Sarajevo National Theatre
Directed by: Alen Šimić
Why do you wake up in the morning?
“I hate everything that does not relate to literature, conversations bore me (even when they relate to literature), to visit people bores me, the joys and sorrows of my relatives bore me to my soul. Conversation takes the importance, the seriousness, the truth out of everything I think.” These words by Franz Kafka best describe this writer.
Everything around us is beautiful and one can find meaning in each little thing. Conversation, real conversation among people who are present to listen to each other is foundational to a wholesome existence. We started the rehearsal process with these thoughts but ended up elsewhere, altered.
This piece is a conversation among young people brimming with life and desire to work and connect to a dead author who refuses to participate in the dialogue. Kafka never provides answers, he doesn’t care to enter into a dialogue with his readers. This friction was at first a source of frustration, but then it turned into magic. Literally.
We collectively explored what connects us, our private lives, our observations that we have at work, our surroundings, with the enigmatic, austere, and reserved Kafka. We started from the story titled The Hunger Artist, but it turned into something greater.
Why was it important for us to ask who we are and who Franz Kafka is?
Having read Kafka’s diaries, letters, and short stories, we entered an absurd world, a space full of riddles that really well resonate with the absurd times we live in. Kafka is a writer outside the confines of time, that’s why it’s so hard to crack his allegories.
In the meantime we also started a conversation with the people of Sarajevo about theater. We learned that 90% of the city’s inhabitants have no idea how many theaters Sarajevo has. We also asked our peers about life and their thoughts on existence. We learned that they are not interested in these issues.
This combination was a perfect prompt for doing something different. We fell between worlds, the limits of time and space started to melt away, our personalities, our individualities have disappeared. We turned into a heap of flesh, thoughts, and magic.
And then what happened, happened.
Alen Šimić and Benjamin Hasić
Played by Ida Keškić, Tamara Miličević-Stilić, Ivona Baković, Dino Sarija, Dino Bajrović, Domagoj Nižić
Dramaturgy and dramatization: Benjamin Hasić
Stage movement: Ena Kurtalić
Music: Mirza Rahmanović-Indigo
Set and costume design: Sabina Trnka
Assistant director: Ajla Bešić, Ena Kurtalić, Benjamin Hasić
Assistant dramaturge: Armin Behrem
Stage manager: Mustafa Zrnić
Prompter: Esmeralda Abdijević
Photos: Velija Hasanbegović