The suite «Out, Out Into The Green!» picks up the thread from «Elephant Stories» by Tore Vagn Lid and Transiteatret-Bergen (Bergen International Festival -09/ the Contemporary Stage Festival, Oslo -09). «Elephant Stories» anticipated the themes of Norwegian State Television series «Hjernevask» (Brainwash) and the big Norwegian debate on biologism. Lid’s piece, however, took a clear stand against the naïve naturalist tendency when it comes to passing on and understanding biological research.
In the main movement of the suite – «Ressentiment – Pavane for a Dead Princess» – the anatomy of powerlessness is examined in confrontation with a new naturalism. Here the focus is being moved from the “inside” of (neuro)science to its very effect or the «outside». What happens when the “loser” in meeting with an increasing number of tests within popular science, the school system, TV entertainment and the Internet interprets the test results as his or her own nature? «Ressentiment» describes a linkage between envy and powerlessness creating passivity. Do we live in an increasingly expanding test zone? Do these tests with their innumerable diagnoses create a totally new type of ressentiment? And ultimately, how destructive is this for a free society – for the possibility of personal and collective change?
In the last movement of the suite – «Polyphonia Variations» – one also asks for effect. Here the simple and unambiguous world view of the new biologism is challenged by the complexity, tempo and double communication of a young reality. The monologue of naturalism meets the ambiguous and polyphonic in the culture industry: What happens when what young people learn about – the body, about friendship, confidence and sexuality does not agree with what one feels and thinks, or what one hears is contradicted by what one sees?
«Out, Out Into The Green!» consists of several movements on the model of the movement dramaturgy of Baroque music. Each movement stands by itself, but is also part of a context; an audiovisual “outing” that will take us further and further out into the beautiful, green world of harmony, order and balance of the new biologism. An expedition into a future where there is no doubt as to what human nature is, and where a new master science finally has succeeded in making things fall into place in their natural order. A short first movement (Prologue) takes place at a campfire in the foyer. The second and longest movement takes us to the camp a bit farther in where an experiment unfolds. Then a short intermezzo follows – a breather – at the campfire – with time for light refreshments – before the scout troop takes us to the last outstation.
First Letter from the Green
An optimistic letter – addressed to «Karl M» – tells about a happy state of nature where existential anxiety, chaos and ambiguity are more and more replaced by the harmonious order of nature and genetic material.
Performers: Egil Haugland (classical guitar), Stein-Erik Olsen (classical guitar), Njål Vindenes (classical guitar).Stage actors: Ivana Petrova, Isabel Shepherd.Text, audiovisual concept and direction: Tore Vagn Lid. Scenography: Kyrre Bjørkås. Scenography assistant: Gunnhild Mathea Olaussen.Video: Rune Andreassen. Phonography: Roar Sletteland. Music: J.S.Bach Passacaglia (BWV 582) arranged for guitar trio. Guitar arr: Øyvind Lyslo. Stage manager: Sara Bruteig Olsen. Producer: Transiteatret-Bergen. Co-production: Black Box Teater. The Prologue is supported by Bergen Kommune
Ressentiment – Pavane for a Dead Princess
The scout troop guides us to a camp: A young researcher, or perhaps rather a young man on the threshold of becoming one, presents his results to a committee. It is a bit uncertain in what subject or discipline he is tried, but during a one-hour trial there is time for him to present a series of tests performed on a selection of test persons. (One of the tests takes to some degree after Martin Seligman’s famous dog experiment, where a group of dogs were given electric shocks – and were able to turn off the current, while another group were given shocks without being able to turn off the current. Afterwards Dr. Seligman thought to have observed how the dogs in the latter group had learned to give in and become helpless, also in situations where they actually had the possibility to stop the electric shocks.) What is certain in our case, is that the candidate - after a promising start – runs into so big problems that he finally is rejected and not approved by those who might have become his future colleagues.
Text/direction/audiovisual concept: Tore Vagn Lid. Scenography/video: Kyrre Bjørkås. Sound design/Sound technique: Thorolf Thuestad. Sound technique/dramaturgical materials: Roar Sletteland. Music and sound dramaturgy/musical arr.: Tore Vagn Lid. Scenography assistant: Gunnhild Mathea Olaussen. Stage managers: Kirsti Aksnes and Sara Bruteig Olsen.Actors/ Muscians: Tor Chr. F. Bleikli, Hilde Annine Hasselberg (singer), Mona Solhaug, Thomas Valeur (guitar). Voices: Arild Vestre, Ragnhild Gudbrandsen, Tore Vagn Lid. Producer: Transiteatret-Bergen in co-operation with BEK. Co-producer: BIT-Teatergarasjen, DNS, Wrap and Black Box Teater. Supported by Spenn.no, Norsk Kulturråd, Kunsløftet and Bergen Kommune. Length: 1 h. 15 min.
Second Letter from the Green
In the second sign of life addressed to “Karl M” the tone has been sharpened. The letter is formed as a confrontation, a farewell letter between two persons who once must have been very close: “It’s not only that you are old and I am still relatively young. It’s rather that I feel that you have deceived me all the time – that you have lied to me, and that the lies have lasted far too long.”
Performers: Egil Haugland (classical guitar), Stein-Erik Olsen (classical guitar), Njål Vindenes (classical guitar). Stage actors: Ivana Petrova, Isabel Shepherd.Text, audiovisual concept and direction: Tore Vagn Lid. Scenography: Kyrre Bjørkås. Scenography assistant: Gunnhild Mathea Olaussen.Video: Rune Andreassen. Phonography: Roar Sletteland. Music: J.S.Bach Passacaglia (BWV 582) arranged for guitar trio. Guitar arr: Øyvind Lyslo. Stage manager: Sara Bruteig Olsen. Producer: Transiteatret-Bergen. Supported by Bergen Kommune. Co-production: Black Box Teater.
After the Interval
In this last sign of life addressed to civilization the tone is not so self-assured and unambiguous any more. Already the opening phrase: “I’m not able to tell one story because the story about what is called me is not one, but many different stories…” might indicate that something dramatic has happened or is about to happen to the expedition. It is certain, however, that «Polyphonia Variations» – the last campsite so far – confronts young stage actors with a virtuous, musically demanding and audiovisual arrangement and vice versa. The material itself – «Polyphonia – a visual radio play» (2007) is not only challenged here in meeting with young stage actors, but also in meeting with a totally new and «green» context.
Text, audiovisual concept and direction: Tore Vagn Lid. Scenography and video: Kyrre Bjørkås. Sound technique: Thorolf Thuestad. Stage actors: Ivana Petrova, Isabel Shepherd, Jørgen Hausberg Nilsen. Stage manager: Sara Bruteig Olsen. Producer: Transiteatret-Bergen in co-operation with Bergen Kunsthall/Landmark, Wrap, Mini Midi Maxi. Supported by Bergen Kommune. Co-production: Black Box Teater. Length: Ca 60 min.