35th / 14th International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre
35 / 14. интернационални фестивал алтернативног и новог театра

Novi Sad, 25th June - 3rd July 2008


TRANSMEDIA THEATRE Or about the concept of the 14th Infant

  Theatre takes its artistic energy and multilayered power of communication from two sources: simplification (reduction) and the possibility to exchange different forms and levels of communication in an almost infinite way. Throughout its rich and bifurcated history, whenever it was short of breath, theatre has always, openly or secretly, borrowed, taken over, mimicked, cried for or lived as a parasite from everything that came close to it. These used to be rituals, religious processions or liturgies, historical events, great disasters, wars, everyday life or great love tragedies, human nature, revolutions, absurdity of life. However, there are other spaces in which theatre, when it exhausts one way of thinking or exhausts the possibilities to revitalise from within, finds new energy or new, more challenging and altered methods of communication. These are the border languages of other arts close to it. It used to struggle with a new medium of video for a long time, trying to speak up through it in a theatrical way. And finally it succeeded. Now video has become almost an integral part of theatrical language. Neither does theatre hesitate to use and explore nowadays so forked out fields of visual and installation art. There are performances where these elements constitute a basis of theatrical language. One of the more obvious examples of artistic act which theatre has almost completely taken over from visual art and simply absorbed is performance art. Not only is it used by some directors in their productions, but its language and forms of expression have become the basis for creation of a new theatrical language or some of its segments. So in some productions acting is reduced to a bare minimum or is almost completely gone. Or the segment of text - until recently crucial for theatre as it used to take drama for its point of departure – which is now formulated from an actor’s private story, which the actor shapes himself. Surely, time is treated completely differently as well, because each event unfolds in its natural duration. The latest stage productions more and more frequently shape materials that used to belong to some other artistic languages, the mass media or various other genres. This is probably initiated by the first attempts to theatrically shape some subjects imported from film, only to move slowly onto the other forms of artistic expression. In this context, visual art is especially fruitful, but in a different way, because, so to say, visual art subjects are given a breath of life on stage, or painted objects and shapes are reconstructed on stage according to the laws of theatre or dramaturgy. As well as the translation of the mass media contents. They are used very often because of their sound receptive background. Comics have also become very fruitful and suitable for brining to life in other mediums. Testifying to this we offer you the explorations carried out by the productions from this year’s Infant: the productions by the Drift Theatre, The New Front Theatre, Woman-Bomb, Anarchy in Bavaria, Feast at the Time of Black Death and 1984 by the Combined Operations Troupe.

Simon Grabovac

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