SOS from de Playwright @ Fabrica de Pensule

The photo is from a reading of “In Godot´s Waiting Room” (2011) at the Opera House in Umeå, Sweden.

Artist în rezidenţă la Fabrica de Pensule la Fabrica de Pensule: Gritt Uldall-Jessen, azi, ora 18:00, Sala Studio.

„Unfortunately, my latest texts were discarded, so I shall now write some new texts. I do not know yet what the new texts should contain. The atmosphere around the texts is difficult. There is no professional frame for speaking about text as concept, and this fact makes it difficult for me to argue. The whole thing is just a matter of seeming: (it seems to me that…)”

This is a quote that I wrote during one of my engagements as a playwright with text for a contemporary stage art production. It can be difficult sometimes working as a playwright for contemporary stage art to find a common basis for working with the text. The director might shorten the text without explicit permission and need not provide any arguments for his/her decision. In spite of an outspoken will to use non-hierarchical approaches, the explanation regarding the decision making process and the discussion of the consequences is very often simply not happening.

At the same time, the playwright is rarely being credited for the co-creation for the scenic concept behind a performance, meaning the co-creation of the central stage images, inspired by the text, and the text itself will often be evaluated only on the basis of the elements functioning as ‘lines’ (monologues etc.) while other functions the text are not taken in consideration.

If the playwright wants to claim the independent, literary, artistic value of her work, how is she to control the use of her text?

Is the playwright interested in this control?

Does the playwright have to set up a disclaimer before a text is delivered, stating that my text is only to be used in this way, true to the artistic project for which it is created: or does the playwright have to become an auteur, and stage her own writing?

In the artist talk I touch upon the different questions mentioned above departing from my own experience working as a playwright for contemporary stage art outside the dramatic paradigm of or you might also say “another kind of theatre”.

We will read together some extracts from two recent plays of mine. The first “In Godot´s Waiting Room” (2011), written in collaboration with visual artist Kajsa Dahlberg and a group of feminist activist from the project “The Yellow Villa” in Umeå, Sweden. The second play is a monologue written for several voices that I am currently working on “It Hurts, said the Mermaid”(2012).

Gritt Uldall-Jessen (DK) is an artist in residence at Fabrica de Pensula, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Duration: 90 minutes.

Supported by The Danish Arts Coincil.

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