I am a man?
What can I do?
What can't I do?
What do I have to do?
Who will tell me?
What can be seen of me?
Can I feel what I feel on the inside as well on the outside?
"We examine the stereotypes, norms, and expectations that we've learned, that we've had imposed on us, that we've created, that we've automated, and we're trying to peel them back. We are looking for how to process this "flaking" on stage. We ask how to communicate so that we don't impose anything on anyone, but at the same time we are able to express what we feel. The world around us is what we make it. We are responsible for him. We are looking for a world on the stage in which all such and such should be seen, what they are like with their emotions as well.”
Jiří Šimek, Peter Šavel and Marta Ljubková
It all started with reading a bookInvisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by author Criado Perez and continued with the book The will to change - men, masculinity and love by Bell Hooks. For two years, the authors of the production dealt with various topics that were topical in society after covid - the organization of the world with regard to the "smaller and weak", contemporary communication and its methods, the idea of the ideal of a man, the world as a place that is created only for some of us, emotional maturity and more.
During the entire process, the future production was constantly evolving, because more and more stimuli were constantly piling up, such as power cases at universities or published cases of abuse.
What remained was the name andthe desire to find the form that will best speak of what is often kept silent because it is considered embarrassing. About the fragility that even men have the right to. However, they make up the minority of the theater audience. So if you're not a man and you've read this far, please think of a man around you who needs a little fragility and bring him to the theater with you!
In the performance, the authors experiment with the boundaries of what and how we can say in the theater, as well as with what theater still is. They do not set genre, formal or expressive boundaries, they understand the theatrical form as a free territory where everything is possible. Even cry with impunity.
Also explore the project website www.whoman.cz,
which is a map and a record of the origin of the entire process.
Performers: Peter Šavel, Jiří Šimek
Dramaturgical and creative collaboration: Marta Ljubková
Technical support and light design: Zuzana Režná and Štěpán Hejzlar
Movement collaboration: Martina Hajdyla Lacová
Production: Tereza Tomášová, Ludmila Vacková and Jiří Šimek
Project website: Matyáš Řezníček
Cover photo of the project: Marek Bartoš
Producers: Studio ALTA, Ufftenživot
Co-producer: Moving Station
Residencies (chronologically): Velvarská kostka, Rezi.dance v lese, Sprang Scene (Norway), Baerum Kulturhus (Sandvika, Norway), Studio ALTA, Moving Station
Supported by: City Hall of Prague, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
The production WHOMAN is part of the project "Cooperation of cultural houses Studio ALTA, Baerum Kulturhus and Black Box Teater", which is supported by EEA financial mechanisms (EEA grants).
Premiere September 13, 2022