Mueller's Medea presents a negative Arcadia. The mythic dimension of the story is replaced by a historical, while the bucolic landscape has been changed into a contemporary 'abandoned beach'. The state of a timeless presence of a myth has been replaced by a theatrical sensation of the passing time. The author has interlaced the subjective experience of the intimate and social reality into a frame of contrast ethic choices and procedures within three drama roles. The three-part construction of the drama combines the absence of the speaking subject, the dialogue form in different discussion levels, and a collective speech in the first person. The text does not follow the story line of events creating the drama, it offers though the insight into drama effects – or more accurately: into the mechanism of the entanglement within the characters. The ironical description, the realisation of the character, and the lyric expression - these are the three ways of presenting a single awareness of defeat, loyalty and acceptance of own discomfiture. The tragic the myth has been replaced by a comic one offering an objective and brutal picture of the world. The comedy presents - literally and without metaphors – the powers of sexuality and death that are the main themes of the drama. The text dramaturgy creates an auto-reference performance, where the stage time runs simultaneously with the time of the spectator, the space defines itself, the actor defines his/her acting etc. Such double presentation diverts the attention from the staging of the story ascribing the importance of the action on stage to the presence of the actor and the spoken words. This theatre idea has left aside the whole deep significance of the drama, the myth, the metaphor and the subjectivity of the character, and it has found the superfluity of the character within the vocal traces of the text or in the response of the actor's body. The expression of a human figure bears also a political question of the theatre - all social standards and the authority relations are already imprinted in the body. There is no explicit reference to politicaldreaming about mass community, about places of social gathering, about privileged status of citizens. As Heiner Mueller says: »Somehow art has become a blind practice. We can see a certain possibility to use theatre for completely small groups (it no more exists for the crowds anyhow) in order to conjure up places of fantasy, places offering freedom to our imagination. Considering the imperialism and the killing of imagination in stereotypes and ready-made standards of the media, I think that this is above all a political task, although the contents have nothing in common with political fact”.
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Translation: Milan Štefe and Snježana Rodek
Director: Ivica Buljan
Set design: Slaven Tolj
Costume design: Ana Savić Gecan
Music: Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar
Dramaturgy: Zlatko Wurzberg
Directors assistant: Robert Waltl
Co-operator: Vesna Kesić
Duration: 60 minutes
Opening performance in Slovenia: November 6, 2003; Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana
Production: Mini teater, Ljubljana
Co-production: Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana; Novo kazalište Zagreb, ARL Dubrovnik, gledališče Hotel Bulić Zagreb in Teater ITD Zagreb
Festivals and tours:
Festival Karantena, Dubrovnik, Croatia, August 2003, Festival Teatro de Oriente, Barcelona, Venezuela, October 2003, Dnevi ITD-ja, Zagreb, Croatia, January 2004, Festival Zadarsnova, Croatia, August 2004, Trnfest, Ljubljana, August 2004, Internacional Festival for experimental theatre, Kairo, Egypt, September 2004, Borštnikovo srečanje, Maribor, Slovenia, October 2004, Mala fronta novog plesa i performanca, Zagreb, Croatia, November 2004, Exodos Ljubljana 2005, Slovenia, Croatian actores festival, Vukovar, 2005; SEAS FESTIVAL RIJEKA, Drugo more, june 2005 Rijeka,Croatia 2005; Festival de Teatro de La Habana, Cuba, September 2005; SEAS Festival Udine, Italy, October 2005; Scampa Festival, Albania, October 2005
In September 2005 Medea Material was presented in the international theatrical festival in Havana in Cuba. According to the Cuban critics this was the best performance of the year in Cuba. It won the award Premio Villanueva de la critica teatral cubana. The selection was made among all the Cuban and all the foreign performances presented in Cuba in the year 2005.