Theater with People with Neuromuscular Disorders, Neurosciences Institute Neurology Charlotte Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, and At A Site Theater, Asheville, North Carolina
As a Fulbright Artist, Anna (Annita) Kapousizi visited the Neurosciences Institute – Neurology Charlotte Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, NC, and the At A Site Theater, Asheville, NC, to find out more about theater with people with neuromuscular disorders. She continued her project in New York under the supervision of Bill Connington, Lecturer in Acting at Yale School of Drama and Teacher in the Alexander Technique. Since her return to Greece, Anna has set up multiple initiatives:
During 2023, Annita Kapousizi's first book was published on Theater and Education: A Neurological Approach to Acting - Working with People with Neuromuscular Diseases (currently available in Greek only: ΚΑΠΟΥΣΙΖΗ, Αννίτα, Το Θεατρικό Εκπαιδευτικό Μοντέλο μέσα από τη Νευρολογική Προσέγγιση της Υποκριτικής - Δουλεύοντας με Ανθρόπους με Νευρομυϊκές Παθήσεις, 2023, Εκδοτικός 'Ομιλος ΙΩΝ, Αθήνα).
In September 2019, Anna Kapousizi partnered with two like-minded colleagues, Vassilis Oikonomou from THEAMA and Anna Vekiari from EXIS, to establish the first Inclusive Theater and Dance School in Athens called ISON. The school offers theater and dance lessons for people with and without disabilities and, in addtion, functions as a theater where performances are both staged and hosted. It is housed in a space located in the Votanikos area of central Athens and is supported by the Ministry of Culture.
DIRECTORS LAB MEDITARRANEAN
Anna Kapousizi is co-founder and Executive Steering Committee member of the newly launched Directors Lab Mediterranean. In January 2018, a group of Lincoln Center Theatre (LCT) Directors Lab alumni from the Mediterranean region met with the founder of LCT Lab Anne Cattaneo, and with theater makers from Lebanon, USA and London, at the American University of Beirut, and together they laid down the groundwork for a Directors Lab Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean is a place of great significance not only on economic and political levels, as we tend to have it in our minds, but also on the cultural and heritage level. In our experience, even though countries around the Mediterranean seem to share common characteristics, there aren’t enough common artistic grounds at organizational and institutional levels on which Mediterranean artists can communicate and exchange their theatrical methods and traditions. Directors Lab Mediterranean aims to bring forth the voices of Mediterranean countries on an artistic level and create a place for directors from all over the world to exchange knowledge and ideas and come in touch with the artistic and dramaturgical heritage of the Mediterranean area.
Endorsed by the founder of Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab Anne Cattaneo, Directors Lab Mediterranean will be launched in July 2019 at the American University of Beirut, hosted by the Theater Initiative and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History. The Lab aims to rotate around the Mediterranean cities in the future years.
The Lab is by application only. It is free of charge and targets emerging and mid-career directors. A maximum of 20 applicants will be admitted to the launching of the Lab in 2019.
Juan Carlos Martel Bayod, Anna Kapousizi, and Sahar Assaf meeting in Athens at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, June 2018
In September 2016, Anna Kapousizi, Theater Instructor, left Greece for the United States to learn more about the Alexander Technique and its application in theater with people with neuromuscular disorders. Anna had been working with MDA Hellas, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and as a result of this experience she wished to research more on the medical and artistic implications of acting exercises for people with limited body abilities.
Her research took her first to South Carolina where she collaborated with the Neurosciences Institute in Charlotte and then to New York where she staged a performance at the American Center for the Alexander Technique under the supervision of Bill Connington, lecturer in acting at Yale School of Drama and ACAT member.
In Athens, Anna is the founder of the Artimeleia Theater Group.
'Long Roads' (adaption of the story by Greek writer Lena Kitsopoulou) performed at ACAT, NY on March 4th, 2017.
Anna Kapousizi is a Fulbright Alumna of the 2016-2017 Artist Program
Photos: Anna Kapousizi / Maria Alvanou