The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez
Theatre Y presents The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez by Peter Handke, directed by Zeljko Djukic.
The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez is a voluptuous prose-poem for the stage between a Man and a Woman, two ‘figures’ in the heart of a bucolic garden in the heart of high summer—something of an eternity, something of an irretrievable moment. It is not a drama that occurs between them, but a summer dialogue that proceeds by way of interrogation-play. The mysteries of eroticism and nature surface in their incursions into untold memories, silent happenings that for the first time demand a language. In Handke’s text, amorous attraction is transfigured into metaphysical desire; a game of questions becomes a game of passions, and this play of passion becomes a world of poetic images as sensuous as the soundscape of the outside world: premonitory and encroaching. With a singular dramaturgical approach, this latest of Handke’s plays is a sterling interrogation of how and what we talk about when we talk about love.
This is a US/English premiere, with a commissioned translation from Michael Roloff (with
Scott Abbott), who was Handke’s principal translator for the greater part of the writer’s early-mid career. Directing this previously untranslated work is the accomplished director Zeljko Djukic—founder and decade long artistic director of TUTA (2002-2012), recipient of many awards and nominations for outstanding work, and an eminently skilled craftsman of, among other theatrical forms, post-drama tic theater. Djukic is directly in his element with the likes of Handke, and will be crafting out of this indefinable text a canny, nuanced, and ‘open’ performance in this actor-driven work. Intricate sound design, live environment, time, the spectator’s inner eye: all will be materials from which Handke’s peculiar and engrossing world will be given form.