Stories from the staircase
The concepts of theater and spotlight are so intertwined that most people probably associate the work of actors with standing in bright, warm light all day. In reality however, the actors (at least my colleagues and myself) spend most of their working hours either on a poorly lit, chilly stage, or in a dressing room, waiting, or at the headquarters of social life: the "Designated Smoking Area" - also poorly lit and hazy with cigarette smoke - which in our case is a staircase behind the scene.
This is where THE BIG NOTHING happens.
Waiting. Boredom. Cigarette. Small talk. Facebook. Cigarette. Sleeping. Eating. Reading. Cigarette. Foolin’ around. Cigarette. Blaming the system, conspiring, sharing recipes, flirting, arguing, learning lines, dance rehearsal, telling jokes, ripping costumes apart, sewing ripped costumes, shutting doors, comforting each other.
But mostly just idleness and cigarettes.
The main goal of this project is to take a look at the other side of the coin. Fancy costumes that serve to sustain an illusion on stage, worn by people with no illusions. The burning emotions of the characters translate into the slow smoldering of cigarettes. The price of a few minutes spent with The Calling (acting, creation) is paid for in hours of wasted time.
On 16 March, 2016, new laws came into effect, that prohibit smoking in public institutions and other public places. The "Designated Smoking Area" sign came off the wall, the big ashtray got banned, smoking got relocated to the street, and the staircase is once again "just a staircase". With some empty chairs and the odour of stale smoke in the walls. An era is over.