© 2019 by YEAP

"An honest piece based on the reflections and the inner turmoil of a young woman." (Ami Serban - Europa Art Collective)
"Good epitome of fringe theatre; raw, brave, thought-provoking, intimate, uncomfortable, real." (Honorary Manchester Blog)
The trailer

You can find here the trailers of the project "Talk to yourself".

Edited by : Adriana Buonfantino and Sam Eastwood

Production : YEAP

Realised during Summit at Eagle Inn (Salford) on 28th Feb 2019

Performances:

- 22.11.18 The Lowry (Shoots scratch night) with Manchester ADP and DANC

- 12.01.19 HOME (Propel scratch night), Manchester

- 28.02.19 Eagle Inn (Salford) with Summit

- 04.03.19 Kings Arms (Salford) with Salford Development Week

Theme and aims

Talk to yourself is a all women project which combines different arts as theatre, live music and live painting

YEAP ASSOCIATION Act3 : Talk to yourself

The plot

 

The play is set in a dystopian reality where every person is nameless and can only be identified by a number. It's timeless and it can be set anywhere, in any place, at any time.

The monologue is from the perspective of a 33-year-old woman who is pregnant and her only interaction is with a computer called CHOROS. She has to take the decision. She thinks about when she was younger and got abortion and didn't really hesitate. However, she's not allowed to share her story : the system she lives in is in control because humans are deemed unfit to make decisions for themselves and anyone who tries to think for themselves is blacklisted forever. She's a hero and she will do it anyway : she will leave her testimony on a recording tape for anyone who would like to listen to her experience.

 

YEAP ASSOCIATION Act3 : Talk to yourself

Artistic and social aims

 

‘Talk to Yourself’ is bold and experimental. It’s a ground-breaking idea with a cross art form: on stage, two actresses, a musician, and a painter. They're all women, they're all going to express themselves in their own way but they will always be connected to each other and influenced by one topic: abortion. 
‘Talk to yourself’ is a monologue, and a painting, and a piece of music, and a digital project – in a dystopian reality where choices are limited and the system is unquestionable. It is pure live art performance where the music and painting are fully improvised so that each production is absolutely unique. 
Based on true stories about pregnancy and personal choices, this play is a piece of verbatim theatre which challenges our ideas of women’s agency – especially over their bodies. It's timeless and it can be set anywhere, in any place, at any time. This project is a collaboration and a rebellion: while one actress delivers a monologue and interacts with a computerised faceless voice from offstage, the cellist accompanies the dialogue and the painter responds live on stage whilst livestreamed. All of them challenge the system, and all of them bring life to a debate that continues to rage even in society today – do women deserve the ultimate right to determine what they do with their bodies? The answer: absolutely. 

The inspiration for this performance is a body of research I carried out in 2016. I have researched this topic for several years and this project is a culmination of different women's experiences of abortion as well as a culmination of choreographed pieces and responses to the subject with the project Implosion.

After researching this project and speaking to lots of women I realized, do we really listen to women and what they have to say about the choices they make? We maybe informed via newspapers and TV but do we really understand what women go through on a daily basis and when thinking about important decisions that concern them?

This topic is treated with respect – there are no overtly gorey descriptions and there are no images or scenes featuring the visual reality of such an invasive and personal experience.

The story is not judgemental – it is a statement about what she has done or what she hasn't done. The play is not projecting an opinion onto the audience as ultimately there is no right or wrong. 'Talk to Yourself' follows HER as she tells her story and makes her decision. It informs, it does not influence the audience but leaves them with the knowledge to make up their own minds.

As much as we respect the identities and testimonies of the women who inspired the play, in the same way we, as artists with different specialities, respect each other. Each artist cares about the project and this topic. We are all choosing to use our art to portray this story and express our own thoughts and feelings in our own way.

Through this project we want to talk about a sensitive topic but we also want to explore how our arts work together on stage and before an audience. That's the reason why we believe that it's important for the audience to see the painter's works and ask questions, as many answers would probably be there for them. It would be fascinating for us to hear the interpretations of the audience.

 

YEAP ASSOCIATION Act3 : Talk to yourself

A pamphlet for a protesting performance

 

The main goal of this artistic form is to use satirical polemical and critical writing to understand and make understand current political and social issues. Since the 50's protest theatre turned to performance to bring to light and denounce an oppressive social system. But provocative performance has less impact today as it seems to have lost its ability to change. Provocation kills provocation if it fails to renew itself. If we don't want to fall in boring standardisation we have to adapt to a compelling new artistic and social demand.

 

Nowadays the audience turns away from protest theatre. Seeing the same things on stage today as twenty years ago cannot but tire the audience off. The audience is not tired of political and social issues though, it is just asking for renewal. Prostest theatre took the path of intellectualization toward social issues becoming an art for the elite moving away from the ideal of a democratic theatre. The divide between elitist theatre and consumer theatre growing wider ends up becoming a grave to put the ideal of an useful popular protest theatre and forget about it.

 

We have to face it, we have entered a century of speed, change and immediacy. Therefore theatre have to change, now and fast. If theatre is to transform, Artists have to grow aware of their own responsibility toward society. They have to join both their creative and protest energy drained from theatre itself in order to put an end to the institutionalization of performance and provocation itself on one hand, and, on the other hand to keep the essence of performance and provocation to balance abstruse intellectualization.

 

Multiple points of view will arise from different conceptions of art and ethics following the cultural background. Some intellectualize theatre, others believe in a performative provocation. The project will convoque the opinions of artists from multiple parts of Europe and non-Europe only to better create an artistic union gathering muliple cultures toward a common goal.

Adriana Buonfantino

Artistic Director and playwriter

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