Duration: 2×70 minutes
The play consists of a prosaic and a movement part which are all related by the Chekhovian theme and the choreographies in them. Each act can be therefore played on its own as a complete, full piece.
Playwright-director-director of art: Veronika Karsai
Performers: New Generation Pantomim Formáció (New Generation Pantomime Company)
Act One: Sasha
A bit absurd drama in part: seven plus seven conversation pieces and the incapability of living on the subject of not at all funny, swamp-born, actually funny gnomes in grey pyjamas. Adapted from several dramas and much more narratives of A.P. Chekhov, written and directed by Veronika Karsai.
Act Two: Sasha
A Chekhovian miscellany without words from the own exam scenes of the New Generation Pantomime Company’s apprentices. Director of art: Veronika Karsai.
First performance: 1st March 2009. Budapest, Central Theatre, Studio Stage
vak nélkül a New Generation Pantomim Formáció növendékeinek önálló vizsgajeleneteiből. Művészeti vezető: Karsai Veronika.
Bemutató: 2009. március 1. Centrál Színház, Kisszínpad
How It Was Made: Sasha
The entire thing began with Anton Pavlovich Chekhov who started writing. Then; for I would not bore the kind spectator with minor events, I came to like him.
No, not the author of boredom and pessimist tragedies did I came to like, as he was presented during my studies. It was the Chekhov who “had been talking about his plays as cheerful writings, and he believed honestly that he had written jolly pieces.” I came to like the comic writings of an optimist, jovial person who, if he would have, he could not have written tragedies at all.
I have been interested in Chekhov’s works and mere personality for a long while since; not only as a reader, but also as a creator. Several screenplay shreds have been maturing in my drawer for years. Last summer, looking on the apprentices of New Generation Company I thought it was time to bring them out; they wish for the stage, and they found the appropriate company. Therefore, the topic of the professional exam organised for the members of the group became Chekhov’s world. After a serious theoretical training in October, I “set them on” Anton Pavlovich saying that they read anything possible written by him. I then divided them into small groups, and according to their readings, they could thus come up with exam scene ideas; they were checked upon regularly. At these meetings, I asked, and they talked. They asked; I talked. It was first all about sparks and thoughts, then about realisation and music, finally about complete studies.
The exam in January changed my original conceptions to a new direction: I noticed that tiny miracles were born in my apprentices’ works and that it was my turn to understand what Chekhov seemed like to them. So we worked another half a year on the already-examined scenes; I tried to help further the apprentices with my dramaturgical and other advices which should not have been taken obligatorily, and tried to keep an eye on them – sharply – in order to recognise what was important for them out of which they had came to know about Anton Pavlovich.
We made new discoveries – together. Now, knowing the writer in their imagination, whom I had introduced to them, I took back the torch, and I composed their exam scenes while being led by their thoughts. I only used those of my original ideas which were reflected from them. This was the way Act Two was created.
My other thoughts did not get lost at all: they took again verbal form after the drawer-adventure. So Act One was realised from four “great dramas” and several short stories. And from visions which long wished to come out. It can be said that Act One wanted to become a classic, theatrical play: written, directed and choreographed by… And it is on…
What more could I say? “Everything tends to end in this world.”
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