Stanley Steen

A Table Portrait, Yerma

A TABle portrait, yerma

“A Table Portrait, Yerma” by Gersande Schellinx is an idiosyncratic re-writing of Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Yerma.

An interactive play in three acts. It has four characters: Yerma, Maria, Juan and Victor. The story is that of one singular dinner party, enacted in real time. The historical ‘when’ of the story is intentionally ambiguous, it will be difficult to tell in what year this all took place: some information points towards a rather contemporary setting and other to more past times.

The play takes place inside a real apartment, without backstage. Whenever a character leaves a room, it is possible for a spectator to follow them. The main actions take place inside the living-room, but side stories will develop elsewhere, e.g. in the kitchen.

Principal scenographic elements are two sets of furniture. The first of these (a dinner table and four chairs with anthropomorphic features) all have a different disposition, fitting their characters and suggesting/altering their postures. A second set consists of a small table and a kitchen stool. The two sets of furniture actually “are” the stage. Wherever they are put, the play can happen.

A radio in the kitchen and a book on the dinner table tell side plots (mise en abyme), in which alternative happenings/versions of “A Table Portrait, Yerma” can be heard or found, ones happened in the past, leading to or taking part in the current one.

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