The first production of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love directed by Maša Pelko on Small Stage

The original project What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, staged for the first time on Friday, 2nd November at 20h on Small stage, is based on the selection of twelve short stories by Raymond Carver. The stories embrace all the periods of the author's more than a decade long oeuvre; two of which have been translated for this occasion by Irena Duša. The first production of the adaptation explores the form of drama theatre and the dimensions such a theatre may achieve in the context of contemporary performing arts. At the same time, it aims to preserve the conceptual contact that is established when young creators encounter Raymond Carver, literary giant, in contemplating the subject matter such as love. The attractively accomplished first production excels in cooperation among several generations of theatre creators. The members of the Drama Ljubljana ensemble: Iva Babić, Maja Končar and Matija Rozman along with Tamara Avguštin as guest encounter acting students: Gregor Podričnik, Eva Stražar and Lovro Zafred. Directed by young director Maša Pelko, the original project is co-created by Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti, dramaturg, Dorian Šilec Petek, stage and lighting designer, Nina Čehovin, costume designer, Tatjana Stanič, language consultant, Vlado Glavan, lighting designer and Jure Alič, composer.

The question that is the title of the staging as set by Raymond Carver in perhaps one of his most famous short stories is relevant, although it may seem unanswerable. His power, if not perceived anywhere else, is reflected at least in the fact that the idiom he had coined came to be used publicly in terms of collocation. What precisely does “the American Chekhov” talk about when he paints his landscape of dirty realism? His protagonists who are not people, but rather silhouettes or remains are placed in timeless front porches waiting for the sunrise of (the American) dream. Time and again, their stories clash against the moment that cannot be put into words, the moment when everything could be, but is not. This is precisely the moment that takes the breath of Carver's protagonist away, here are found his silent pauses. When he tries to talk about his distress, difficulties and joys, his emotions come out only sporadically in a way as alcohol is poured in glasses and cigarette stubs fall out of ashtrays. Time and again, he walks through his life defeated, aware of the truth, i.e. that there is “not a thing to toast to”. Why would he propose a toast if by following the etiquette he is not even allowed to do that?

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