Thank you all who have helped us reach our initial goal. Given that our project tackles an important social issue, our main priority from the beginning has been to raise awareness and reach as many people as possible.
As some of you may know, a good percentage of the money donated has come from one single donor –meaning that we still have many available tickets for the show (physical and digital). That is why we are introducing a new collective goal.
Dr. Vid Vanja Vodušek, psychologist at the University psychiatric hospital Ljubljana (detailed description in the team section), offered us to lead a lecture on Alzheimer’s condition on which he will analyse scenes from the play from a neurocognitive stand of point. In order for to us organise, record, subtitle and stream the video, we are in need of an extra 700 euros. The new collective goal is set at 4500 eur and by reaching it, every backer will be able to see the lecture and post questions that they may have on the subject.
Let us remind you, that one of the main goals of pre-premier is for people affected by dementia to see the show (dementia patients and their families) which you can contribute to by backing a ticket in our reward section. We are making this possible in collaboration with Alzheimer’s association Slovenia. There are about 40 tickets left, so don’t by shy about it :) Also there is a new reward tier opened - back a row at the show and get a discount on 5 tickets for the show.
Till next time, Urša & Nina :)
You can check the summary in Slovene H E R E.
‘Where was I’ is a two-person play brought to life by a group of young artists from Slovenia, focusing on a young man, Peter, whose mother is diagnosed with progressive senile Dementia (Alzheimer's). It all starts when Lady Jula, the mother, tries to narrate a recent event to her son.
Caught in a loop within her own mind, she keeps messing up events and starting from the beginning -evidently trapping herself in a story that never ends. The play follows the pair’s journey in building a re-adjusted life and maintaining a fun and loving relationship under the new circumstances. We will see life through the disorientation of failing to recognize the people that have been pillars for you your entire life –whether that is your parent or yourself.
Urša (the dramaturg) and Nina (the director) were observing the decay of their grandmothers' minds and trying to comprehend the new reality inside of them. Most scenes in the performance are based on real experiences between them.
Trying to still be part of someone's world when it starts focusing more on the past than on the present that includes you, is a task you need to break down. We decided that our experience needed to be shared. On stage. In the language that we know - performance, emotions of actors, scenography and video.
We understand theater as the most direct art form, because the actors are on stage as a whole, mind and body. Due to the nature of theater, it is important that it touches personal subjects which can then be exposed and presented to the audience.
We are well aware of the social responsibility that comes when presenting a sensitive project like this to the outside world. We have worked closely with Transformator, a Cultural and Artistic Association which, among others, works with techniques of the Theater of the Oppressed. This is our way to leave a positive impact on our society through art and theatrical expression. We take the weight of representing this movement very seriously, and in association with Spominčica, the Alzheimer’s Association of Slovenia, we made sure that everything portrayed in the play is medically and psychologically correct.
In our documentaristic approach, we used old journals and the stories and memories shared within our families to create an image as realistic as possible. Even the scenography is based on one of the grandmother’s space and their actual clothes were borrowed for the performance. With the help of supportive psychologists and specialists, we implemented all the medical knowledge.
Besides Peter’s interpretation of his mother’s Alzheimer’s mind, we will also examine it from her point of view. The inner world of the female protagonist is projected on a surface throughout the play, using scenes recorded/streamed with a GoPro camera, which represent her train of thought and memories. This video will paint the picture of the world that exists inside her head, and help the ones outside of it comprehend a little bit better how it works and why.
Destigmatize this condition, given that this stigma often isolates an individual from society, and offer an inside look into the tricks of a patient's mind. With backing the campaign you can also choose to enable a person suffering with Dementia to see the show.
Raise general awarness about Dementia. Dementia is becoming a more and more common social problem, as well as a personal one. With this performance we will show the patient’s spectrum of emotions, offer a medical background and a possible way to comprehend our loved ones.
Deepen the connection between performing arts and socially relevant themes. With the raised funds we will be able to upgrade our work both technically and contextually.
We are a group of young artists from Slovenia. We are exploring innovative approaches towards theater, which we understand as the most direct and honest form of expression. In our performances, we draw inspiration from our own experience. This is what brought this project to life.
Urša Adamič (dramaturg) has a background in Theater Science and in Biology. In Biology she is most interested in brain functions and neurology while in theater she is intrigued by personal stories and community. She also works as a mentor and a consultant for performances of Theatre of the Oppressed.
Nina Šorak (director) has Masters degrees in Philosophy and in Drama Studies. She is occupied mostly with theater as a director or dramaturg, and also writes expert articles about theater.
Pila Rusjan (video artist) is a freelance artist working in the fields of video art, film, performance and multimedia installation. She has presented her work at various international festivals of video and contemporary art. She is presently leading a research unit of Galerija GT association for video art called famulVideoLab.
Aleksander Vujović (scenographer) graduated from the Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture, where he still works as an assistant. His fields of interest span from architectural design to theater scenography and photography.
Janko Oven (light design) works as a light designer, photographer, sound engineer and technician. He collaborates with many groups, societies, theatres and festivals.
Dr. Vid Vanja Vodušek (specialist) Master’s degree in social psychology (Social polarization as a communication process) doctorate in the field of psychiatry (Phenomenological analysis of insight in first episode psychosis). Working as a psychologist (psychodiagnostics, psychotherapy, education and research) for almost a decade in the University psychiatric hospital Ljubljana, mainly in the field of gerontopsychiatry, psychosis and autism. Finishing the study of group analysis, applied in the clinical and non-clinical areas.
Marinka Štern, performer, has been acting in several theatres and free groups. She used to be a member of Mladinsko Theatre in Ljubljana, where she created about eighty roles.
Iztok Drabik Jug performed in 26 performances of amateur theater prior to his professional education. He is also a self-taught musician and composer, the music of which you will be able to enjoy during the play or choose as a reward.
The play is being performed in Plesni teater Ljubljana (Dance theatre Ljubljana) and receives up to 90 guests. PTL was founded in 1984 by Ksenija Hribar as the first professional contemporary dance company in Slovenia. So far PTL produced over 200 dance and theatre performances by Slovenian and foreign authors. The pre-premiere is set for 3rd of December.
With your support we will be able to book the theatre and fully afford a pre-premier (3rd of December) with the possibility of extra shows. The pre-premier's focus is to enable people affected by the condition to see the show. Also, we will be able to obtain the necessary equipment to professionally record the performance, subtitle it and make it available to non-slovene speakers. The more people we can reach, the more we raise awareness on the issue. Depending on the amount finally raised, we may continue to play shows on different theatres, homes for seniors, or even abroad.
Almost everyone knows of Dementia but still, it is a condition hard to comprehend. Its cause is unknown and global prevalence is rising. One twentieth of people aged 65 years and older, have been diagnosed with it. In the age group above 80, the diagnosed make up one fifth of the group. Because ageing is the main risk factor and the population is steadily getting older, Dementia is becoming more and more common.
With projects like this, we are trying to raise awareness and set grounds for more in depth research on this condition. If you'd like to know more about it, please check the links bellow, you may find some content that interests you.
Some of us have been lucky enough to have no personal experiences with Dementia, but that is not the case for all of us. We know firsthand what it feels like to see a loved one disappear right in front of your eyes. And we know the struggle of having to go through life split between trying to get them back or cherishing the little moments that you’ll get every once in a while. We feel that these feelings and experiences need to be shared. And because theater is what we do, this is the one way we have to express what’s in our minds and hearts. In this manner, we would like to thank everyone that is supporting our cause starting with you :)
Actors: Marinka Štern, Iztok Drabik Jug
Video: Pila Rusjan
Scenography: Aleksander Vujović
Lights: Janko Oven
Expert: Vid V. Vodušek
Design: Mina Arko
Production: KUD Transformator
Project advisors: Jan Kikelj, Electra Marinopoulou, Neža Peterle, Ethan Grant
Co-production: Zavod BOB, Plesni teater Ljubljana, Narodni dom Maribor, SNG Nova Gorica, Kazalište KNAP, Kulturno društvo galerija GT , Ministry of Culture RS
Risks and challenges
The team and theater are set and ready to go. With your contribution we will have the ability to extend our performances to more than one and reach more people.
The only risk would be the audience not liking the play. But we'd like to consider that unlikely :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)