Under-the-table is a whispering audio documentary about life behind a stage.

Theater is the art of relations. It is determined by the intentions and expectations of different protagonists, as well as the subgroups within the public act. And performance itself emerges from relations. Sometimes they are built so quickly, and become so tight that the rehearsals lose their support in professional curiosities, while giving way to the raptures of newly created tribes/gangs/families. This is because people fall in love in theater too easily, and far more often than in any other discipline. In almost every theatrical process, more such plots take place, and the unfoldings are relatively expected – from comic-romantic to melodramatic. The reasons are not subject to simple explanation, that is for sure, but the outcomes are indicative. They talk about the power of the theater to build relationships without foundations, only at the pledge of common enthusiasms that enable emergence. Like any other creation, the community here emerges ex nihilo. The ephemerality confirms the absence of foundations, as the relations are abolished soon after the premiere, but the potentiality of the construct still remains…

Six theater voices are invited to reconstruct and explain (to me/to themselves/to others) why and how often they were falling in love, during the theatrical processes in which they have participated. What did it happen with those loves, and how did they affect their lives? Could they recognize the echoes of these raptures in aesthetic forms that were made? And in the world of life? Revealing these loves, short-lived, always solely today’s, and barely caught in the artefact of family that has been persistently re-created, could explain the principles of collective creativity, or even the creation of collectivity – in some new forms, which theater can certainly make. As Badiou claims in Éloge de l’Amour (2009): “There is something communist in every theater!”

Author and researcher: Irena Ristić / Voices: Anđelka Nikolić & Bojana Lazić, theatre directors, Maja Mirković, stage and costume designer, Slobodan Beštić & Đorđe Živadinović Grgur, actors / Music: Predrag Stamenković / Sound design: Zoran Uzelac / Editor: Vesna Perić / Production: Aleksandra Rajić Žikić & Drama program Radio Belgrade / Premiere: January 2020.

Under-the-table is available here.