'Rozamunda' at Theater for the New City
212-254-1109 www.theaterforthenewcity.net $15
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"Rozamunda" (US Premiere) written by Elfriede Jelinek, directed Senka Buli?. Cino Theater - Thursday, August 18 at 9:00PM; Friday, August 19 at 9:00PM; Thursday, August 25 at 9:00PM; Saturday, August 27 at 7:00PM; Tuesday, August 30 at 9:00PM. Running Time: 60 minutes | Tickets: $15 -
Elfriede Jelinek's princesses are contemporary parodied counterparts of Shakespeare's princes. They are myths of deconstruction, anti-princesses who cannot fight against the destiny intended for them. "Rozamunda" is her third dramolet (one-act play) from the cycle "The Princess Plays," which is also made up of one-act plays "Snow White," "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Rock and Jackie." The cycle was also published under the subtitle "Death and the Maiden," referring to the homonymous work by Schubert. Jelinek focuses on exploring female archetypes. She presents male interpretations of every phase of women's existence as the incitement to death. Snow White in search of the truth will be killed by the Hunter, Sleeping Beauty will be awakened by the Prince and will be designated to take a submissive role. Rozamunda is forced to admit that women's status is irreconcilable with writing and that every female creative activity is doomed to failure. Jackie is a hostage of her beloved ones and is a prisoner of the media image of herself. Ingeborg Bachmann and Sylvia Plath are desperate because of the impossibility to start things going and are prisoners of the space predetermined for them. Jelinek's humour is destructive in the grotesque way in which the heroines reveal men's discourses, through distortions, twisted quotations and puns.
Rozamunda was a Reneissance Cypriot princess, but is also a character from Schubert's lost opera. Critics call her Jelinek's double. She is pressed by an anxious crisis of a female writer and an intense but ambivalent relationship with her partner Fulvio. "Rozamunda" poses the question of whether her role of a writer defines her own body. Rozamunda the writer is trying to wrench herself free from the symbolic order, with which she undermines the bases of established identity categories such as lust, sex and sexual identity.
Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian playwright and novelist. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004 for her "musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power." Her work was largely unknown outside the German-speaking world before she won the Nobel Prize, and it was said to resemble that of acclaimed Austrian playwright Thomas Bernhard. In fact, despite the author's own differentiation from Austria (due to her criticism of Austria's Nazi-past), Jelinek's writing is deeply rooted in the tradition of Austrian literature, showing the influence of Austrian writers such as Ingeborg Bachmann and Robert Musil. Jelinek has won many distinguished prizes; among them are the Georg Büchner Prize in 1998; the Mülheim Dramatists Prize in 2002 and 2004; the Franz Kafka Prize in 2004; and the Nobel Prize in Literature, also in 2004. Female sexuality, its abuse, and the battle of the sexes in general are prominent topics in her work. Texts such as "Wir sind Lockvögel, Baby!" ("We are Decoys, Baby!"), "Die Liebhaberinnen" ("Women as Lovers") and "Die Klavierspielerin" ("The Piano Teacher") showcase the brutality and power play inherent in human relations in a style that is at times ironically formal and tightly controlled. According to Jelinek, power and aggression are often the principal driving forces of relationships. Her provocative novel Lust contains graphically-delineated descriptions of sexuality, aggression and abuse. Jelinek said she felt very happy to receive the Nobel Prize, but she also felt "despair for becoming a known, a person of the public."
Senka Buli? graduated with an acting degree from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia. She started her career in the Croatian National Theatre in Split. She spent a long period working as a freelancer in Zagreb. In that period she worked with directors such as Vito Taufer, Janusz Kica, Jean Michel Bruyere, Paolo Magelli, Damir Zlatar Frey, Ivica Buljan, Georgij Paro, Ivica Kun?evi? and Eduard Miler in the theatres in Croatia and Slovenia and also played in movies including "The Price of Life" (Bogdan Žiži?), "Pont Neuf" (Željko Sene?i?), "How the War Started on My Island¨ (Vinko Brešan). She is a founder and artistic manager oh Hotel Bulic Theatre Zagreb. She is also a director of theatrical plays ("The Little Prince," "Aladdin," "Evasion," "Splendid's," "Hanjo," "Crime on Goat Island," "Evita," "Rozamunda"). With Ivica Buljan's plays ("Medea," "Phaedra," "Oedipus the King," "La Marche," "Jackie," "Sallinger," "Ma and Al") as well as her own, she participates in international theatre festivals. She founded and developed theatre Scena and is a director of the drama program of the Split Summer Festival.