A BUS LINE NAMED LONELINESS / A STREETCAR NAMED LONELINESS
The Cultural Institution “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić”, Serbia
Authors: Mina Ćirić, Maša Radić, Neda Gojković, Galina Maksimović
Directed by Stevan Bodroža
Costume design by Vladislava Joldžić
Jasmina Avramović, Anđela Jovanović, Tijana Čurović, Jasmina Večanski, Milica Stefanović, Marija Opsenica, Ivana Nikolić, Ivan Tomić, Željko Maksimović, Stefan Radonjić, Đorđe Marković and Aleksandar Stojić
Running time: 70 minutes
A Streetcar Named Loneliness is an omnibus project created in collaboration with Prof. Boško Milin from the Department of Dramaturgy, Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade. The four young dramatists developed their plays together with the director, with the idea to stage this production in a streetcar (in cooperation with the Public Transport Company Belgrade) and on the stage of the CI “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić”!
When I came up with the idea to have a play staged in a streetcar, for which the text(s) would be commissioned from young authors, the Public Transport Company Belgrade were ready to accommodate us. I wanted the texts to treat a couple of absolutely possible, realistic encounters on a streetcar, but I wanted the encounters to be more than mere sketches from everyday life – actually I wanted each of them to expose deeper problems that people are faced with, troubles they live through, hopes they cherish. Sometimes people are much more honest in such everyday incidental situations, they wear no masks and their true selves become more apparent. The young dramatists, three among whom have not graduated yet, gave a nice and inspired response to my idea. I worked on the themes and characters with them from the very beginning, and I appreciated the collaborative process where I, as a director, had a say in what was going to be written. The main indication I gave them was that I would like them to write for me something resembling Sofia Coppola’s films – sad, tender, very humorous at times, with a low dramatic valence so that a little happens on the outside, and much more on the inside. A streetcar, just like subways, train stations, lifts, park benches, are the so called “no spaces”, at least that is what the modern theory of art calls them, places that belong to no one, which makes them a fantastic canvas for projecting everyone’s inner content. This is why I find a streetcar so inspiring. It is actually the main character of this play, a place where, like in some temple or oracle, things people keep inside are “spilled out” into reality and blended; a place of pain and catharsis, a place of facing oneself and potentially overcoming oneself. It is for this reason that the play is titled “A Streetcar Named Loneliness” because when we are on public transport we are always alone in a strange kind of way, immersed in our own thoughts, which opens the door for self-reflection. And when this kind of self-reflection occurs, it always makes clear to us both how much we need others and how heavy a burden the loneliness from the title of the play is.
If audience, by entering the theatre, consents to the proposition that the stage illusion, the play as such, a dramatic reflection of our lives, is accepted as a new reality – we take it a step further and offer the audience on the streetcar a possibility to take part in this ritual. Paradoxically, in the realistic space of the play, actors’ expression becomes more life-like, and the poetics of the dramatic proposition more pronounced.
The play A Streetcar Named Loneliness is realised in cooperation with the largest city transport company and operator in the South-eastern Europe – PUE Public Transport Company Belgrade, which is socially responsible in various fields and recognises the importance of cultural networking and contributes to the development of the culture in our city through several collaborative projects with the CI “Vuk Stefanović Karadžić”.
Željko Milković, General Manager of the PUE Public Transport Company “Belgrade”
Jovana Paunović, Public Transport Company “Belgrade” PR
Srbobranka Ubiparipović, Head of the Department of Media Communications