Zohre, an Afghan Dutch soap opera
A journalistic theatre project by Marjolijn van Heemstra about the refugee crisis and the integration difficulties of newcomers in the Netherlands. Zohre, who fled from Afghanistan, worked as a babysitter for Marjolijn, who decided to help her build a life here. Both women report frankly about the year that passed, a year full of good intentions, awkward attempts, mutual expectations, and suspicions.
We created a signboard about the integration problems. The lighting design was inspired by horizons, and by Mark Rothko’s colorfield painting. Rothko’s aim was to create a meditative mood with coloured planes, in which he wanted to easily reproduce intricate thoughts. As a performing surface, the two players have only a very narrow edge, 2.5 metres above the floor. They cannot escape. They can only stand, sit, or lie down, with the wall behind them as their only anchor. With this simple yet extremely restrictive construction, we literally clamp them in, with their backs to the wall. This is the roof where they have their evening conversations, a dull bureaucratic pen, the oppressive Afghan soap opera studio, a projection surface for a short film about the modern Afghanistan of yesteryear, and a pedestal for Zohre.
TF special of the National Dutch Theatre Festival 2017
Stichting Marjolijn van Heemstra 2017
concept, text, performance Marjolijn van Heemstra
director Erik Whien
sound Roald van Oosten
set, light, costumes M\W