Side effect


Physical Theater Play
“United Fortress of Europe”
11., 12., 13 of September 2022. 19:30h Theater Odeon, Taborstraße 10, 1020 Vienna
Languages: English and German
September 12th: Exclusive artist talk after the performance. Moderated by Zoe Gudović

Our artistic vision is theatre based on authenticity, vulnerability and exposure. On storytelling rather than acting. We believe that everyone has something to say! On stage! For us there’s so much joy in the process of translating people’s personal stories, experiences and emotions into movement and spoken word. No matter if they are theatre professionals or not, as long as they’re passionate about their message! Our artistic director Danilo Jovanović is originator of our method that is called the “Open Soul concept”.  

This method is taking personal stories, experiences, memories of performers as a starting point for creative research. There are no less or more important stories or perspectives, everything that exists in the rehearsal room has creative potential. Development of theater piece relies on principles of devised theater. This means that all content, text and specific stories are built during the rehearsals through joint work of the director, performers and entire creative team involved in specific production. 

Open Soul is entering the space between performance and theater as two art forms. It questions and explores overlapping and collision of theatrical structure (script, text, choreography etc.) with “freedom” of performance art. What is happening when we apply “unpredictability” of performance art to a theater piece? The aim is to express the most authentic truth on the stage. That inner truth of performers is something that changes, through performing in different spaces, for different audiences and with different inner states. Guidance in the form of script, choreography and dramaturgy of the piece are established by the director and they represent the foundation. But, what if performers are also invited to follow their authentic inner urge which sometimes can go beyond theatrical structure? There starts the unpredictable space of the performance art. How much of the frame of theatrical structure can be stretched by the performers? At the same moment they’re playing with structure and keeping in mind not to break it. To which extent it can be stretched is to be discovered in each creative process. We’re all changing, our perspectives, memories, emotions, experiences are shaped by a complex spectrum of influences. In theater it can be related to inner impulses of performers, text, movement, theater room or something that the audience does. Invitation for performers to stretch structure can come from inside or as a reaction to outer impulses. What should we do when the inner world of performers changes at that moment? They’re trained to be able to recognize and hear their inner guidance and express it on the stage or to react to outer impulses such as “mistakes” on stage, reaction from audience, unforeseen occurrence in the room, technical problems, room itself etc. All these are opportunities for performers to step outside of the frame and perform them on stage in real time. In the end Open Soul is dancing on the edge of the entire theatrical structure and stepping into risky unknown space. It is an invitation and open space for performers to follow their most authentic inner truth while being fully present, alert and open in the moment of performing.

We come on the stage as we are. You will not get acting, but rather our open souls on the stage. This will be the space where experiences are transformed, where we heal together, where personal experiences are becoming collective testimonials. Our performance goes beyond screenplays, structures and frames. We all change, our stories, perspectives and memories are changing. We perform that change.

Performers of Side Effect

Photography Luiz Lima