A masterclass with the ISO (International Super Objective
) team of the Union of the Theatres of Europe
(UTE) took place at Sfumato Laboratory Theatre
of Sofia, from 27 June to 2 July upon the invitation of artistic directors Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev. The masterclass was entitled Second Hand and its object was Samuel Beckett’s world.
The ISO group was founded in 2012 and named after the well-known super-objective of Stanislavski’s theory. The National Theatre of Northern Greece is represented by Egli Katsiki, founding member of the group.
The team was developed within the framework of the UTE Decentralized Academy following a masterclass directed in November 2012 by the famous Russian director Lev Dodin with the participation of young actors from all over Europe and carried on its activities with workshops and festival participations (at the Ludwigsburg Festival, Germany in 2013, the Europolis Festival
, organised in Rome by the Teatro di Roma in 2013, the Teatro Nacional São João of Porto in 2014, the Schauspielhaus Bochum in 2015). After their first participation at the Small Season Festival of the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory in Sofia in 2015, the ISO group is back in Sofia this year with S. Beckett’s monologue Not I.
Describing the work process, the NTNG actor said: “We start by choosing the clothes, among second hand clothing and theatrical costumes; then we choose an action and a conflict element, on the basis of which a character will be built. The text, with its struggling flow, is the real protagonist, imposing itself in our minds. Thirteen small monologues create a play having in common the presence of the spectator and the moment of revelation. The open presentation of our work to the public will be the last stop of this adventure”.
ISO theater actors Petya Alabozova (Bulgaria), Sophie Lewisch (France), Egli Katsiki (Greece), Benjamin-Lew Klondike (Germany/Poland), Luis Puto (Portugal), Angelique Zaini (France), Bilyana Georgieva (Bulgaria) and Boris Krastev (Bulgaria) collaborated with Ivan Barnev, Hristo Petkov, Boyko Krastanov, Catalin Stareishinska and Nadia Keranova (Bulgaria) and Tjasa Ferma (America).
Egli Katsiki mentions that “meeting again with the members of this team was a pleasant experience. It seems that we have spent so much time together and have worked as a team, so that, by now, we know each other very well, both on a personal and a theatrical level. Collaborating with Margarita and Ivan is creative and moving at the same time. Their aesthetics are not entirely new to me, as they have largely influenced Βilyana and Boris. However, working with them on your own material is revealing. They are looking for poetry and symbolism in actions, everyday actions or body actions that require movement knowledge. One feels that they are strict in their judgement, but at the same time they are very much interested, involved and passionate about it and they are looking for ways to provide inspiration and help. Margarita is more of a mother figure whereas Ivan is rather doric.
Once more the Sfumato people were extremely welcoming. It is so moving to see them caring so much for their work and for the theatre, a theatre deprived of financial means. Many members of the personnel are aged and it looks as though they have spent their entire life in that theatre. A detail –not at all insignificant: the elderly prop master was sitting behind the stage throughout the rehearsal, invisible like a ghost, yet present, when that was necessary