Rudi Šeligo is considered one of the greatest Slovenian playwrights. His plays have been presented many times in various productions and revivals, most recently The Wedding, directed by Jernej Lorenci at the Drama Ljubljana. In addition to plays, Šeligo’s body of work includes many books of fiction and essays in which he addressed both social and theatre-related issues. The new production is based on selected texts from his opus, using them as nodes of a net, woven over a collective memory of its creators. Throughout the centuries, the most crucial human emotions, desires and aspirations have remained unchanged.
Therefore, Female Outcast is a testimony of ourselves, in fact, of those parts within us that can be called spaces of the soul. A space of the soul is also a place of a ritual, especially a theatre ritual. Šeligo is keenly interested in the magic of theatre. The current staging explores the aspect of magic that addresses the most vulnerable human features, i.e. the injured and innocent substances that are related to the instinctive response to the world. When one considers that in each one of us, whether male or female, homo ludens resides, it is the aim of the production to conjure homo ludens to the surface, and to induce somehow the innocence which is probably hidden therein. Did Šeligo constantly write about his anima which is split up into what we call characters in his creative opus?
Personally, I come from a marginalized social community. However, I never intended to write about my social position nor my experiences of the world and my states of mind. Neither have I ever addressed any form of egocentrism, although it might hold true what Borges said in the epilogue of The Maker: »A man sets out to draw the world … a short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.« This is inevitable, of course: how can I »people a place with images of landscapes ... of dwellings ... of horses and people« if I was not there, close to landscapes, horses and dwellings!
Šeligo writes about an outcast anima ... and by so doing, about himself. Šeligo writes about himself, but not about that part of himself that is familiar, well-known and recognized, but about the part that he keeps discovering and opening through his act of creation. He offers us a space, so that the play after his selected works goes along the same path. This is the path of mirrors, fate, prophecy, suffering, and at the same time the path of esotericism and play. A female outcast resides in every human being as one’s shadow, a female outcast one has suffocated oneself or has been suffocated by the others. (Not) coincidentally, in Slovenian, the words for soul and suffocation have the same roots.
Words are sometimes incomplete. Sometimes they suffocate what they want to give air to. A female outcast is excluded from the community. She. A female anima, and the same goes for a male anima. In a (theatre) ritual a community sets up mirrors. Those parts within us that aspire to become alive through a community. But this is impossible because there is no community. Except when it pours over the edge. When it drops slowly. Except when the show is on.
Without its ritual substance, theatre loses its healing power. In order to heal, a performance should throw from the edge of a stage its own confused anima into the viewer’s face to be reflected in it. May this perhaps be called a brave sacrifice?