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Monica Vassiliou (1936-2011), the Pioneering Female Director

Monica Vasileiou was born in 1936 in Mytilene, when her parents were exiled due to their communist ideology. With studies in the Soviet Union and Paris, she became the first female director and actress in Cypriot theater.

In 1963, she moved to Athens, where she collaborated with giants of Greek theater. She taught at the Katselis Drama School and concurrently worked as a director and actress.

In 1967, with the rise of the Greek junta to power, she was arrested and detained for a brief period. Immediately after, she left Athens and went to London, where she mainly collaborated with the BBC, participating in TV productions such as "Vendetta," "Mrs. Fifth," and the TV series "Christ Recrucified," based on the eponymous work by N. Kazantzakis. The external shots of this series were filmed in Cyprus.

In London, Monica Vasileiou also collaborated with the "Criterion" theater. She returned to Cyprus in 1971 and, over the next 5 years, worked with the Cyprus Theatre Organization. After the invasion, she focused on refugees and the wounded in the hospital. Later, she became active in the group "The Women Return." Among other things, she was one of the pioneers of creating children's theater at the Organization, and regarding children's theater specifically, she experimented in 1976-77 with children from the Helenic elementary school in Nicosia.

From 1976, Monica Vasileiou worked as an actress and director, collaborating with the Free Theater and especially with the "New Theatre Group." Later, she renewed her collaboration with THOC.

Monica Vasileiou made a significant contribution to the continuous collaboration, starting in 1971, with Cypriot radio and television. Specifically on Cypriot television, she participated in many theatrical and other productions.

From 1978 to 2010, she worked as a professor at the Pedagogical Academy and continued her studies in France in child psychology with the aim of applying it in theatrical practice.

She passed away on April 8, 2011.