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Discarding - use and abuse
Hypnotism and Acting
Hysteria - 20th century
Hysteria - basics
Jouissance - Sex and Death
Memories - Moments - Trauma
Rehearsal process documentation
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Suddenly Last Summer opposes the therapeutic construction of narrative to the unbounded theatricality of desire. The characters are haunted by Sebastian, the "pervert" who personifies their own perversion and returns insistently to disrupt the normative narratives with which they try to make sense of it. The characters crave catharsis--the expulsion and purgation of what the social order cannot allow--but instead are compelled, by psychic forces out of their control, to repeat the traumatic discovery of their deviance, to multiply and disseminate it through performance. Thus,
madness in the play is not cured, but cultivated
. As such, it follows the structure of Charcot's theater of hysteria, in which performance, ostensibly subservient to the "enlightened" purposes of science, serves not to tame madness but to enlarge and expand it.
In this production, the site of cultivation will be an abandoned swimming pool. Overgrown, exposed to the elements, yet still evocative of luxury, the pool is both the deteriorating home of Violet Venable, and the medical stage on which Doctor Sugar examines his patients.
The characters are haunted by Sebastian's aesthetic, so all of the costumes will yield to Sebastian's taste.
Another manifestation of
Sebastian's haunting is the intrusion of media, which will disrupt the most emotional moments and, acting as that psychic pull, demand repetition or manipulate time.
Sound will act as a reference to the contemporary and an abstraction of it. The rhythms, reminiscent of a high energy gay dance club, will contrast what's happening on stage, and over the course of the play, glitch and mutate.
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