THE BREAST OF TIRESIAS
In Guillaume Apollinaire’s work, the blue-faced figure Thérèse rebels against her husband. She grows a beard and mustache and shouts into a megaphone about how masculine she feels. Thérèse becomes Tiresias (a figure of a blind prophet in Greek myths), so Thérèse’s husband decides to bear children himself, but at the end of the play, she returns to that from whom she fled.
“While reading the play, I was strongly influenced by two things: the portrayal of a woman as strong only when she is a man, the comparison of a woman to her womb, and perhaps most strongly, Thérèse’s return to her husband. I would like to immerse the audience in a kaleidoscopic, associative choreographic dream. I am interested in creating a performance as writing a stage poem. I want to return Thérèse to her Husband once more, meet the older Thérèse, and ask her: would she regret this step, or would she feel sorry about it? It becomes an almost insurmountable rhetorical question about people’s beliefs imposed by social constructs about such deeply entrenched notions of femininity and masculinity. Due to the strong feminist position, my performances are like manifestos, but there is always a tear hidden in them. At the epicenter of this artwork is a really great doubt about manifestation itself. With this performance, I do not claim, but doubt. Therefore, for the first time, I feel hope.
I want “The Breasts of Tiresias” (I have amputated one breast for Apollinaire without remorse) to be a dialogue about sexuality, dissident sexuality, and the right to one’s body. We must constantly fight for the right to our own bodies because they also have a public dimension. The body, as the most radical form of our modernity in the theater and beyond, is today’s social phenomenon, a battlefield. In the performance, it becomes the main space for us to raise questions using the merciless metaphor of war,” says director Laura Kutkaitė.
LAURA KUTKAITE in collaboration with the cast
2023 November 17-19
LITHUANIAN NATIONAL DRAMA THEATRE
Guillaume Apollinaire, Laura Kutkaitė, Aistė Zabotkaitė, Domantas Starkauskas, Rytis Saladžius, Vitalija Mockevičiūtė, Dalia Michelevičiūtė