maandag 19 januari 2009

Eerste repetitiedag

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Maandag 19 januari
Annemarie legt het concept van de voorstelling uit aan de vier actrices Sina, Sokly, Thiery en Sovanna. Het duurt even.

We beginnen de scenes te lezen
* Nurse
Twee vrouwen. Vrouw 1 vertelt over de dood van haar vader in een Khmer Rouge ziekenhuis en de agressieve houding van een jonge zuster.
Vrouw 2 de zuster van toen vertelt over haar droom om dokter te worden om zieke mensen te helpen. Ze vertelt hoe gelukkig ze was toen ze een zuster kon worden en hoe teleurgesteld ze was toen ze zich realiseerde dat het Khmer Rouge ziekenhuis mensen niet geneesde, maar ze juist doodde.
deze twee vrouwen ontmoeten elkaar op het podium. Vrouw 2 zegt tegen vrouw 1 "Het spijt me , hoe ik je vader heb behandeld." Vrouw 1 weet niet of ze de verontschuldigingen kan accepteren.
* Student
Een lange monoloog van een man van in de vijftig over zijn verleden.
He was een student tijdens het Lon Nol regime voor de Pol Pot periode, welke een extreem corrupt en gruwelijk regime was. Hij vertelt hoe hij deelnam aan de studentendemonstraties tegen Lon Nol, hoe hij in de gevangenis kwam en werd gemartels. Toen hij uit de gevangenis kwam liep hij met hoge verwachtingen op een betere wereld in de armen van Khmer Rouge met hun beloften op een betere wereld. Hij vertelt hoe hij wederom teleurgesteld was toen hij de gruwelijkheid van het regime zag. Dan vertelt hij over zijn leven in het hier en nu, hij is een gerespecteerd man en elke zaterdag als hij naar de markt gaat ziet hij zijn moeder. Ze kijkt niet naar hem en hij durft niet te praten omdat hij schuldig voelt over zijn verleden.
Het volgende deel is de moeder. Ze vertelt dat ze zich schaamt voor haar zoon, maar dat ze  nog steeds elke zaterdag naar de markt gaat.
Aan het eind spreekt de zoon en vraagt zijn moeder 'wil je me alsjeblieft vergeven?" Ze zegt "Het leven is niet meer hetzelfde. Zoon." Tenslotte zingt Sokly een lied dat zij zelf heeft geschreven, over de eindeloze liefde van een moeder voor haar kind.

Nu heb je drie van onze scenes gelezen.
De andere vier zullen in de volgende blogs beschreven worden.

We hadden lunch met Youk Cchang (DCCam), Sayana Ser en Rith (van Amrita, ook betrokken bij de productie van deze voorstelling)
De belangrijkste kwestie was 'waar gaan we de eerste voorstelling spelen?' Het zou het beste zijn als we een open lokatie vinden in of dichtbij Phnom Penh waar we de set kunnen bouwen,zoals het ook zal zijn tijdens de tour in de provincie. Youk Cchang noemde vijf opties en morgenochtend gaan we op loktiebezoek.
Hij is snel, snapt wat Annemarie doet en bedoelt en vindt de scenes mooi.
Hij zal een grote steun zijn tijdens het proces.

Einde van de dag.
Groetjes Annemarie en Richt

First rehearsalday

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Monday January 19
Annemarie explains her concept of the performance to the four actresses Sina, Sokly, Thiery and Sovanna. It takes some time.

We start reading the scenes. 
*  Nurse: 
Two women. Woman 1: relates the death of her father in a Khmer Rouge
hospital and the aggressive attitude of a very young nurse. 
Woman 2: the nurse of those days relates about her dreams to become a doctor helping sick people. She tells how happy she was when she could become a nurse and how disappointed when she realized that the Khmer Rouge hospital did not cure people, but kill them instead. 
These two women meet on stage. Woman 2 says to woman one "I'm sorry about the way I treated yur father." Woman 1 does not know if she can accept the appolagies.
* Student: 
A long monologue of a man in his fifties about his history. 
He was a student during the Lon Nol regime before the Pol Pot period, which was an extremely corrupt and cruel regime. He tells how he took part in studentdemonstrations against Lon Nol, how he was put in jail and tortured. When he came out of prison he walked with high hopes for a better world in the arms of the Khmer Rouge with there promises for a better world. He tells how he was disappointed again when he saw the cruelty of the regime he was fighting for. 
Then he tells about his life here and now, he is a respectable citizen and every Saturday when he goes to the market he sees his mother. She does not look at him and he dares not talk to her, as he feels guilty about his past. 
Next part is the mother. She tells that she is ashamed af her son, but that she still goes every same Saturday to that market. In the end finally the son speaks up and asks his mother "will you please forgive me?" She says "Life is not the same anymore. Son." After that, Sokly sings one of the songs she has written herself about the endless love of a mother for her child.

Now you've read three of our scenes. 
The other four we will be written about in the next blogs.

We had lunch with Youk Cchang (director of DCCam), Sayana Ser and Rith (of Amrita who is involved in the production of this play). 
The hot issue was 'where will we play the first performances?' It would be best to find an open air space in or near Phnom Penh where we can built the set, the same as it will be during the tour in the provinces.
Youk Cchang named five options and tomorrow morning we have a finding location tour. He works fast, he understands what Annemarie is doing and he likes the scenes. He will be of great help and sustainment in the proces.

End of the day.
Friendly greetings Annemarie Prins and Richt Martens.

The girl

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Sunday Januari 18
Meeting with Sokthida, a girl of about nine years.
Annemarie met her at a Cambodian wedding last year and she has the idea that a filmed portray of the girl on a screen during the performance might be beautiful as an image of youth, of the future.
We filmed her in different situations.
When the concept of Annemarie is right, Sothida will be very good for the job, because she is clever and has a high concentration and is very attractive.

End of the day.
Friendly greetings Annemarie Prins and Richt Martens.

First message from Phnom Penh

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About the play Breaking the Silence

The title is the aim of the theatre play.
Now, 30 years after the genocide of the Khmer Rouge (1975-1978) there is hardly any communication between the generations about these terrible happenings. And that hampers a possible reconciliation or at least discussion between perpetrators and victims. Inside its own history, in a country where perpetrators and victims are practically each others neighbours is of utmost importance for a possible development and working out of the trauma's.
Since years the Documentation Centre Cambodia (DCCam), leaded by Youk Cchang, has been working on information and the gathering of interviews with as well perpetrators as victims in the whole country. Allready a year ago Youk Cchang assured Annemarie that the making of a theatreperformance about these problems is very necessary.
He gives his active suport to the project by collaborators of this Centre who will have an evaluation and discussion with the public a day after they have seen the performance. By giving us his consent, we dare make a play about this painfull subject in a culture that is so different from ours.

The ingredients of the play will be: seven scenes written by Annemarie in Amsterdam, singing, music and dance.
The seven scenes will be played by the four actresses who performed in the first production 3 years.
Each scene shows a different aspect of the social life during Pol Pot regime.
For example: two ex-childsoldiers , nowadays 48 years, meet each other after all those years and they each have a completely different attitude regarding their lives of those days.
All the other scenes will be dealt with in the following blogs.
They are purely Brechtian scenes in which questions will been thrown up but not answered because we hope that the public will have a discussion about thes questions later on.
The scenes that form the core of the play are heavy, but we will make the performance open and pleasant to watch by music, singing and dancing.

Daily report

Tuesday January 13 and wednesday january 14
The trip was horrible, but all forgotten when the four actresses and Sal and Kunthy met us at the airport, very laughing and very emotional.

Thursday January 15
We started right off on thursday.
In the morning a fight with the webblog without succes.

Lunch with Sal (executive producer) and we talked about the organization of the coming period.

In the afternoon we met Kethya.
When she was nine years old she allready danced the Absaradance, a classical Cambodian danceform. Nowadays she is a choreographer and a dancer. In America she followed a course of contemporary dance and this summer she will be the artistic leader of a Cambodian Contemporary dancegroup.
For this production she is interpreter and assistant and she wants to learn more about direction. Kethya is fast, smart and curious. She understands what Annemarie means (at least we think so, because off course we don't understand anything she says).
We gave Kethya the text of the scenes asking her to tell honestly what she thinks of them and which, she thinks, are the best two scenes.

A meeting with Sakkona, the musician in the last production of Annemarie.
He will cooperate in this one, at least if he can make enough time to do the work. He has namely started a second carreer as a make-up artist. This means that he does the make-up for weddings and other festivities.
Sakkona is multifunctional and we would be very sorry if we lost him.
In the mean time we've heard he has been able to change his schedule and will be available as many days Annemarie thinks are necessary. This is very nice.

End of day 1.

Friday January 16
Meeting with Sayana Ser at DCCam.
Sayana Ser has been commissioned by Youk Cchang for this project.
She studied tourism in Wageningen (Holland) for two years. And now she works at DCCam, where she organizes informative tours for Cambodians.
This was the first orientating talk about the possible cooperation between DCCam and Amrita.
We gave her the scenes with the same request as we did to Kethya: which two scenes do you like most? In this way we find out what Cambodians think about the writing.

Back to Amrita, the production affice.
To our relieve Kethya thinks the scenes are very Cambodian and informative.

Audition with three possible singers.
Annemarie works with each singer for an hour. They are as different as you can get.
One very young student, still studying.
A thirty year old singer who directs aswell and sings in the traditional Cambodian form Yike.
And at last a fortyfive year old singer and teacher in Balsac, another old Cambodian singing style.
We choose Vutha Yin, the thirty year old singer, because he is willing to do new things.

In the end of the day a very interesting meeting with the three visual artists, Wollak, Samnang and Ravuth.
They are young and they have never seen modern theatre. They finished their studies at the Academy of Fine Arts a year ago. Two of them teach in the province.
Because Annemarie wants the set to consist of Cambodian collors, forms and objects, she asked them to look at the world around them and photograph all kind of situations and spots and objects, they intuitively link to the performance.
They like the homework.

End of the day.
Friendly greetings Annemarie Prins and Richt Martens.