Dear Audience, theatre lovers,
This year’s festival seems to be linked by the ideas of voice, listening and hearing. The voice of a pop singer entertains in Jiri Havelka’s performance; in Anna Karasińska’s Fantasia the actor and main character talks to the audience; Building Conversation, on the contrary, invites the audience to speak themselves and explores what happens in the absence of voice; Christiane Jatahy voices the opinions of two different social classes on stage; Kate McIntosh engages in the practice of listening as such, while Flora Detraz presents voice as an expression of obedient and disobedient body; finally, Rima Najdi’s project represents the pure act of listening to and hearing the other.
As a continuation of the legacy of Vaclav Havel and the relationship between theatre and politics, we search for ways in which theatre is and can be political. Besides ‘political theatre’ that puts politics and politicians on stage directly, theatre can also employ other socio-political means and strategies.
One of those strategies is listening and hearing. Recognizing other people’s voices is an important tool for socializing from the early childhood. From birth, we hear and listen, which allows us to understand that we are not alone in the world and that there are other people around us. And the theatre is just that place where we do this consistently, where we meet and hear others. We recognize their differences, and we listen. Listening and hearing is indeed the essence of understanding. But understanding is not a quick process. If we do it too fast, we end up understanding only what we already knew. Listening and hearing in fact primarily implies recognizing and acknowledging differences.
So, come, listen and hear with us.
Marta Ljubková and Sodja Lotker