Monsters of Reality
dramaturgies of the real
Siri Forberg og Statens Scenekunstskole – Efteruddannelsen i København har utgitt publikasjonen Monsters of Reality som dokumentasjon over festivalen med samme navn (avholdt i mars 2012 ved Dramatikkens hus). Publikasjonen på engelsk kan fåes ved å henvende seg til Dramatikkens hus eller lastes ned som pdf ved å gå inn videre på siden.
DRAMATURGIES OF THE REAL
The Monsters of Reality festival was a four-day long combination of performances, lectures, artist talks and panel-discussions, and the publication contains contributions from all the lecturers and artists involved. Here scholars such as Shannon Jackson, Imanuel Schipper, Carol Martin and Nikolaus Müller-Schöll present articles based on their lectures given at the festival, together with the work of locally based artists like Pia Maria Roll, Trine Falch, Tore Vagn Lid, Julian Blaue, Ole Johan Skjelbred, Camilla Martens and Toril Goksøyr. The contributors do not represent a homogenous group but are all independent artists and theorists whose views on the festivals’ overall theme are based on their own specific point of reference. The event was organized out of a wish to create a forum for the theory and the practice of theatre, thus joining the ranks of other such attempts to let the two camps meet.
The festival aimed to present the participants with different notions of “Dramaturgies of the real.” This refers to an artistic strategy that has been growing in importance once again. For the last decade or so, the theatre has been bombed with the real and concrete, and challenging audiences to reflect on how they perceive everyday realities. The dramaturgical strategies of staging ‘the real’, or of framing our social reality, thereby claiming that “all the world’s a stage”, are diverse and ambiguous. The focus was not on whether this strategy should be branded ‘documentary theatre,’ ‘reality theatre,’ ‘verbatim theatre,’ or even ‘new documentary theatre.’ We did however want to encourage reflection around this tendency, so we asked the simple question of ‘how to stage reality and why?’.
With Monsters of Reality, we wanted to point to the phenomena also by looking at the language that surrounds this theatre of the real. This theoretical discourse seems entangled in the notion of whether, and how, reality—the Real—is really ‘present’ in this theatre.
By asking how to stage reality, we simply ask for reflections from scholars and practitioners alike on how we can continue to search for ways of engaging with and reflecting on our reality, our existence and the human condition. During Monsters of Reality we experienced many different ways of communicating, both artistically and theoretically, around the relationship between theatre and social reality. One of the important aspects of this relationship is the realization that theatre is part of social reality and not something outside of it. The inherent presence of the esthetic and the social in a theatrical setting opens up the potential for a vibrant meeting of minds—it allows us to reconsider, reflect, interact, and question the social and political condition of the everyday in a way that is particular to theatre. And that’s as real as it gets.
Siri Forberg has a background in performing in different kinds of theatre and performance. She now works as a dramaturge and producer, in addition to pedagogical theatre-work. Her dramaturgical work includes En Folkefiende in Oslo directed by Rimini Prototkoll (Haug/Wetzel) for the Ibsen festival at the Nationaltheatre in 2012. Her work as a performer includes Burn baby Burn by Karen Røise Kielland (Blood for Roses) and Punch Drunk by choreographer Wendy Houstoun (DV8, Forced Entertainment). A follow-up to the Monsters of Reality festival, which is currently being planned, is due to take place in Oslo in 2014. Siri considers the ‘playing’ quality of theatre as a key factor in enabling reflection and interaction on the question of human existence. She is keen to facilitate events where this is the primary focus.