Stories of the Body
by Andràs Visky
OPENS MAY 26 - 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.
“The Woman with no Legs”
A play based on a dear friend's inability to stay alive, to stay in a body. This text explores the body against the body, the body that disintegrates under our “care”. The battle of the hierarchy and lucidity of our physical needs.
A play based on an interview with a Hungarian prostitute based in Budapest. Raised in very difficult conditions, she decided to make enough money to be able to have her own family and prove that she can construct a life based on trust and dignity. She falls in love with a social worker who is trapped by the significant amount of money she earns selling herself.
A play based on the life of Artemisia Gentileschi. Artemisia is widely considered the first woman in Western Culture to become a professional painter. Showing great talent at a very early age, her father, Orazio Gentileschi, a well-known Italian painter himself, put her under the tutelage of Agostino Tassi, who raped her. Her entire life could be considered a rebellion against a society where a woman is considered a slave.
A play based on the life of Teresa of Calcutta. Teresa as a modern Antigone who wants to save the life and dignity of the unburied, living in the streets. This strange necrophilia and attraction to decaying bodies enables her to fight the system, and to show a mirror to the society. In the end, however, she confessed abandonment, cosmic silence, mad obedience to a void.
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.