LITTLE FRANK - A STORY IN LITTLE PIECES
Gompa Project Collective presents Little Frank - A story in little pieces, winner of the SESC Scenic Arts Award. It is a play for children and teenagers inspired by the characters and situations of Mary Shelley’s literary work, Frankenstein.
The story, already a classic among different generations, functions here as a starting point for discussions about childhood, growth, loss, isolation, bullying, friendship, self-esteem, creativity, and acceptance of oneself and others.
Victor Frankenstein is a weird and lonely young man who, almost accidentally, creates someone to keep him company, defying the limits of science and his age. However, the Creature doesn't come out exactly as he wanted; after all, almost nothing comes out as we want it. Victor needs to understand that Little Frank has its own will and is quite different from what he imagined. But that is not something bad, on the contrary, it is a beautiful and fun thing. The two live great adventures together and begin to transform themselves and accept their differences.
The story is told through narration, theater, dance, visual arts, and an original soundtrack, reinventing the first literary work of science fiction. The play proposes a dialogue between science, biology, literature, and physics, instigating the children’s imagination and creativity.
Prize SEDAC 12/2019 - Pró Cultura RS
Porto Alegre, Gravataí, Canoas, São Leopoldo
Cast: Fabiane Severo, Liane Venturella, and Thiago Ruffoni
Directed by: Camila Bauer
Movement Direction: Carlota Albuquerque
Dramaturgy: Camila Bauer and Marco Catalão
Dramaturgical collaboration: Liane Venturella
Sound Design: Álvaro RosaCosta
Piano and Voice: Simone Rasslan
Scenography: Elcio Rossini
Props: Elcio Rossini and Liane Venturella
Lighting: Ricardo Vivian
Costume: Daniel de Lion
Makeup: Marília Ethur
Artistic Collaboration: Douglas Jung, Jéferson Rachewsky, Luana Zinn, Pedro Bertoldi, and Renan Villas
Invited Psychologist: Camila Noguez
Graphic Design: Jéssica Barbosa
Direction of Production: Fabiane Severo
Realization and Production: Projeto Gompa
Fouding: SESC Scenic Arts Award
What does the monster show? Mary Shelley’s work prepares the ground for something that, almost 100 years later, Freud called unheimliche the sinister, the odd, more recently translated as The Unfamiliar (1919/2019).
“I was traveling by myself in the bed wagon of a train when, in a sudden change of speed, the door for the neighboring toilet opened up and I could see an old man wearing pajamas and a traveling cap. I imagined that he had taken the wrong direction, leaving the cabinet that was between two compartments, and entered by mistake into my compartment, and I stood up to explain that to him, but I soon recognized, perplexed, that the intruder was my own image, reflected on the mirror of the communicating door.” (FREUD, 1919, p.307)
In the game of mirrors of a train wagon, Freud sighted an older gentleman, soon realizing that that stranger was, in fact, himself, it was his weird and unfamiliar image. The unfamiliar speaks of an apparition that misleads us about something that concerns us. Unfamiliar as the feeling of recognizing something by the strangeness that it provokes, something that would already have passed more amicably in the familiar sphere. But precisely this fact is withheld from us, the familiar element reappearing as if it were from the outside. Thus, when we laugh at Victor and his embarrassing clumsiness, in a way, we laugh at ourselves. In the wagon scene, it was as if Freud picked up the shattered pieces of the mirror that did not reflect his integrity and identity cohesion. And so tries Victor as well, when he puts together elements that do not equate completely; there is always some leftover, the unpredictable of a creation - which does not exempt us from the responsibility of being aware of our desire, of our creature, of seeking and continuing to create. As part of the human condition, or at least of the psychoanalytic subject, Victor lacks something, and Victor fails any promise of cohesion and resourcefulness. Maybe that's why he is so captured by everything that comes together and separates - an operation of great challenge to be carried out between him and his own creature, eager for history, for the street, for a heart that is his own. As a third party in the relationship, the street is what undoes the dyad's exclusivity and illusory completeness. The game of mirrors and its inevitable discrepancies already carry with it the condition for Frank to become unique. The street, third instance, is what will open the pathway for Frank to tell its own story to the stolen child: “hand, no, laboratory”. The creation (of a story) is what is placed between the creature and the child. Or yet, it is through the fiction around the demands, assumptions, and responses that a child can come up with, that the child can become a being of language. It is in the fictionalized misunderstanding between “no” and “hand” that Frank insists on and claims a story.
The end of the play warns: in the face of the strange, the different, and the unknown that somehow summons us, let us be kind. It is not about eliminating the enemy, it is more about taking responsibility for investigating why this enemy mobilizes us so much.
FREUD, Sigmund. (1919/2019). The Unfamiliar / Das Unheimliche, followed by O Homem da Areia. Translated by Ernani Chaves, Pedro H. Tavares e Romero Freitas. Belo Horizonte: Autêntica.
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