Life Dates1931 – 2002
BiographyDemetra Louvrie was born in 1931 and grew up in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later finished her degree in education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She was exposed to Karagiozi shadow puppetry by her great-uncle, John Katses, who performed along Halsted Street in Greektown. She taught in Chicago at the Plato School in the Austin neighborhood and the Peterson Elementary School in the North Park neighborhood. The interest her great-uncle sparked in Karagiozi puppetry led her reach out to radio host George Kefalopolous, the last remaining repository of knowledge about the Karagiozi tradition in Chicago. Louvrie began studying Karagiozi seriously in 1975 and began teaching and performing the shadow puppet art professionally in 1981. She also reached out to Frixos Ghazepidhes, a master Karagiozi performer living in Greece, to learn various plays, performances, and the art of making puppets, and also joined him on tour during the 1980s. Louvrie created several English translations of the plays and also performed them for schoolchildren throughout Chicago under the sponsorship of the Illinois Arts Council. She worked to expand the plays to highlight Greek culture and history and use them to craft lessons relating to contemporary issues. Louvrie passed away on December 22, 2001 at her home in Melrose Park, Illinois.