In 1998, the Dutch organisation of publicists and artist AIDA produced, as a part of the project entitled “To be or how to be”, several theater plays addressing the challenges of life and survival. I was invited to design and make costumes, props, and scenography for two plays: “Emigrants” and “The Last Supper of Joan of Arc”.
“Emigrants” is a drama written by famous Polish writer and political activist Sławomir Mrożek in 1974. The play was directed by Irakli Apakidze theater director and actor from Georgia, who also played in the drama.
“The Last Supper of Joan of Arc” was written and directed by Iranian theater maker Rajab Mohammadin. It is an intriguing text where Joan of Arc is visited on 29 May 1431, a day before her execution in Rouen, by a reporter from the 21st century.
My work with those two directors greatly helped me in my first encounter with stage design in the Netherlands. In the low-budget production to be a scenographer and costume designer meant not only to conceptualize and design the scene and costume, but also to construct and build up all its elements, or to find them in available TV depots, on open markets, in second-hand shops, etc. Frequently, such a scarcity of resources incites creativity, and at the end both plays were set on a simple but evocative and efficacious stage.
Both plays were shown in NES theater in Amsterdam (De Brakke Grond/Frascati) and “Emigrants” was also staged in Paris, in 1999.