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Maska, časopis za scenske umetnosti → Revija Maska → Maska, revija za gledališče, ples in opero (1991 - 1998)

Women in Theatre

The triple issue from the year 1996 was published in the middle of May 1996, just before Exodos 1996, from which everybody involved in the independent theatre scene had enormous expectations, especially after the great success of the first one. The central thematic scope was about Women in Theatre, and most of it was created in the months following the first City of Women Festival, which took place in October 1995 in Ljubljana. The selection of essays- reviews tells us about the main performances of the season: Boris Pintar writes a clear text on Živadinov after the performance 1: 10 000 000, Sonja Dular writes about the movie Tajgy by Ema Kugler, an Austrian dance critic Andrea Amort writes about Farič’s stagings of ballet classics, Tatjana Ažman tackles the play Know Your Enemy, Rok Vevar writes about Miller’s staging of Leonce and Lena in SMG, Irena Štaudohar about Lo Scrittore and Museum by Barbara Novaković, Bojana Kunst on Hrvatin’s Celica and Svetlana Slapšak on Alma by Uršula Cetinski.

This issue features another article – perhaps not such a breakthrough in its contents, but by all means important informationally. Goran Golovko, a theatre critic and writer from Croatia, was in London at the time and inside the listing of relatively canonized British theatre practice also mentions the thing that will get the dimensions of a phenomenon on Slovenian institutional stages after the year 2000 and to which Maska will also dedicate an issue in 2001:

“The chamber scene of the Royal Court Theatre, which is called Theatre Upstairs, was the place of opinion clashes between the divided audience and the critics. The reason for the dispute was the realization of the play Blasted by 23 years old Sarah Kane. On the one hand, the performance was described as a deeply morally compassionate theatre work, and on the other hand as dirty, unrestrained revelry (the English critic Tinker characterized Sarah Kane’s play as a ‘disgusting feast of filth’, so a few years afterwords, Kane named a sadistic drama character from her play Cleansed after him). Of course, the event was immediately on the covers of sensation thirsty tabloids, and became the subject to the polemics on TV journals of national networks. The artistic director of Royal Court Stephen Daldry had to make a short break from his New York engagement, to justify the use of that kind of program in front of the theatre and the wider audience. When he went in front of the cameras, it was unfortunately evident that he hadn’t read the work yet. Another beaufort was added to this ‘storm in a cup of tea’ by the director Graham Crowly with his statement that he is horrified by the play, which was set in a room of a cheap hotel in Leeds, where a furious soldier from some unnamed civil war interrupts a séance between some journalist and his mute girlfriend, suffering from epilepsy. ‘It would take a deaf, mute and blind man not to be horrified by this immoral revelry,’ wrote some critic after seeing a series of brutalities, from rape, putting an eye out, cannibalism and finally to a murder of an infant. People were leaving the theatre in the middle of the play, justifying that with the words that vulgarity and constant display of sexuality bores them, even though ‘this wasn’t the most indecent thing they had ever seen’. Some were of different opinion: for them, the performance was more educational than therapeutic. It disclosed one aspect of the moral degeneration, from which everyone could have learned something. Others claimed that the performance radiates the newest subculture, violent by nature, and thus contributes to contemporary drama. Let me also mention the opinion of some satisfied spectator, saying that the ’juxtapositions of the performance are a strong allegory of the war in Bosnia’. Royal Court is famous as the most important British theatre of ‘new drama’. In it, there were performances of original works by Pintar, Osoborn, Orton, Wasker and others. The most controversial was the play Saved by Edward Bond in the far year of 1964. A great stir was made by the staging of the scene of the stoning of a child, but that was settled a few days after the premiere, when Laurence Olivier himself pronounced the work to be an exceptional achievement. Today, for example, Saved is a classical work of modern drama. It would be hard to foretell whether Blasted will outlive its time or whether Sarah Kane will go after Bond, but the whole affair has once again proven the subversive power of theatre, which – according to local standards – shows in the ticket sales. At the end, it has been ironically proven, that Theatre Upstairs has but 65 seats.”

In the present Maska, there are also interviews with composer Borut Kržišnik, choreographer Merce Cunningham, then in the thematic scope Women in Theatre, there is an Introduction by Aldo Milohnić entitled The Feminist Theatre – On the Disappearance of Boredom from Theatre and Theatrology, Milohnić’s transcription of the Women in Theatre round table (held on October 16th 1995 at the City of Women, hosting: American theatrologist Sue-Ellen Case, Canadian theoretician Josette Feral, Slovenian anthropologist Svetlana Slapšak, hosted by Aldo Milohnić, member of Maska’s editorial board and theatrologist), an interview with Indian theatrologist Rustom Bharucha (who fell ill after arriving in Ljubljana as a guest of City of Women and could not attend the round table) and articles From the Aesthetics of Seduction to the Aesthetics of ‘ob-scene’ by Josette Feral, reflectiveness – Critical Remarks to ‘Male’ Direction of ‘Female’ in the theatre of Rustom Bharucha, Capitalism and Feminism by Sue-Ellen Case, Euripid’s Alkestida: The Woman from the Cemetery by Svetlana Slapšak, The Horror of Catharsis in the Performance of the 20th Century by Elin Diamond. The thematic scope ends with Milohnić’s polemics about an article by Lada Zei in Delo (October 18th 1995) entitled Trousers as an Ideological Program.

Maska also brings a renewed section called Insight (Jedrt Jež helped with the editing) and twice In Memoriam: Heiner Müller (by Uršula Cetinski) and Teiji Furuhashi, the leader of the Japanese group Dumb Type (by Marko Peljhan). 

Contents

INTERVIEW

Marina Gržinić: EMA KUGLER

Irena Štaudohar: BORUT KRŽIŠNIK
PERFORMANCES

Boris Pintar: 1:1

Sonja Dular: TAIGA

Andrea Amort: ROMEO AND JULIETTE

Tatjana Ažman: KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Rok Vevar: LEONCE AND LENA

Irena Štaudohar: LO SCRITTORE

Bojana Kunst: THE CELL

Svetlana Slapšak: ALMA
AUTHORIAL BLOCK

Marinka R. Šimec: NUR DIE HAUSFRAU? NEIN, DANKE!

Goran Golovko: MOUSETRAP OF BRITISH THEATRE
LIVE CLASSICS

Emil Hrvatin: MERCE CUNNINGHAM
THEMATIC BLOCK

Aldo Milohnić: FEMINIST THEATRE. Introduction.

Aldo Milohnić: RUSTOM BHARUCHA. Interview.

Josette Féral: FROM AESTHETICS OF SEDUCTION TO AESTHETICS OF THE “OBSCENE”

Rustom Bharucha: REFLEXIVITIES

Sue-Ellen Case: CAPITALISM AND FEMINISM

Svetlana Slapšak: EURIPIDES’ ALCESTIS: WOMAN FROM THE CEMETARY

Elin Diamond: THE HORROR OF CATHARSIS IN 20th CENTURY PERFORMANCE ART

Aldo Milohnić: TROUSERS AS AN IDEOLOGICAL PROGRAMME
ROUND TABLE

”Women in Theatre”
IN-SIGHT
IN MEMORIAM