LUCIANI’S ABSOLUTE THEATER production of “DEBAUCHERS” is a sensory-somatic theatrical exploration of art aroused by sexuality; a celebration of life without limits. An inspiring and uninhibited exhibition of portraits of real and fictional risk-taking-individuals who aroused by their lust for life, have transcended and lived their lives to their fullest by defying morality, good-and-evil, right-and-wrong or any other socially imposed limitations. The Bare Characters: The Muse, The Artist and The Murderer represent three different stages in the transcendence process of a creative mind, perhaps The Third; a narrator-like character who acts as a totem or link between the stage plane and the audience or collective plane. Unlike the Masks, which are theatrical fabrications the three actors assume and take on throughout the play, the Bare Characters are unmasked, exposing the actors playing them rather than concealing them. This production is devised through a collaborative process between the actors and director, and reflects their own process and struggles with limitations and labels related to gender, sexual orientation: gay, straight, bisexual, etc., predisposed concepts of love, relationships and imposed concepts of morality.
NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
INITIATIONS, ARTAUD’S THEATER OF CRUELTY AND TRANSCENDENCE
In a ritual, in order to “transcend”, promote “change” or make the move from the old to the new, the “death”, “destruction” or “sensitizing” of the old is required. The person initiated, must undergo an intense pain or other sensation to be able to let go of the old and embrace the new. This is the same principle behind the idea of “destruction” to promote growth, create a clean slate, etc. and perhaps the concept proposed by Artaud in his Theater of Cruelty.
“In his writings on the Theatre of Cruelty, Artaud points to definitions of both “theatre” and “cruelty” that are separate from their colloquial meanings. For Artaud, theatre does not merely refer to a staged performance before a passive audience. The theatre is a practice, which “wakes us up. Nerves and heart,” and through which we experience, “immediate violent action,” that “inspires us with the fiery magnetism of its images and acts upon us like a spiritual therapeutics whose touch can never be forgotten.”
“Similarly, cruelty does not refer to an act of emotional or physical violence. According to scholar Nathan Gorelick, “Cruelty is, more profoundly, the unrelenting agitation of a life that has become unnecessary, lazy, or removed from a compelling force. The Theatre of Cruelty gives expression to everything that is ‘crime, love, war, or madness’ in order to ‘unforgettably root within us the ideas of perpetual conflict, a spasm in which life is continually lacerated, in which everything in creation rises up and asserts itself against our appointed rank.’ “
This is also idea behind the “initiation” ritual in The Absolute Theater: in order to achieve “nudity of the soul” and therefore, facilitate “change”, the actors must strip down to a “bare” canvas to make room for the “new” to flourish. Same applies to the audience. They also need to be “initiated” and “liberated” from preconceptions before they are ready to accept the proposals made by the actors and the play. – Guido Luciani