Greek Australian playwright Tom Petsinis has penned his fifth play, Elena and the Nightingale

Elena and the Nightingale

Elena and the Nightingale

L-R: Actors Hannah Greenwood who plays Elena, with Trent Baker.

Greek Australian playwright Tom Petsinis has penned his fifth play, Elena and the Nightingale. Elena is pining for her fiancé who has been away three years working in Australia. Desperate, she is approached by a mysterious Nightingale who promises to bring news of him.

Elena is drawn by the bird and a strange relationship develops. Full of mythical references, with a charming, fairy-tale quality, the play presents a world where the two characters share each other’s deepest feelings, but things aren’t necessarily what they appear.

Written in the form of musical sonata and incorporating traditional European folk tunes set to original English lyrics, the play explores love, loss and reconciliation. “In Elena and the Nightingale I have sought to fuse song, poetry and performance in a dramatic context. The play uses elements of fairy tale to explore the migration theme from the perspective of a village girl whose fiancé has gone to Australia,” Petsinis tells Neos Kosmos.

Petsinis has already published three novels – including The French Mathematician – six volumes of poetry and a collection of short stories. His play The Drought, won the Wal Cherry Award and was short listed for the Victorian Premiers Award. He is currently working on his new play Zorba’s Last Dance. As a mathematician at Victoria University, Petsinis doesn’t see a divide between the two fields, rather a beautiful connection.

“Mathematics is a precise language that produces wonderful results – theorems and proofs as beautiful as poetry. A song from my play Hypatia’s Circle, says: Music and mathematics Fill us with wonder, Nothing is more ecstatic Than a Greek number.

Elena and the Nightingale, will be performed at Footscray Community Arts Centre, 45 Moreland Street, Footscray, on Thursday 18 through to Sunday 21 October at 8.15 pm and Friday 19 at 10:00 am and Sun 21 at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $25 full, $15 concession, $10 students. For more information visit

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