We're making theatre on Tito's old ship. Right now we're lost in a fog.
Kim and I are a director-dramaturge team. He’s South African, I’m American. We recently received a fellowship from Columbia University to spend five weeks at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, located in the northern port city of Rijeka. The Theatre has generously offered us this 400ft. former military marine vessel as a space to showcase an original work-in-progress during their site-specific theatre festival in July. We believe site-specific art should always highlight the idiosyncrasies of the chosen space. But until we arrive, we haven’t a clue what/who our actual materials and collaborators will be. We have no plan, and we don’t speak a word of Croatian. We’re basically doomed.
We know only a couple of things. Mainly, that we are investigating the lives and legacies of John F. Kennedy and Josip Broz Tito. We know that Kennedy hosted the deceased leader of former Yugoslavia at the White House several times. Kennedy, however, never boarded the marshal’s ship Galeb, which hosted over one hundred world leaders throughout Tito’s lifelong term. In light of JFK’s recent centennial, such insights are rich material.
We also know that we are fascinated with themes of entropy, natural processes of decay, and the brutal phenomena of physical law. Hence the working title, WRECKED. We’re not superstitious, but we do hope to learn which rusty door hinges, corners of peeling wallpaper, and spooky corridors play host to sleeping ghosts. With any luck, we’ll wake them.
Whatever happens, we’re determined to make something awesome. Even if it kills us.