About the performance
The theatre play Strawberry Girl is based on a novel with the same title written by the contemporary Israeli author Savyon Liebrecht. The main poetic figure of the text is the character of a Jewish woman who grows strawberries, big as a man’s fist, in a Nazi concentration camp on the ashes of burnt Jews.
She grew them in a special soil. Do you know what this was, this soil? Burnt soil. Yes. What was left after they had burnt the Jews.
The play deals with the subject of holocaust, but through it, it poses a question to history: What now? What should the young do with this history? Knowing or instilling knowledge is simply not enough anymore. Theatre becomes an intimate encounter of an ignorant person with himself in a lonely den of history’s memories – just like in Strawberry Girl a Jewish woman and a Nazi’s wife meet. The project speaks to the generation – form the generation, for the creators of this performance are mainly young people, born into this world without the burdens of history. Thus, they approach it with a certain naivety, but also with curiosity which leaves them open to any new big discoveries that the project might offer.
The dramaturge about the Strawberry Girl
Through the narrative of a Nazi officer’s wife, the play, based on a literary prose work by an Israeli author, establishes theatre as a place of encounter and confrontation. Thus, the edge of the concentration camp where the protagonist of the play finds herself becomes, in the theatre context, the edge of the human being, the edge of his experience, and a field of various expressive forms. A Jewish girl bringing strawberries to the wife becomes a beating heart of darkness in the body of the actress. Live presence, an inherent part of theatre art, carves out a path where perspectives and facts fall apart and then re-gather and blend into the body. Solitude, awakening memories and obsessing the spirit, brings objects to life – the more it inhabits the imaginative, but at the same time concrete space, the more this space is coming to inhabit the solitude itself. A deadly serious history, an anatomic way of narrative which objectifies and quantifies chaotic experience, becomes an immortally ridiculous story which has to happen over and over again, every time anew, with all the dirt, the clutter, the obscurity, and the participation of all present. Perhaps this readiness to be present, to listen, to be together, to be “taken in” (which is exactly what theatre offers in all its breadth) opens a possibility to go beyond the box of holocaust as a raw and horrific historical fact, closed and unreachable, and to transcend it in its very opposite – the creative and elusive miracle of the human encounter.
Tomaž Kovačič, the dramaturge