battle for social justice? Or rather,  is it wiser to save yourself, so that way you can still work behind the scenes throughout your life?  On one hand, Vanek and Vankova are  more dedicated, honest, noble, and respectable for adhering to their self-governing principles.  On the other hand, they are foolish and their lack of tact leads them straight into jail, where they cannot do anything productive to further their cause.  Meanwhile, Stanek and Stankova are pragmatic in their efforts to secure protection for themselves and their families, although their tact and indirect contributions to the fight towards social justice may be seen as weak at best.  Did these characters, perhaps, go back on what they once stood for?

1469906_10152043200317419_1379102465_nThe complexity of the decision is even more complicated when one approaches social justice through the lenses of different genders.  In Ambassador Theatre’s production of Protest, Vanek and Vankova certainly seemed more noble, while Stanek and Stankova appeared utilitarian and rather nihilistic.  This may be due to the fact that I am a woman, but I found the scene between Vankova and Stankova more intriguing, fresh, and exciting.  Stankova was extremely powerful, commanding the scene yet flustering all over the place, while Vankova was soft-spoken, but firm.  For me, Stankova’s decision to protect her life and family was much more credible and respectable than Stanek’s.  I admired her manipulative nature and inner strength.  This is the paradox of feminism: that women’s rights remain a hot topic in the realm of social justice, but a strong woman does not always champion women’s rights.  The image of Margaret Thatcher comes to mind– a powerful woman who thought of herself as a man rather than a woman equal to a man.  Dr. Gail Humphries-Mardirosian did an excellent and quite effective job creating a new point of view of social justice issues, and especially highlighting the thoughts of a strong woman who puts her life at risk by threatening to upset the system.

Most recent social justice issues have to deal with inequality.  This often means social inequality in human rights, more specifically with regards to discrimination in employment opportunities and salaries, as well as marriage rights.  Just as controversial and important is economic inequality, especially prevalent in poverty and homelessness.  I strongly believe that theatre can be used as a tool to address these problems in our world and make a statement about them.  But first, we must address injustices in the theatre itseld.

The world of the performing arts has garnered the image of overpriced frivolity for entertaining middle class citizens.  This reputation needs to be torn down and built up if theatre is ever going to be used effectively in the future.  There needs to be more cost effective programs that allow people of lower economic status to see shows.  If theatre is to be a vehicle for political activism , it needs to be more accessible.  New forms must be cultivated to bring in newcomers with no theatre background.  Theatre should be more widely taught in schools to introduce the thematic elements of performance early on in people’s lives.  The art needs to be much more accessible, flexible, honest, and threatening to the status quo.  Each show, scene, and exercise must make a meaningful statement in its theme, or as Aristotle once wrote, in its driving thought.  The theatre has so much potential to change the world through its inherently politically active nature.

Jan 182014


Welcome to the opening of DIONYSIA: Celebration of Greek Culture at the beautiful theatre in the George Washington National Memorial.  This is our second in a series of international cultural festivals following in the footsteps of last year’s award-winning performances of Hopa Tropa Kukerica! - celebrating Bulgarian Culture.  Thanks to the gracious support and friendship of the City of Alexandria and the Commission of the Arts as well as partnerships, with the George Washington Masonic Memorial, Embassy of Greece, artists and many friends who help us to continue our big celebrations of cultures of the world, our international cultural dialog goes on.  The Ambassador Theater’s 5th season is rolling on!  During the past 4 years, we have produced 9 main stage productions in addition to various “Bare Bones” and Staged Readings, New Work Series, Literary Café programs, play-reading workshops, summer camps, Studio Classes and outreach programs.  All of our programs have introduced our audiences to the cultures of several countries across multiple continents (Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Macedonia, and Poland). We have worked with over 100 actors, artists, authors, translators, directors and designers, in addition to over a thousand students and interns from various DC Metro schools and colleges. We have even taken students abroad to perform at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the First Lady of Poland.  Our productions have been seen by over 6,000 spectators in many venues around the area.  We are fortunate to have developed valued friendships and partnerships with the diplomatic representatives from where our productions originate.  Most recently, we received the MD Theatre Guide 2012 Award for Hopa Tropa Kukerica!, as well as the 2013 Helen Hayes Canadian Partnership Award.   I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our Board of Directors, artists, designers, partners, friends, and, most of all, our audience for helping us to fulfill our mission to continue facilitating international cultural dialogue.

We have a thrilling season ahead of us as we celebrate our 5th year.  As part of Celebration of Greek Culture, we will present Dyskolos at a new venue in Anacostia’s Arts Center January 30 – February 2, 2014.  Later in the spring, we will celebrate World Theater Day March 27, 2014, and present plays from Austria and Canada in partnership with the Embassy of Austria and Canada in March and June.  Finally, we are thrilled to announce that this year we have started offering season subscriptions – get yours today and make sure that you don’t miss a single adventure with Ambassador Theater!  And now I would like to invite you to this very special performance full of Greek dance, comedy with masks and slapstick. Let this Greek festival, full of lovely entertainment begin! Thank you so much for your continued support. We hope to see you soon as we venture forward throughout this exciting 5th season. Enjoy the show! Hanna Bondarewska