Of Togetherness: Male/Female – Female/Male

Written by on 2011-01-31

Through the study of historical, economic, biological, educational, scientific and cultural (dis)continuities (in this case, gender relations), we are dealing with the emancipation of the meaning of communion (project Of Togetherness – 2009.-2015.).

Since its premiere in 2011., more than 100 performances of this extraordinary theater therapy have been performed all over Croatia and in Ex-Yu countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia).

Boris Bakal

In dealing with various aspects (forms, dynamics) of the community in their earlier projects, the Shadow Casters launched the Of Togetherness project, in cooperation with the following institutions: “Vladimir Nazor” Gallery, Zagreb Youth Theater, Atelje 212 – Belgrade, Culture of Change / ITD Theater – SC University of Zagreb, International MESS Festival in Sarajevo, Chamber Theater 55 in Sarajevo, Library “Bogdan Ogrizović”, Croatian Film Federation, MKC Split, Infozona Split, SAKUD/ Dr. Inat Pula, PUF Pula, INK Pula.

The project Trilogy of Togetherness examines community through several of its motivational reasons for its emergence, energy and socio-political states and changes:

  • The contractual (pseudo) community and, consequently, its organic form built through the theatrical process/ act in several common stages, begins with a premiere in which actors and the audience, together with the authors, outline the perfect performances and thus starts the joint work of the actors and the audience and theatrical life (EXPLICIT CONTENTS – Zagreb Youth Theatre);
  • A creative process that indicates the overstretched state of the community and in this connection, the necessity to initiate re-evolution. In this case, it is the play and its transposition into reality that accelerates the breakup of the community and its restoration (®EVOLUTION: MASTER CLASS – Atelje 212/ Belgrade);
  • Bringing the originating energy hub of the community to the laboratory-theatrical confrontation/ dialogue by separating its basic energies – male and female – into two events that are built through a dynamic discourse of relationships toward reproduction and enjoyment (MALE/FEMALE-FEMALE/MALE – M/F-F/M -Theatre &TD (Culture of Change)/ Zagreb and International Theatre Festival MESS/ Sarajevo).

M/F-F/M is the third installment of the latest Shadow Casters trilogy “Of togetherness“. M/F-F/M divides the worlds for a clearer view and better understanding in a “safe place of conversation”: the performers (authors), as is the audience, are divided. In encountering men with women, women with men, men with men and women with women, in dealing with stereotypes and exposing them, in shifting their gaze on each other, in playing with queer, similarities in differences and differences in similarities are revealed, which we usually miss. The audience is an equal teammate (‘striker’) to the performers (if they choose so) in this search for new answers to the questions about women and men that we ask ourselves since forever. M/F-F/M is a journey through mutual openings, conversations, song, play, laughter and tears; an adventure into which everyone embarks with a baggage of their own ideas and prejudices, to be surprised by its new content after the show.
Arriving on the M/F-F/M show is also a unique opportunity for a get-together where you spend a couple of hours of theater-socializing with the members of your gender, while your eventual companions of the other sex hang out with a drink and a story, only to then switch the set: theater-coffee shop. In this story, beyond gender, sex and imagination, the Croatian-Bosnian team of renowned young actresses and actors who are, in addition to Boris Bakal and Katarina Pejović, the authors of this unusual project, are Irma Alimanović, Maja Izetbegović, Jelena Miholjević, Mona Muratović and Petra Težak in the Women’s Play, and Benjamin Bajramović, Nikša Butijer, Dean Krivačić, Boris Ler and Vilim Matula in the Men’s Play.

This play is only played for the same-sex audiences: “Male for Male” and “Female for Female”. In other words, plan on coming to M/F-F/M in the company/ safety of your gender!

What is the status of the female and male question at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, after all the historical (r)evolutions, metamorphoses, transitions, transgressions and regressions? And even before that: how can the female and male issue be defined today? And before that: is it at all the main question or is it something else? What hides behind the pseudo-philosophical instructions, such as “be female” or “be male” or “don’t be a child” (this is where we are obviously diagnosed as having a middle-class gender)? To what extent is it crucial for us to be perceived by others, women, men; through our work and also personally, by intimate partners, artistic partners and audiences. Does dealing with this issue give us strength or does it draw it? Is there a vital choice to make ourselves happy without harming another, or do we have to make that choice ourselves? Or together? Male or female thought? These are just some of the questions this project raises in all circles/ layers, just like the matryoshka figure. But unlike the Russian souvenir, in this dramaturgical-directorial model, even the last, smallest figurine can be opened, and that what is in it – everyone can discover for themselves.

Boris Bakal i Katarina Pejović

Glume: Irma Alimanović, Maja Izetbegović, Jelena Miholjević, Mona Muratović, Petra Težak u Ženskoj predstavi, a Benjamin Bajramović, Nikša Butijer, Dean Krivačić, Boris Ler i Vilim Matula u Muškoj predstavi.

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