The original project What We Talk About When We Talk About Love 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 more one becomes absorbed in the author who deserves credit for the revitalisation of the American short fiction in the 1980s, the more the image seems to be dissociated from time and space in which it appeared. As a rule, Carver's short stories are focused on the contact between two people, a man and a woman, who are on the verge of approaching the seeming turning point that appears not to be coming for real. Carver's lovers are not idealised; they often drown in cool alcoholic drinks, enveloped in the haze of cigarette smoke. Without exception, their love is imperfect, it is the remains of bigger, all-embracing love that to Carver's protagonists – as well as to us, immersed in the process of creation – seem undefinable and utterly unattainable. In his stories, people are violent and vulgar; they act recklessly and often hurt those who are most precious to them. Through these cracks which are the very essence of Carver's writing, the letters slowly come closer to us and on a piece of paper become as we are, although we are not willing to admit that.
The production of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love therefore 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 question may not be provided with an answer, it may even seem naive to ask it, but any, even the most enigmatic question turns out to be an extremely exciting point of departure, worthy of putting on stage.
The cast excels in cooperation among several generations of theatre creators. The members of the SNT 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, and Jure Alič, composer.
Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti