HostelLand. Boardgame teatral is one of the most recent productions at Teatru Fix in Iaşi, a project that has been made in collaboration with Asociaţia Addarta. This paper will focus on the work methods used in the creative process and the performance form that has resulted – a form that is based on several rules that belong both to the principles of the boardgame that has been created, and to the way in which we interact with the audience. Director Alex Iuraşcu’s decision to structure the performance as a game generates a context in which audience participation is a factor that doesn’t only determine the way in which the performance takes place, but the very possibility of it taking place. A risky endeavour, one might say, but one that, up to this moment, has proven functional every time. The spectators have to become actants, alike the performers, and they gradually go from their role as (active or passive) players to that of citizens who are involved in a debate on the new laws of a state – the fictive, independent state HostelLand, a community formed by the boardgame players.
Among the collection of practices and methods used by postmodern artists to undermine the rigid conventions of the theatre, there are stylistic hybridization and the tendency to de-theatricalize the situation that is presented in the context of the performance. In order to de-theatricalize, there is an emphasis on the real elements used to create the performance. One of the methods employed for inserting realness in the performance is the verbatim method, which consists of documenting through surveys, interviews, research of documents on a given theme, followed by using the collected data (which is to be edited during a process that, preferably, does not include fictionalizing) to write the performance text. Can We Talk About This? is representative for the type of working method used by DV8 since the 2000s, when they started to become increasingly concerned with specific social situations, that are tackled in their performances through interview-based texts. Verbatim theatre and dance theatre come together in a new, inciting, hybrid genre that draws even more strongly from the immediate reality and, also, requires the engagement of all of the performers’ abilities, right from the beginning of the working process.