Monday, January 29, 2007


By Ari Satriyo Wibowo

Is profiting from a theatre performance possible in Indonesia?

TEATER KOMA established in Jakarta on March 1, 1977. At that time, 12 person who are now called The Founding Generation ie. N. Riantiarno, Ratna Majid, Rima Melati, Rudjito, Jajang Pamoentjak, Titi Qadarsih, Syaeful Anwar, Cini Goenawan, Jim Barry Aditya, Otong Lenon, Zaenal Bungsu and Agung Dauhan pledge to unity. Now, the Group is supported by 30 active members and 50 members who will join where their time and energy allow them to.

Until 2006, TEATER KOMA has performed 110 productions, including television and stage plays.Usually performs at the Taman Ismail Marzuki Jakarta Arts Center, TVRI and Jakarta Arts Building.

TEATER KOMA believes that theater can become one of the bridges which lead to spiritual balance and the path towards creating a human happiness.To be honest reflecting through theater is also believe to be one of the ways to rediscover common sense and conscience. As a consistent and productive group, known to have many loyal audiences. Its performances were often held for more than 14 days.

Almost major of the members did not depend their income from the group. Some of them have work outside group and subsidize by themselves their activity of as hobby but they elaborated seriously and full of dedication. For some them who choosing theater as their way of life, no money is seen by them as risk a choice. Entire production cost if calculated correctly and detailed, always can not afford to be closed from from ticket sales revenue and support from the sponsor. Each time they design a production, the fund is frequently coming from their own pocket or collective fund sharing.

The main question, is profiting from theatre performance possible in Indonesia? I think it is not impossible. Look at what Thailand did may be could be imitated. Even Alcazar Cabaret Show in Pattaya could make profit by their sing and dance show by almost their lady boys artists.

The 111th productions of TEATER KOMA, THE VISIT (Kunjungan Cinta) is adopted from Switzerland playwright’s Friedrich Durrenmatt. His plays originally called Der Besuch der alten Dame (The Visit of Old Madamme).

Here is the summary of THE VISIT which perform from January 12th to 28th, 2007 in Taman Ismail Marzuki Jakarta Arts Center :

The town of Goela is engulfed in euphoria. Klara Zakanasian, the multimillionaires philanthropist, has decided to visit their town. The townspeople hoped and believed that the Old Lady will not let her hometown, Goela, drown in poverty.

And Ilak Alipredi, the future mayor who used to be an old friend of Klara’s is given the duty of persuading klara to revive the town’s economy.

It turns out that Klara Zakanasia is willing to give away one trillion rupiah. But, with a rather outrageous request, Ilak Alipredi life.

Secret are then revealed, 45 years ago, Ilak and Klara were two lovers. But when the girl became pregnant, Ilak refused to take responsible and went on to marry Marhilda, the daughter of wealthy merchant. At the court of law, Ilak put forward two false witnesses, whom he bribed with some bottle of wine, who willingly admitted that they have slept with Klara. The Chief Judge decided that Ilak was not guilty. Klara was cast off society, left Goela and became a prostitute.

But then Klara’s fortune changed. She was wed by Zakanasian, a rich oil tycoon. Once the husband died, Klara inherited his money. She then married other rich men and by doing so, increased her wealth. Even then, the past was hard to put behind. She searched for the two false witnesses. Once they were found she had them castrated, blinded and made to be her servants. Even the Chief Judge became her personal assistant, with a fantastic salary ! Secretly, Klara bought all the factories and economic sources of Goela, closing them down one by one, slowly destroying Goela. Now the townspeople only have one past time : watching trains speed by! Zakanasian’s requirement enrages the Mayor and the townspeople. They refuse to accept the one trillion donation if the price is the life of Ilak Alipredi, a respected figure, the next major. Klara smiles and says, “Allright. There’s still time. I will wait.”

Klara Zakanansian comes to Goela bringing an expensive and luxurious coffin. She has already built a mausoleum in the Miditerranian which has a beautiful view. It is made from first class quality Italian marble. Stone statues, guardian of Ilak’s corpse, complement the interior of the mausoleum.

Can the people of Goela endure the temptation? Which will they choose; defending the standard of morality and humanity rooted in ‘local wisdom’, meaning they will stay poor, or to opt for the fortune., by murdering an honored citizen with the reward of one trillion rupiah? But, the promise of money encourages the townpeople to aggressively create debts. Due to debts, life becomes prosperous. In the end, all debts must be paid. And Ilak Alipredi’s life is at stake! ***

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