The idea of the performance was born during the interviews in Bucha and Kharkiv region in April and May. There, I spoke to women who were victims or witnesses of rape. The women we spoke to while working for the Norwegian newspaper shared their stories of rape that appeared to be stories of sacrificing their bodies to save people around them from being killed.
Later, I started working on the Rape of Lucretia – the poem by William Shakespeare for the Shakespeare Festival in Craiova. We started as a laboratory within the festival with one actress – an acting student from Kharkiv who fled to Romania in the first days of the war. We managed to stage 12 minutes show during 7 zoom meetings and three full day rehearsals and performed it in Craiova.
I came back to Kyiv, while Christina was staying in Romania. Later, we were invited to Gdansk Shakespeare festival where we developed the show to 35 minutes in 5 zoom meetings, individual work, and 4 days of rehearsals. We performed the show 3 times in two nights in the Two Windows Theatre supported by Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre and the Shakespeare Festivals Network.
The idea of the show is to research the idea of rape from the point of view of the women who was forced to unwanted sexual act but overcame it with dignity. It depicts the heroism of Lucretia and sacrifice of all women in history that suffered from violence. The show is a metaphor of the Earth, the nature, and love suffering from the violence of people.
The idea for continuing this work in progress is to keep researching the notion of violence, turning from a victim into a person who manages to overcome it and grow above this violence. In addition, the performance is meant to develop through the series of workshops based on Augusto Boal, Les Kurbas, Eugenio Barba, Jerzhy Grotowski, Oleh Drach, Oleh Liptsyn and author techniques developed through working at ProEnglish Theatre in Kyiv.
The show was developed in the workshops process which appeared to be quite healing and revealing for all the members.
All this made me think of a continuing the research and apply the techniques we discovered in more places and with the people of different backgrounds.
5 full length rehearsals
Tanya Shelepko è una giornalista, scrittrice e regista teatrale che ha deciso di tornare a Kiev e continuare a lavorare. Ora si rifugia nel seminterrato del suo teatro.
Nei suo lavori riesce a rileggere i grandi classici del teatro adattandoli alla storia contemporanea, da quando c'è la guerra in Ucraina, per il suo lavoro da giornalista, ha iniziato a raccogliere testimonianze di stupri, storia che si sono trasformate oltre che ad articoli anche in performance teatrali preparate anche a distanza, con attrici sensibili al tema.
In un'intervista le è stato chiesto se questo segnalasse ottimismo. Tanya, ha scelto la parola "fiducia" per poi concludere con "Se tutti se ne vanno cos'altro dobbiamo difendere"