Hi James, As promised
I'm getting back to you with a more detailed response to your performance
of "The Glory of Athens" at école secondaire Confédération
on January 9, 2004 ...
I must confess that
I was a little hesitant to have you perform the play at first. I wasn't
concerned about the script. I liked the text, having read it online.
I thought it had lots of humour and the message at the end of the play
is truly inspirational, challenging viewers to believe in themselves
without reservation. What made me nervous was my knowledge of what a
difficult audience high school students can be, especially when a single
person tries to hold their attention for 90 minutes. We teachers find
it a challenge to hold their attention for far shorter periods.
When you began your
performance, however, my fears were quickly laid to rest. You captured
our students' attention with the first line and never lost it. They
laughed at the funny parts and listened attentively to the serious parts,
and I could tell that the applause at the end was heartfelt. What impressed
me most, however, was the way the students interacted with you in the
question period after the performance. The quality of their questions
showed how thoroughly engaged they were by your play.
The audience included
about 40 grade 12 students ranging in age from 16 to 18, most of them
being 17 years old. To tell the truth, if I had known how good your
performance was going to be, I probably would have tried to include
our grade 11 students as well. Although there is some sexual humour
in the play, I don't think any of it would be shocking to teenagers
who watch prime time television in North America. For that matter, that
type of humour is not unfamiliar to anyone who has studied Shakespeare.
I should mention
that I gave a brief history lesson to our grade 12 students the day
before the play to furnish them with some background knowledge about
the historical and mythological characters in your play. I also showed
them a poster of the Parthenon so they would have that image in mind
when it was mentioned in the play. Though the students probably would
have understood your play without that lesson, I think the preparation
probably heightened their comprehension. For example, because I explained
the technique of Socratic dialectic to them, they were really able to
appreciate the humour of your parody of Socrates' argumentative tactics.
Once again, thank
you very much, James, for performing your play for our students. May
all of your performances of "The Glory of Athens" be as successful
as the one at École secondaire Confédération. Sincerely,
Doug Janack (English Teacher, Confederation High School,
Just a quick note
to say that our students' enthusiasm was confirmed during further discussion
on Monday. Donna and I have asked students to send emails to you. Doug
Janack (English Teacher, Confederation High School, Canada)
My name is Samantha,
and I am a student at Confederation High School. I was in the groupe
of grade twelves to whom you presented your play "The Glory of
Athens" on Friday, January 9, 2004, and I really enjoyed it, so
I felt I should let you know. I just wanted to send out a quick note
to say that I was really blown away by your presentation: the acting,
the humour, the play as a whole. It was really a wonderful story, a
beaufitul message, and a fantastic laugh. It's just what we all needed
on a Friday afternoon. I think I speak for everyone when I say that
I was very impressed by the play. It was a great story line, and very
well portrayed. We all had a lot of fun, and I would like to take this
opportunity to thank you for having come. Best
wishes in wherever and whatever life brings you! Cheers! Sam!
Dear James, Thanks
for your performance of The Glory of Athens at our Cegep de Granby (a
French community college in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.). My students
really enjoyed it and I've asked them to send you directly their testimonials.
They were amazed that someone would actually do something fun for them
and for free. It boggled their minds. Oh, what a cynics we are even
young. The reaction was great, and even most of them are native French
speaking albeit advanced students, they still caught most of the jokes.
Thanks again, Jennifer Hanna, Professor of English, Cegep
de Granby Haut-Yamaska.
You are a very good
actor and I liked your play ..maybe if we can we will see if we can
put it on for a bigger audience when you return on the 26th.. A job
well done. Betty-ann Power (Chairperson, LETS Niagara, Canada)
James, I read your
play and was very impressed with it. Tell me is there a little autobiographical
slant in there? Fern
Honestly, I haven't
read all of the ACTS ... But the first three are but hilarious ... I
finally finished reading all of the acts. ... But it was rude and funny.
... Sort of Greek, sort of an American ... I must admit though that
it was beautifully written and no doubt it was beautifully performed.......
Congratulations. ... I like them all. However, the top three characters
for me were (not necessarily in order): Pericles( I've always enjoyed
this character), Odysseus and Socrates. But I also liked Demi's 'plea'
to God. Dorie
You are a genius!
Its quite humorous! ... - DAMN GOOD! (stupendous even!) by the way,
you have an incredible spirit dancing with you! Sandra
James gave his first
perfomance of his play in Bressuire last year  to a French audience.
The audience, composed of both students and adults, enjoyed his sincere
depiction of Greek Philosophy in contemporary life situations. We recommend
his play especially for students in the humanities. Roger
Desbois (secretary), Jean Kelly (president), SEL de Bocage - Bressuire
Hi James, I wanted
to send you a copy of the article I wrote for our local newsletter after
seeing your play. I was so impressed with your portrayal that I was
really glad to have the opportunity to see it more than once. The first
time, at the Kitchener Public Library was amazing! I loved the plot
development, especially since each of the monologues could probably
stand on their own, but are knit together so skillfully that the entire
play has to be seen to be fully appreciated. All of the performances,
from the library to the business office to the church were exactly as
you'd billed them. When we received the poster and had a look at your
web-site, we had an idea of what was in store, but once we'd had an
opportunity to see the play, we were thrilled that we'd decided to support
your presentation of it. The tone of the play is inspirational and humourous,
with enough "meat" to keep the audience captivated, and we
are so pleased that we were able to witness it! Thank you so much for
sharing your "story" with us. You are a skilled story-teller
and your enthusiasm for each character in the play is obvious. Bravo!
From the opening line of the play, James catches your
attention and doesn�t let go until the final, inspirational words of
this 80-minute one-man show.
words �comedic� and �inspirational� are not grouped together, but in
this context, it works wonderfully well. The play is upbeat and moves
quickly, as you see through the characters� eyes from the initial dilemma
to the inspirational conclusion.
from a modern-day accountant, to 6 of Greek history�s most famous geniuses,
comes alive in James� portrayal of them. Observe the transformation
of the protagonist, Demi, from hopeless and desperate to confident and
inspired, as he is given the opportunity to see history unfold in a
series of flashbacks around the building of the Parthenon in ancient
I have seen the
play on three separate occasions and in three different venues and each
time, I have been witness to the power of positive thinking.
The first time was
at a local public library, where one member of the audience was so inspired,
he requested that James perform the play for his sales team, as he understood
the value of being able to present the message of believing in oneself.
The second time
I saw the play was at this same gentleman�s offices, where James presented
the play to a sales and marketing audience. After the performance, many
of the attendees commented on how much impact the play had on them.
One man mentioned that he could see how the play would be beneficial
to anyone who was stuck �thinking inside the box�. The protagonist�s
initial belief that he�s incapable of solving his company�s problem
is replaced by a confidence that �everything is possible, if you truly
The third time I
saw the production was in a church sanctuary in Welland, Ontario, to
a mixed audience of young and old parishioners. The over-riding consensus
was that the play imparted a sense of hope and strength in the midst
of seemingly impossible circumstances.
I would recommend
this play to anyone and everyone who wants to have their spirits lifted.
Although loosely based on historical facts, the play�s genuine philosophy
is to inspire through overcoming adversity, a message we all need to
hear more often.
Anderson is a Stephen Minister with Bethany Evangelical Missionary Church,
Kitchener, ON and Owner of Kit & Kaboodle Consulting, Kitchener,
ON. She is also a Member of the Board of Directors, Kitchener-Waterloo
Barterworks. A frequent contributor to our newsletter, Kit writes reviews
and commentaries on arts and drama events in the Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge
It was our pleasure
to host JamesTaris during November, 2003, for 5 days. In that short
but event packed period we came to realise that James is very dedicated
to his mission of promoting Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) primarily
because it was through helping LETS to flourish in Melbourne that his
own life was radically transformed. As a result, he is consumed with
a passion for showing people how, by assuming active roles in life and
learning and applying skills in innovative ways, they also can achieve
whatever they dream they could achieve.
This too is, I believe,
the message which shines through the play he has written and performed
to our local LETS members and in many other venues. The theme of self-
empowerment, tempered by some very funny episodes, was very well received
here and captured our attention from start to finish.
The irony is, of
course, that James, pursuing his adventurous world travels, is a living
example of the hero, Odysseus, in his positive, thought provoking play.
Loxton, Kingsbridge LETS, Kingsbridge, Devon, England
be pleased to endorse your play and any needs to promote you and this
amusing drama. I and many of my friends have enjoyed your play, meeting
and spending time with you. It certainly has been an adventure I and
my family will remember. You know the girl, the 'I am a genius' one.
Chonie (3) is still doing her 'genius dance' for others. God go with
you on your path ... Wishing you all the best in your endeavours. Yours
in freindship and LETS, Mary Beth Anger Sheffield. Community
Legal Worker and Community Developer.
This EXCELLENT play is well-written with ingenious theatrical techniques
and provides a powerful
When James TARIS
visited LETS Niagara, we intended to use his motivational skills mainly
to promote the concept of Local Economic/Employment/Energy Trading Systems
among existing and prospective members.
However, we were
also able to help him by arranging 3 public performances of The Glory
in a local High School, Church and, for members and friends of LETS
Niagara, in a private home.
We are honoured
to have played a small part in promoting this play - he was definitely
Called to write
and act it and it deserves to be performed widely.
The play's history
is similar to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, written as a Winnipeg comedienne's
stand-up comedy show. In the same way, I predict that we will one day
see The Glory Of Athens on the silver screen - it's that good.
The play's message,
for me, was that in times of trouble, prayer works.
A major side benefit
to The Glory Of Athens, is that it's style and technique help to explain
ancient Greek history as something worth studying, in fact, as interesting
as modern soap operas. The more we study history, the less we will be
doomed to repeat its lessons (and the ancient Greeks sure learned a
lot of them!).
Ten Star Life Broker; Rotary Club of Fort Erie (Secretary 2002-, President
LETS Niagara (Secretary-Treasurer 1997-); Scouts Canada leader 1986-2002
Lorne WHITE firstname.lastname@example.org ,
657 Steele St, PORT COLBORNE ON CANADA L3K 4Z1
905/ 835-5506 BusFaxRes www.tenstar.LorneWhite.com