Last night, the premiere of the play One Oedipus, written by Portuguese playwright Armando Nasimento Rosa, directed by Jug Djordjevic, opened in Nis.

Grade twelve students majoring in Serbian studies were able to attend the pre-premiere of this play on Friday 29th November, and a literary converstaion with the playwright the following day. The conversation was organized by the National Theater in Nis in cooperation with the EU Info Corner. On this occasion, all the essential points of the drama play One Oedipus were touched.

The conversation was conceived as a discussion of the work of Armando Nasimento Rosa, his poetic principles, the impact of myths, antiquity and contemporary problems in his works. Apart from the writer himself, the director of the play was Jug Djordjevic, playwright Spasoje Milovanovic, translator Tatjana Manojlovic, students of Serbian studies and other lovers of contemporary drama and the work of this Portuguese writer participated.
The discussion was started by Jug Djordjevic who questioned why female characters dominated the works of Armando Nasimenta.
Armando Nasimento Roza replied that he had always been interested in supporting female characters who did not have as much space to express themselves as they were not the main characters in the drama. This is one of the reasons why he introduced Tiresias’ daughter, Manto, into his drama One Oedipus. She was only known in mythology as his daughter, but her character had never before been as elaborate in literature as in this drama. He wanted to portray the feminine principle as strong and influential for the story of Oedipus, and he achieved this by depicting Manto, but also by giving Jocasta’s view of the whole situation, known from the myth of Oedipus and the Sophocles drama King Oedipus.

Tatjana Manojlovic stated that Armando has the audacity to portray the characters we know in dramatic literature in a new light. He modifies them, transforms them from what we know about those heroes from before.

It is also significant that the writer introduces Laius’s complex to literature in this work. It has not been discussed in detail by psychoanalysts, but it exists in literature. This is a complex of suicide.
Armando asks a very interesting and intriguing question with his piece: Why do parents want to destroy their children? In addition to its basic meaning, he wanted to present with this question, in a bold way, the hierarchy that exists in theater, where there is always a tendency for those at the top to push the next, younger generation.

Director Jug Djordjevic emphasized that this issue should not be taken literally. He states that often parents stand in the way and ruin their children with the best intentions that do not match the goals that the child has, and because of this, we can say that this is an issue that Armando deals with very contemporary.

The playwright Spasoje Milanovic questioned why in his sphere of interest are the myths he often uses as a prototype and what remains of the myth today, what the myths of the past mean to us as a modern being. Armando pointed out that myths are a good basis for portraying the modern man, his preoccupations and problems. Myths are at the core of all the important issues we are dealing with today. The more we talk about myths, the more they talk about us. He believes that contemporaneity is always re-examining the past from a new angle, and so he himself perceived the famous myth of Oedipus in a new way. With this representation of the myth, he does not want to ruin its earlier readings, but merely to give his view.

One of the interesting questions was posed by student Marija Tasic, she asked the playwright which hero from the drama One Oedipus he would relieve of the suffering, and if he would relieve anyone at all. He replied that he would be very interested to see how Manto would continue her life; that is why she is the only one in his play who has a future ahead of her.

Jug Djordjevic went on to point out that after the rehearsal he talked to the actors who performed this drama and asked them who they thought was the lead actor of the play. He points out that everyone agreed that it was Manto, precisely because of the ending.

The conversation continued in a pleasant tone. Students and other visitors asked questions, but also gave their views on the play and shared impressions of the performance.

Students owe their gratitude to the National Theater in Nis for the opportunity to attend the pre-premiere and a literary conversation with the writer, and a special thanks to Professor Jelena Jovanovic, who initiated these activities.

Dušan Petrović