Potential life: Modelling the void in two productions of the cherry orchard

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This paper examines the different meanings of the monochromatic principle and the act of voiding in two productions of The Cherry Orchard Georgio Strehler's renowned, predominantly white production (1974) and an Israeli production directed by Yevgeny Arye at the Gesher Theater in Tel Aviv (2006), in which a white canopy hung over the stage. In both cases, the perception of the space negates the independent reality of the place, shaping it rather as a potential space. The visual formation that realizes the principle of potentiality in any production, in any variation is used as a ground on which mental and imaginary projections are cast. Characters acting in such a space are, to use Bloch's terms, in a state of not yet expecting and hoping to realize their potential lives. In addition, the stage space is constructed in both productions, albeit in different ways, as an intermediate space a potential space, in Winnicott's terms that is filled up with transitional objects and games. Chekhov's characters exist in the gap between mergence with the object and separation of the subject, and thus also between past and future. Suspension of the reality principle and pseudo-liberation from its realization are a psychoanalytic version of utopia. Such an existence is utopian also by dint of being an ideological model based contrary to our sociopolitical realities on subjectobject unity, radically expressed by means of the dominant white monochrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalTheatre Research International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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