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Greek amateur thespians raise money for Greece in Dubai

The more than 5,000 hours of volunteer work have paid off for 31 Greek expatriates in Dubai as they can now send money to help homeless people affected by the recession.

Six Greek amateur actors from Dubai supported by 25 production staff from the Thespis Greek Theatre Group did what they know best on Saturday night — staged the first all-Greek production and humanitarian event at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates.

The group, named after Thespis, the first actor in the world, is composed of volunteer actors based in the UAE. Some 500 Greeks from across the UAE came to watch the play in what is believed to be the largest gathering of Greek expatriates under one roof in the UAE.

The group performed "Babades with Chantilly" by acclaimed Greek television and theater screenwriters M. Reppas and Th. Papathanassiou. It is a satirical comedy that depicts how a family becomes a family of murderers because of greed.

“We chose this play as it’s a good way to talk about [materialism] in the ’80s and how it resembles what is happening in societies at present,” said Maria Karra, founder of Emfasis Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Greeks living overseas, and co-organiser of the event.

Karra said the two 90-minute plays saw full houses on Saturday, bringing proceeds to Dh75,000 (about €20,000), plus around Dh25,000 (about €5,000) worth of donations from audience members. Karra said the full amount will go a long way in helping homeless people in Greece.

For Evangelos Kalamatianos, a senior project manager, the play is just a start. He said he hopes more Greek community events are organized in the future.