Let's Just Kiss and Say Goodbye is an ode to theater, a performatic play – the second study of vitality in close proximity to pain, death, risk and celebration that Elisa Ohtake has conducted after her dance piece Take My Breath Away. For this new study, the director created an extreme strategy: she asked five experienced São Paulo actors to pretend they were acting in their last play ever. This fake and fateful strategic is taken to an extreme situation to allow vitality to explode.
Let's Just Kiss and Say Goodbye is an ode to theater that explores the actors’ presence for their greatest potential through their intense exposure and the plasticity of stage props transformed into body and scenario. Characters or situations were selected only for being right for the study of vitality; they were extreme characters placed in extreme situations that required them to continuously pursue vital ways of being on stage. At one point in the play, the actors run through a succession of monologues from characters in theatrical history. By the end of the night, they will have pieced together a sort of panorama of the human being in extremely vital situations bordering on pain, death, risk, and celebration.
The radical discussion of vitality poses a political challenge because capitalism's allure works precisely through the cult of total emotion, intensive investigation into sensational sensations, vibration and freshness. How can the body’s vitality be studied if marketing-driven non-stop production of excitement is increasingly a condition for being in the world, setting patterns of behavior, setting the measure of action and perception? How can vitality be studied radically in proximity to pain, risk, libido and celebration? In Let's Just Kiss and Say Goodbye and Take My Breath Away, Ohtake pushed hard to see what would happen. Even if everything was to be mixed together. Even if it was necessary to swing desperately between living, in the strongest sense of the word, and merely spectacularizing emotions.
Concept, direction, script or playbook, lighting, set: Elisa Ohtake
Creator- actors: Danilo Grangheia, Georgette Fadel, Luah Guimarãez, Luciana Schwinden and Rodrigo Bolzan
Assistant director: Marcel Darienzo
Sound design: Elisa Ohtake and Gustavo Vellutini
Sound technician and set builder: Daniel Martins
Lighting technician: Juarez Adriano
Production manager: Stella Marini
"Elisa Ohtake is inventing an approach to stage performance that might be called 'a different logic of dramaturgy'. There is an inversion here: instead of dramaturgy developing by dealing with existing materials or new ones especially created for the occasion, here it emerges as invention, as a way of thinking the performing arts, all of them. It may be applied to dance, theater or other art forms that share the same setting. The most instigating part begins there: How may the same logic be unfolded in different artistic situations? Elisa has devised such a novel approach to directing that she has to create her own crafts – namely, in both cases, writing and narration. But the foundational characteristic of her approach is the fact that this logic may exist totally independent from its constituents, while being fully dependent on the craftwork of those who will be giving it a body. In the same measure as the weight of materials diminishes, so do performers take on key importance. Danilo Grangheia, Georgette Fadel, Luah Guimarãez, Luciana Schwinden and Rodrigo Bolzan show competence to spare in Let’s Just Kiss and Say Goodbye. Only a total mastery of stage craft – shown by each of them in their own way – could keep them from falling in the subtle trap of actors becoming their own characterization. Allowing theatrical craft to take the leading role in every scene, they successfully harness the power of ambiguity without lapsing into representation of irony."
Helena Katz - O Estado de S. Paulo
"Let's Just Kiss and Say Goodbye is about life. Being about life means it's about theater too: a happening, a tribute. The play / performance directed by Elisa Ohtake provokes five experienced actors from São Paulo's theater to act in the “last play of their lives”. It proposes a dramaturgical logic that involves innovative strategies for creation, testing them in real time, extending outside the stage boundaries and using the presence of actors to place theater itself at the center. It addresses drama as object of actors’ passion, and their farewell to this love. Love is love and farewells are farewells. These two affectations move and transform the scene and the audience."
Fernando de Proenza - Gazeta do Povo - Curitiba
“A spectacle that few will be able to fully share. For those who are actors. However, it is a spectacle for the many too. For those with a thirst for knowledge. A thirst for art. For those who want to rekindle a light. Let's Just Kiss and Say Goodbye is an ode to theater, the theater of Ideas, a profound idea within a text that is recreated in the presence of the actor-character.”
Fernando Klug - Curitiba Theater Festival
“This is a play about theater in which actors — from among the best experimental groups in São Paulo — pretend they are bidding farewell to the stage.”
Nelson de Sá - Folha de S. Paulo