Tarpon Springs, FL – Tarpon Arts is excited to announce a new concept in entertainment – a micro-play featuring the Elizabeth Indianos’ mural This Blessed Plot, This Earth depicting the history of Tarpon Springs. The mural was commissioned by the City of Tarpon Springs through the Public Art Committee and colorfully graces the entire north wall of the historic Cultural Center gallery. It is a significant addition historically to the majestic building that once served as Tarpon Springs’ first City Hall.
What makes This Blessed Plot, This Earth the play, unique and extraordinary is the experience patrons will have when select people and animals that are painted into the mural almost magically come to life during the play and tell their story! Written and produced by renowned artist Elizabeth Indianos, the micro-play debuts at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S. Pinellas Avenue (Alt. 19) on Fridays, January 21 & 28 at 7:00 PM; Saturdays, January 22 & 29 at 2:00 PM; and Sundays, January 23 & 30 at 2:00 PM. Venue parking is free, and seating (limited to 44 patrons) is first come, first served. The venue opens one hour prior to each performance. Tickets are $18 general admission and $15 for Tarpon Arts’ Members. Tickets are available online at TarponArts.org, via phone 727.942.5605 or at the Ticket Sales Office in the Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane in Craig Park, Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
Notes From Artist, Playwright, Director and Producer Elizabeth Indianos
This Blessed Plot, This Earth the play
This work could be the 1st Art story of the New Year- about hopefulness through Covid; Ghosts always find a way to have their voices heard… and we are hearing them now in This Blessed Plot, This Earth – just as I heard them while painting in the Cultural Center, formerly, Old City Hall, isolated and in lock down for a year… Hearing them, resolved to create them and bring them to life with paint and pen and story, as a testimony of faith in our survival. Now hear them speak to you in a multiplicity of disciplines, writing, music, dance, sound, art, set and costume design, drama.
Actors bringing these characters to life have real significance as part of history – like the young woman, Katerina, who portrays the Dove Bearer in the iconic Cross-Diver Epiphany Scene of the mural. Coincidentally, Katerina Lecourezos an actress- was just selected by the Greek Church to be the Dove Bearer for the January 6th, 2022, Cross Diver Epiphany celebration.
I could not have predicted this or even hoped for such a connection to this mural and play. Katerina, an actress, is also the Dove Bearer in the Cross-Diver Epiphany Scene.
White Doves are lasting symbols in art. Associated with gods and goddesses in Ancient Greece, In Christianity, they’re symbols of love, faith, purity and peace and spiritual love and messengers across many cultures. In the Bible, Noah sent a dove to check on the flood waters. When the dove returned with an olive branch and Noah understood that the punishing floods were over. We pray we’re headed in the same direction.
Actor Father James Rousakis, a priest in real life, is playing a priest. He has conducted Epiphany Ceremonies, broadcast around the world from the City of Tarpon Springs. He will bless the audience, just has he blesses cross divers in real time and those who attend his services…Father James will leave quickly after one of our performances, as he is going to be celebrated for 50 years of service in the Greek Community. Father James was a favorite actor in LIBERTAIRE the Play, the inspirational mentor of the artist who created the Statue of Liberty. In This Blessed Plot, This Earth, he will also play a savage Conquistador
This artwork, the play; the musical composition and score; set design, costumes and dance are all original works, all intended for high purpose, a celebration of good as we enter 2022.
There has never been in this historic City (known as Epiphany City) an epiphany quite like this, where art and the community come together in this manner; where its histories and stories are told by an artist and come together as one.
The artist/writer came to the City of Tarpon Springs as an Artist in Residence, having received a national endowment for the Arts award directly out of Graduate school. She was considered a seedling with Greek Heritage and charged with the task and challenge of further enhancing and defining the City’s unique heritage, all of it.
I’ve spent a lifetime in this City, creating exhibitions and classes, public art, and play productions about artists and communities and what it means to be part of one. When did the concept of home start to sneak up on me? In the darkest of times, the minute these characters and their voices came to life in the nurturing embrace of my community.
This Blessed Plot has now connected two counties- Pinellas and Hillsborough. Via the insight and vision of Stanton Storer, This Blessed Plot, This Earth has travelled and crossed over the bridge, thru support and collaboration with The Tampa City Ballet and its Director Paula Nuenez. Composer Michael Amish (from Gainesville Florida) and I have now created our 4th production together… driven always to bring the truth of art to life with other kindred folks, and never once asking why or doubting how. That’s what artists do.
Sampling of Historic Figure / Character Script Quotes:
VIRGIL THE ALLIGATOR
“Same ole blood and guts, dog eat dog story, isn’t it? But I got an alligator mind. I’m a dragon, in the Garden of Eden for a long, long time… that is if you don’t kill me…eat me…or turn me into luggage…”
“Ahhh, Intoxicating, this New World… La Florida (la Flor-lee-da. Moved, falls to his knees, face upward with tears) Thanks, be it to our Lord, for the immeasurable mercy of having reached this shore – a miracle this wonderous land, unknown to the rest of the world – is discovered and saved by God and Espania and Me…
“Over thousands of years, we are not completely the story of destruction, but a story of survival against all odds … We are truly unconquered and have become, “star stuff pondering the stars.”
FLORIDA CRACKER NAPOLEON BONAPARTE MIZELL
“Why’d we come here; you say? Why, we come from all over the old world to the New World? Europe, spilt her best blood when we left… from every country, come this amazing strain of yeast… “
“Words mark this place…and remind us of long ago, when this neighborhood wrapped us like a blanket…”
Stanton Storer – Embrace the Arts Foundation
“Elizabeth has proven herself nationally as a talented and engaging playwright and artist. Ms. Indianos’ painting at the Tarpon Springs’ Cultural Center is now a local treasure, encapsulating the local history and influencers.
Several months ago, Ms. Indianos and I were casually discussing her search for acting and dancing talent for This Blessed Plot…. I immediately thought of the Tampa City Ballet with artistic Director Paula Nunez and connected the two.
I could not be prouder that this collaboration has now come to fruition. The welcoming city charm of Tarpon Springs- and the beauty and character of the locals- have always had an affectionate place in my heart. Elizabeth and Paula are a synergistic force in this important, local event that should be embraced and enjoyed by all”.
Dr. Kathleen Monahan – former Cultural Director City of Tarpon Springs
“The Tarpon Springs community nourishes the arts. How wonderful that Elizabeth Indianos’ original mural will literally come to life through the interpretations by local actors, the majority of whom have been shaped by this unique cultural and historical environment”.
Cast / Crew / Production:
Virgil the Alligator – Charlie Cronk
Conquistador- James Rousakis
Indigenous Mother – Demetra Lecourezos
Indigenous Princess – Katerina Lecourezos
Indigenous Chief – Stephen Ray
Napoleon Bonaparte Mizell – Tanner Littlejohn
Greek Sponge Diver – Nick Toth
Afro Bahamian Sponge Hooker – Randy Donaldson
Annie Dabbs – Leigh Davis
Ow l- Marissa Jo Kraus
Costume Team – Anna Anderson, Carol Zino, Dulcie Ribbans, Micky Bronson, Laura Goodman, Elizabeth Indianos, Dee O’Brien
Production Team Members –Dale Laird, Wesley Merritt, Joan Jennings, Dawn Lewis, Graham Jones Sound Tech
Consultants- Jim McNeely, John Lulias, Dr. Teresa Wilkens, Dee O’Brien, Graham Jones
Tampa City Ballet – Director Paula Núñez & Lighting Tech Javier Ruiz
Dancers: Brandon Carpio, John Paul Miecznikowski, Nicole Assaad, Tristan Quinn, Maria Fernanda Papa.
Composer – Michael Amish
Playwright /Director/Producer– Elizabeth Indianos
We’ve worked with and embraced familiar icons in our community, the likes of Jim McNeely, John Lulias, Dr. Teresa Wilkens, Dee O’Brien, Graham Jones, Brian Miklas, Brandon Ransbottom, and spectacular cast and crew‚—And have a surprise guest in the play- a Cross Diver Retriever from years ago, (to be revealed in the Epiphany scene.)