Komuna// Warszawa
“Dune 1961”
Spoken Opera. Fragments

Co-production: Polish Theatre in Bydgoszcz 

Cooperation: Negar Farajian


NEW YORK, Culture Hub / La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club 19:00

16-17 / 12/2015
TEHERAN, 19:00

30-31 / 12/2015
WARSAW, 19:00

Frank Herbert’s “Dune” is one of the twentieth century’s most popular science-fiction novels. It set a new template for the genre, while at the same time transcending it by mixing philosophical discourse and futurologist reflection with a robust plot. Musings on genetics and the survival of mankind in the face of dwindling natural resources are among the novel’s key elements.

Komuna// Warszawa creates a prequel of a kind to “Dune”. Just as in the literary original, the desert is at the heart of the story. Philosophically, the desert is the place of meeting with God, the self, of transformation, of death or a new beginning. In the modern world, the desert is a massive oilfield, the source of wealth and power. But it also threatens annihilation due to water shortages.

Komuna// Warszawa moves among these semantic fields via a particular theatrical form: a spoken opera. What may stretch credibility in a dramatic performance will seem natural in an opera.

Komuna// Warszawa describes a fictitious 1961 visit to Iran by the author of “Dune”. Frank Herbert is sent to the Middle East on a secret mission and arrives in the desert city of Yazd. Waiting for a meeting with a courier, he spends several days there, including three solitary days in the desert. There he undergoes illumination. He sees the possible scenarios of the development of the world. These visions of the future lay the foundation of the literary saga.

Komuna// Warszawa „reconstructs” Herbert’s stay at Yazd. The process of “finding” his traces erases the boundaries between truth and fiction. In the search for the fictitious traces of his visit, we set out in the real desert. And we face the same questions and dilemmas that troubled Frank Herbert in 1961: What is the future? How does our vision of it shape the reality? and simply: What is going to happen?

Komuna// Warszawa makes no attempt at an answer. We show the possible paths, the fragments of ancient teachings still floating across the universe and the contours of new realities looming at the edges of the digital world. The multiplicity of paths and uncertainty are the “fragments” of the show’s title.
The one certainty is that history continues to move forward. The future is open, as we sense with excitement just as explorers would before setting off into the great unknown…

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