This issue of the performance art magazine Maska on its 128 pages also contains, in addition to a series of informational articles and reviews of current performances, an extensive thematic series on the phenomenon of new European Playwrighting, edited by Petra Pogorevc. On its introductory pages, Rok Vevar reflects on how the dramatics of sperm and blood actually represents a theatrical settlement of old debts. He approaches the millennium dramatics in the light of direct TV transmission of the notorious New York bang on CNN channel: “The phenomenon of the sperm and blood drama is a theatrical settlement of old debts. The dramatic theatre convention has in the past century struck back several times with powerful defence. That is never the less logical, for the theatre in the twentieth century has been submitted to many fatal shocks: the inventions of the new media kept interfering with it, and the dramatics, literary established as late as four hundred years ago (the first literary editions of Jonson’s and Shakespeare’s plays in 1623) have in the second half of the 20th century – on the basis of Saussure’s, Wittgenstein’s and post-structuralistic research of language – suddenly omitted the use of speech (Handke, Beckett). But one of the main characteristics of the dramatics of the last fifty years is among other that it speaks about how and even after it has ran out of words. As soon as it goes astray into the fields of communicativity, it becomes banal and moralistic, it becomes a sort of unequal rival to the “society of spectacle”, that has subjugated its millennial modus operandi. That is why the new dramatic phenomena should be read through (a bit to literal understanding) Wittgenstein’s saying that the unspeakable manifests itself, that is to say, in the context of drama history – through the radical drama experiments of Beckett and Handke.”
Barbara Orel starts to hunt for the lost reality by selecting home performances of new European dramatics and writing about when the fourth wall in the theatre stops being convincing, or why each period must create its own realism on stage. Petra Pogorevc climbs both axes of language to the plays Razdejani and Razmadežna (Cleansed), following the echo of Bosnian hell in the works of Sarah Kane; meanwhile Martina Šiler tackles the dodging urban spleen, replaced in the plays of new English authors by a one-way social engagement from the 60s. Diana Koloini establishes that Slovenian dramatics still contains a chronic absence of dialogical discourse even in a time when drama and theatre have again become a trend, and Matej Bogataj notices some movement from literature towards practice in Slovenian drama.
In this Maska issue, you will find announcements of all the performances of the new European dramatics in Slovenian theatres, benefit from a series of internet addresses to thematic sites, read expansive interviews with dramatists David Harrower and Evgenij Griškovec, and an exclusive talk with the founder of “ face theatre”, a London theatrologist and critic Aleks Sierze. So that our view wouldn’t end only in the West, we have saved special attention for the record of the current state in the contemporary dramatics of Central and Eastern Europe. What kind of motives and topics in the 90s were obsessing a generation that wasn’t even born in the late fifties, when the first wave of angry young men was turning towards the rest of Europe in wrath? What kind of dramaturgical strategies and formal innovations reflect in the new writing, to which extent has the East adopt the western trends, in which form does the social engagement enter dramatics after the fall of the Berlin wall?