FANTASMIA – A Poetic Theatre in Shadows 

“Light is active and shade is passive, and light is not detached from shade but, given sufficient time, penetrates it.” – Alfred Jarry

Theater project “Fantasmia – A Poetic Theater in Shadows” has emerged during an experimental research of the relation between the content and the form in modern theatre with an use of various theater techniques and technologies. Furthermore, the play was developed from the work on the poetry text which has been interpreted with an use of various theater techniques such are scenic movement and dancing, acting, as well as different puppet techniques like marionette animation, “shadow theater”, “black theater” and body or body parts animation. Besides that, the production of different sounds and music, as well as live musical performance, are incorporated in the play as its integral part, so they become a “virtual character” and not just background element. One of the ideas of the play is that the basic structure of any poetic text or poetry (which is in different ways in use in theater performances from the Antic period) can be introduced to the audience by a sheer minimum of dramaturgy procedures. One of the reasons for that assumption is that various theater techniques combined with an use of modern technology can enable transfer of more expression and meaning than the approach which is based on the “classic” or linear dramaturgy. In that way every spectator becomes dramatist who is shaping his or hers story; for instance, “Fantasmia” can be a story about one woman who can represent all women. “It is a play which moves like a thought; like in a human being – the thoughts never stop until, eventually, we close our eyes, and then we are gone, no thoughts, they wither along with us, no more music, no more tempo, no more time and no more space. The end, the finish is baring, peeling of all the layers we put upon us while living in order to survive. Dead silence, the candles go off, and the question lingers in the air: What’s next? And ‘the next’ is everything the audience feels, nothing more and nothing less”. (extract from the MA thesis of Aleksandra Demše “The modern poetic discourse in puppet narration in the play ‘Fantasmia – A Poetic Theater in Shadows”, Academy of Arts Osijek).

Performs: Aleksandra Demše

Playwriter and director: Berislav Cimerman

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