No doubt about it. The pandemic might have reconfigured our reality beyond all reckoning. It’s also turned on a never-ending tap of artistic inspiration. So cruel then that so many of the theatres, stages and galleries that would have hosted this creative tsunami are in exile from their audiences. Enter a new species of theatrical festival, born of pandemic: The Onassis Foundation’s Future N.O.W. (it stands for new original works).
From an open call that took place during the first lockdown in March 2020, four final productions were chosen. From the funny and unexpected, to the downright surreal and avant garde, the quartet of new works all frame the future, as if it’s the explosive present, and ponder whether our future selves will be smarter, richer, wiser, more adaptable, more resilient.
As the productions could not be presented to a live audience as planned last November, they've been packaged as a new genre that flirts with cinema. Bright young filmmakers were recruited to create versions of the works in an interconnected format, designed for the digital environment. Shooting took place on the Onassis Stegi Roof, various other urban spaces such as the Votanikos Live Stage and the cafes of Neos Kosmos, as well as atop Mount Parnitha. You can view the fruits of this progressive collaboration on the YouTube channel of the Onassis Foundation for free, as they land throughout April. Here's what's in store:
In We are in the army now (Elias Adam), a group of hardline defenders of the environment and social equality are recruiting us;
In The Art of War (Vicky Kyriakoulakou), an iceberg melts over our heads;
In Babybird Babybird (Dimitris Babilis), four experts investigate "where did the babies go?”;
And in Kin Baby (Eva Giannakopoulou), the Onassis Main Stage is transformed into a club for a new species now being born.