Stories of the Body
by Andràs Visky
OPENS MAY 25 - running for 8 weeks in Chicago June/July 2018
at THE READY 4546 N. Western.
"Stories of the Body" contains four plays about the body of women in history. Reuniting long-time collaborators Theatre Y Artistic Director Melissa Lorraine and playwright Andras Visky, Stories of the Body, will be co-directed with Andrej Visky (his son), and designed by Péter Szabó. Featuring the Theatre Y Ensemble, we will present 4 plays that will run in always changing variations of two, or four different each evening, a mirror game of time and culture offering endless theses for the audience.
A play based on the trauma of a friend, Lina is a whimsical exploration of the mutilated body, the moment a beautiful, capable body loses its mobility. This once-never-again-dancer excavates all that is beyond movement to learn the still dance of the dragonfly and the love and forgiveness that is still within reach.
A play based on an interview with a Hungarian sex worker located in Budapest. Born Roma, unwanted, abused, and sold, Eva struggles to claim a life of her own based on trust and dignity. This text explores the traumatized psyche of a true innocent who will redefine happiness if this world is determined to consume the weak.
A play based on the life of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first professional female painter of the Western world. She painted violent, revolutionary masterpieces amidst her father's public trial against Agostino Tassi, her art tutor and rapist. Her life and work became a rebellion against a society where a woman is considered property.
A play based on the life of Teresa of Calcutta, a modern Antigone, who felt a call to care for the unburied. This strange necrophilia, blinds her to the possibilities of living. When the soul eclipses the body, only to be left in cosmic silence, we face the terrifying possibility that a love for God can forsake all others.
András is now a widely celebrated playwright, offering rich tapestries of poetry and bottomless investigation of identity. His son Andris Visky, celebrated graduate of Yale School of Drama, has collaborated with Theatre Y on 3 Sisters, and is a marvel of innovation and curiosity. Earnest and studious, his work is well mined and fresh - with a genetic predisposition towards the poetry of his father. Péter Szabó is the final piece - an audio/visual artist with the background to understand the work, and a leg flying out all of the doors of convention. Impossible to please, and tireless, he is the glue of the production - willing to start again, whatever it takes.
Andras has long mined questions of the body through many various means. This show is the long wrestled culmination of many conversations between Andras and Lorraine about the body of women in history. Working alongside his son, through the eyes of our long time artistic collaborator Peter, we are certain to be braver together in the labor of excavating ourselves from our cultures.
András Visky is the playwright Lorraine discovered 15 years ago that inspired the founding of Theatre Y. Over the years, we have begun to work with his colleagues and returned to his writing religiously. He recently spoke at the Library of Congress as they shelved his "...plays, inspired by personal experience of the oppressive communist regime in Romania, which explore the themes of gender, justice, and trauma." He has created the term "Barack Dramaturgy" - proposing that the ritual of the theater is one where we are enclosed in a room of strangers, suspending bodily agency for an indefinite duration until we confront the historical conditions of our present, and our responsibility in it. We volunteer to serve the time in the hope of altering ourselves and our society.
Here is an interview with Andràs from 2010.