The State is a theatre play by Alexander Manuiloff, without actors and without a director. The performance at the NeMe Arts Centre was organised under the 5th edition of the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, as part of the Buffer Fringe Festival__SATELLITE Program.
The performance was just the text, the audience, as well as people’s basic conceptions of how to function in a society. It is however prudent not to give too much away so as not to spoil the experiences of the hopefully many others who will choose to attend the performance in the future. What we could say though is that the performance promoted a totally immersive, and highly political interaction for the audience. Furthermore, it questioned and redesigned the structural elements of theatre and the commonly held ideas about the performer. The meta-narrative kept much of its very tragic storyline, to a down to earth, and honest level.
The State tells the story of a man who burnt himself alive to protest for a better society. This is a story of somebody brought to a breaking point, where life in an unfair society can no longer continue. It discusses the troubles for democracy that we can observe now everywhere on the globe. The State is an experimental performance, tested with audiences around the globe. This is a performance that produces a feeling of solidarity among people who didn’t know each other when they entered the theatre. It makes them reassess their role in society and realise they can be active creators of their fate. Other important topics are: when do we break the silence? When do we break into action? How do we break with inherited authorities and when do we start questioning the obvious? How do we break walls that divide us and when do we start talking with strangers?
Alexander Manuiloff is a writer, dramatist and screenwriter from Sofia. His dramaturgy works have been selected to many prominent venues in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. Together with his translator Hannes Becker, Alexander is the winner of the 2017 Germanlanguage panEuropean EURODRAM prize.
The Home for Cooperation is a shared, safe space in the middle of the dividing lines established to create “a meeting space for cooperation, dialogue and cocreation”: A space built upon the values of diversity, solidarity, respect and creativity. It provides working spaces and opportunities for Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals to design and implement innovative projects. Today the Home has become a landmark building within the Ledra Palace crossing, UN buffer zone. It facilitates situations for people to get together and to get to know each other. The home hosts an extensive variety of cultural, artistic and educational programs with the aim to foster creativity and intercultural trust in Cyprus and internationally.
Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival showcases new and experimental work by local and international artists, challenges physical and artistic barriers, and creates opportunities for artists to meet and exchange ideas. It questions preconceived ideas of the performing arts, the relationship between artists and audience and shines a new light on arts and society. The festival favours innovative work by artists who take risks in their work and constantly look for new ways to express themselves. The artistic director of the 5th edition of the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival was Achim Wieland.
NeMe Arts Centre, Limassol, Cyprus