Theatre as a Medium of Memory
The relationship between theatre and memory is at the heart of the creative journey of Teatr ZAR. More important, however, is their attempt to generate an authentic witnessing adventure, beyond the mere resurrection of the past. Watching their show, Armine, Sister, seeing and feeling the pain silently endured by the protagonist, one has the sensation of her thereness, of her uncompromised presence. And through her presence, the truth of the past becomes a reality of the present, not a historical possibility compromised by the mere passing of time. Indeed, the ritual of Armine slowly dying evokes more than history rescued from oblivion. It evokes our own humanity, because this way of apprehending otherness means lending the victim our own individual identities as spectators, our eyes and our faces. This is the deep and essential meaning assigned by ZAR to the exploration of witnessing in and through theatre, as a definitive experience of the truth, and nothing but the truth.
Starting from the theatrical and human connotations of Armine, Sister, this dialogue with Jarosław Fret will involve the complex notion of truth, as a fundamental and indeed necessary dimension of theatre. It will address the relationship between the clear truthfulness of the story and its internal truth, which leads to its universal meaning. Ultimately, it will focus on truth as a basis of, and a context for empathising with the ‘pain of others’, past or present, close or far away.