The scenic language must be prepared in dialogue with the actors and the refugees. Then, in the final phase of the work with the documentary material, a dramaturg or dramatist makes sharper textual choices and shapes situations and actions that clarify the issues. We are working with a couple of different scenarios and plots but need to see the material generated for further choices.
Nevertheless, certain premises underlie the performance: The refugees we see on stage are real refugees trying to get into the EU/EEA. Through this performance, have they succeeded? How do they, the actors, and the performance relate to it? And the actors and the project as such are open to problematizing their own position in the performance: Do we really want to be activists who help refugees into the EU? Why do we work on a theater stage and show it off? What is our self-interest in staging ourselves as helpers and rescuers?
We want to give these premises a theatrical context. So we like to use stylized stage images, unique scenography, or unusual costumes. Among other things, our designers hope to start a collaboration with the Bosnian clothing designer Aleksandra Lovrić, who has developed her own clothing brand together with refugees for several years. And which is regularly shown on some of Europe’s hottest catwalks. Refugees are thus already given a performative role, and we want this performativity to become part of the performance. Here it is possible to imagine sequences of, for example, pure catwalks, which show what refugees need in terms of clothing to set out on the run.
At the same time, the acting and the work on stage must appear authentic and sincere. As a director, Gianluca iumiento has experience with several international projects in different languages. He is currently with the performance “Right you are if you think so!” at the Polski Teatr in Wroclaw, Poland, where he works with Ukrainian refugees, among other things. In his work, Martin Thomas has developed “Theater Dialogue,” which is about the interaction between the audience and the stage – based on taboos. The directors have many years of experience working with both professionals and amateurs. Anchoring in one’s own body, with a commitment to the scenic situation, has always been one of the directors’ main focuses. They are particularly concerned with listening to their playing partner and the audience. Stage presence will therefore be essential for both actors and movements, no matter how absurd or theatrical the situation may appear.