In spring 2017, I joined Maria Gaitanidi’s company We Are Raw for a laboratory exploring Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. As part of this process, Maria held a series of workshops at the Young Vic in which we shared some of our work.
Born in Athens, native of Crete and Constantinople; Maria studied Philosophy and Drama in Brussels between 1996 and 2002 before travelling to the UK, Poland and Italy in order to continue and further her theatre practice. In 2007 she began her research on what she intuitively called ‘the vertical actor’. In 2008 she encountered Russian director Anatoli Vassiliev with whom she trained as an actress and director and discovered the ludic structures, an approach to acting and the theatrical art inspired by Plato’s texts. In 2011 she founded the ensemble We Are Raw Material in London in order to make work which questions the status quo in an encounter between the raw material of the human being, the text and the space. Her work encompasses various artistic forms from theatre performance, poetry recitals, site-specific actions, live installations, film and laboratories. She has directed plays by Chekhov, Pirandello, Plato, Euripides, Lorca amongst others. In 2013 she began working with Maud Robart, Jerzy Grotowski’s long term collaborator.