Omen theatre (RS) Three Faces of the Mirror - A theatrical research of the extremism

theatre show, 2015

Extremism is a wide enough term to be understood different by every individual, in their own way, and it is for this reason also open to manipulation. The way in which we perceive the various types of behaviour hidden behind this term depends on occasionally received information, coloured by the current political situation. Art, especially theatre presents itself as a good vehicle for analysis and interpretation of the phenomenon of extremism.

The play Three Faces of the Mirror is an experiment. It combines the actor as a person, a character and as a socially conscious human being. In this specific theatrical experience, the public becomes an active participant and accomplice. Through direct communication the artistic act leads us to social awareness and awakening. Three Faces of the Mirror reveals three faces of social reality. The first one is every day and visible to all and it informs us of the things happening around. The second face is hidden, but it is also universal and archetypal. The third face is cerebral, intellectual and critical, able to discover the mechanisms behind the first two.

Three Faces of the Mirror was created through dialog, exchange of opinions and experiences of all those involved. It stared from the idea not to make another classic story on extreme behaviour and has therefore become extreme itself, as are many things that surround us. This behaviour is visible and experienced every day. In this theatrical experiment the audience has the opportunity to actively take part, create and choose.

By choosing we select what we think is appropriate. By choosing we decide who to support. By choosing we decide how to think. By choosing we decide what is our path to the extreme. By choosing we create our own lives, our daily life and the society we live in. Cooperating directly the artists and the audience are not just making and performing a cultural act, but are demystifying stray ways and putting up new signs to a different way of thinking.

director: Gordana Lebović
writer: Vanja Nikolić
composition, musical selection and consultation: Vedran Vučić
costume and set design: Isidora Spasić
performers: Slobodan Beštić, Pavle Pekić, Vladimir Aleksić
organisation: Damjan Damjanović
production: in cooperation with UK Parobrod, Belgrade
The project was funded by Open Society Foundation Serbia.

Video I:
director: Maša Nešković
camera: Vladimir Pavić
editing: Zoran Đurković
sound design: Milica Lukić

Video II:
The video has been created by using documentary material.
editing: Zoran Đurković

Texts used in the play:
William Shakespeare Hamlet
Antonin Artaud The Theatre and Its Double
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti Futurist Manifesto

Omen theatre (RS)

Vanja Nikolić was born in Novi Sad. She has graduated comparative literature that has enabled her to think and observe more freely, after which she graduated dramaturgy. Due to these choices, she realised what she wanted to do in life. She has worked as a writer on many independent productions, in institutions and programmes. She is the author of plays Connection (public reading, PreGlej, Ljubljana), Striped Cat and Miss Lasta (Malo pozorište Duško Radović), Space nursing rhyme (Pozorište Mladih, Novi Sad). She is the author of critical texts, articles and texts on theatre for magazine Scena, project Criticize This and regional magazine Balcan Can Contemporary. Currently she is preparing new projects and an interactive project for children and those young at heart.

Vedran Vučić was born in Split. He was educated in Croatia and the UK (at Woodbrooke College and University of Bradford). He has participated in projects that develop creativity and a critical approach for youth, as well as in many international and local projects. He is the author of many scientific papers on subjects of media convergence, elements of openness in development of art works and application of scientific and technological concepts and art theories. He is especially active in fields of music and visual arts. He has composed music for over 40 plays and performances in Serbia and other countries and has taken part in over 20 exhibitions in cooperation with Serbian and international artists. He is an active member of Omen theatre since its founding. In the last five years, he has extensively worked in analysing the concepts of persecutions and extremism using theatre, visual arts and science as tools of analysis and interpretation.

Gordana Lebović graduated theatre and radio directing at the Academy for Drama in Belgrade. For more than fifteen years she has worked in researching contemporary theatre and art. She is the author and co-founder of a multimedia project Omen, which has developed into Omen Theatre. She is a director, author, producer and coordinator of workshops both as part of Omen Theatre and as part of other projects the theatre took part in. Her work is based on research and experimental processes, pushing the boundaries of contemporary theatre and connecting it to other areas of contemporary art. The same methods are applied in Lebrović's educational and humanitarian work. She the author of the exhibition Witches – a history of persecution, Witches – history and learning and Abolishing public space. She has directed several theatre plays, such as A story of a young man and a 1000 angels, Life? Or Theatre?, Thirteen and The game of madness. Gordana Lebrović's plays have been staged both in Serbia and abroad and as part of many national and international festivals. Her newest project, entitled Three faces of the mirror, is a theatrical research into extremism.

Isidora Spasić graduated as a Bachelor in set and costume design at Accademia di belle arti di Brera, Milan, Italy and has a Master degree in film and TV set design from the same university. She is the author of many set and costumes designs for theatre, film, public readings and videos and of design solutions for exhibitions and installations for musical festivals. She worked on films that have been screened at festivals such as the Netherlands Film Festival, Dutch Film Festival, Underground London Film Festival, Milano Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, the Belgrade Short Film Festival and FEST. She had exhibitions at Belgrade Cultural Centra, REX Cultural Centre, Gallery of technology in Belgrade, Manak's House and EXIT festival and cooperated with Verdi theatre and EDGE Festival in Milan, Italy, Quendra Multimedia and the National Theatre in Priština, the Virovitica theatre and the Istrian National Theatre in Croatia and CZKD and UK Parobrod in Belgrade.