Directed by Maria Litvan with Laia Cabrera and Ignacio García-Bustelo, “Prologue” is a mixed-media performance created as a composition of moments, snapshots into the life and thought of French philosopher and activist Simone Weil.
Two performers, a man playing an actor preparing to play Simone Weil (1909-1943), and a woman embodying Weil herself as per the actor’s invocation, meet in this full-length production. Through the actor’s meditations, the piece also reflects on the mystical and artistic processes to ultimately remind us of the importance of paying attention, and of the indispensable role of “the other” to bring depth and meaning to our experience.
Conceived almost as a live poem, with writings of Weil intertwined with the author’s, Prologue draws on a multitude of languages (historical, biographical, allegorical, philosophical) and mediums (theatre, dance, visual arts, video projections, music) to create a stimulating experience for the audience, both at a sensorial and intellectual levels.
Prologue immerses the audience in the world of Weil. Most of her writings are annotations of thoughts published posthumously; therefore when one reads them, they give us the feeling of entering directly into her stream of consciousness. The piece maintains this feeling of intimacy with her thoughts. Thus, it is built upon moments rather than scenes. In a moment, we may capture a thought, a feeling, or it may simply be an image. A moment leaves an impression. Prologue is created as an accumulation of impressions that end up making sense.
There is room for contradiction and controversy in Weil’s world, and Prologue does not try to resolve it. Rather, it stays with her words and her laborious commitment to being above anything else, attentive. For Weil, the capacity to pay attention is something very rare –almost a miracle. The piece intends to transpire the vulnerability and beauty that result from such a state of attentiveness.
- On Thursday, September 13 at 8 at 8 pm.
- On Friday, September 14 at 8 pm.
- On Saturday, September 15 at 8 pm.
- On Sunday, September 16 at 4 pm.
- On Thursday, September 20 at 8 pm.
- On Sunday, September 23 at 4 pm.
- On Thursday, September 27 at 8 pm.
- On Friday, September 28 at 8 pm.
- On Saturday, September 29 at 8 pm.
- On Sunday, September 30 at 4 pm.
- Catherine Correa as Simone Weil.
- Ignacio Garcia-Bustelom, actor.
- Maria Litvan, writer and director
- Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger (Laia Cabrera & Co.), video art and projection mapping.
- Nana Simopoulos, music and sound design.
The performance will be accompanied by an immersive video art installation that further explores the life and work of Simone Weil, on view at the gallery of the Merseles Theater, from Sept. 14 to Sept. 30, 2018.