from Why Theatre – Assembly of the Absent at NTGent

Too colourful | Malique Fye & Emiel Lenaert

M: Oh, Is that you?
E: What a coincidence
M: So lucky!
E: What are you doing here?
M: Are you here to speak?
E: hehehehe
M: It has been a long time
E: How is it? And with the children?
M: Are you drinking again?
E: And with your man? Ah yes, no, sorry – is it still sensitive?
M: Hmmmmhmhmmhhmm and they invited you? What a world we are living in.
E: And you as well? Hmmhm
Together: hahaha to diversity!!!

M: I am your god, goddess though you do not know it though you do not want to admit it I am your ruler your superior your creator on your hands and knees pray for me and perhaps I grant you forgiveness but your sins are indelible and therefore you will burn in hell because I am the devil’s daughter the first witch the mother of the earth the female gender in her purest form

E: What female elements did you have to kill in yourself to survive in this world?

M: You say you are sorry as if it is not you who holds the knife to my throat you ask how you can help while you are sewing my mouth shut

E: Because I am too dangerous on the streets
M: because I am too risky as part of an institution
E: Because I am the part of the world that
M: challenges to much
E: exposes to much
M: steps on to many toes with my heal
E: sometimes by accident
M: but admittedly
E: usually not

M: Look at us and tell me honestly are we too colourful for you too feminine or not feminine enough do you think of us do you want to take us hold us love us not remember but quickly forget us?

E: Matthew 2:18 A voice was heard in Ramah crying and wailing it was Rachel crying for her children and she did not want to be comforted because they were no longer there

M: Because prostitution is not yet socially acceptable because
your mother is a whore because my mother is a whore because
the youngsters of today have no respect anymore

E: Yes it is true what they say it is true
M: I do indeed have a chronic lack of attention
E: I am also a bit narcissistic
M: egocentric
E: maybe solipsistic
M: yes that too yes
E: it all revolves around me because I am Rachel from the Bible who in the gospel according to
Matthew 2:18 doesn’t want to be comforted because her children have died

M: Because I have come to take your job away
E: Because you already think we’re acting
M: Because the Volvo was already far too full

E: Queer is everything that theatre says it is

M: Because I’m only allowed to come if it’s about the absent ones
I am not absent I am ignored I am ridiculed laughed at, rejected
E: You don’t provide gender-neutral toilets and then are
then surprised that I do not feel welcome
M: I have to choose a gender when I want to buy a ticket and be surprised that it hurts when I don’t find mine among the nine options

E: I am only allowed to be here when it concerns the voiceless but I am not voiceless you are just not listening
M: I have been shouting so loudly for so long and when it suits your institutions then I will be heard then and we can start working for you
E: It is said of theatre that it is gentle
like a sweet and tender word
It is said of theatre that it is hard
and so often kills joy
They call her yearning and longing
They call her lifesaver
I say that theatre is like a flower
on which the sun sprinkles its rays

M: You must tell me why you can’t laugh at my jokes, but you laugh when I don’t tell you any

E: Because I can stand on a beautiful stage but only in this way because I can provoke be wild be young and be a freak and show who the next generation will be two non-binary gender-non-conforming femmes

M: Because we don’t want to say it with words anymore because you love to stare at us you gape you salivate you slobber because I have such a pretty tan because I was such a beautiful child because you wish you were my mother because I also deserve a chance because I have so many curls would you like to feel them would you like to taste me do you want to put me in a cage tonight

E: Theatre because I have just finished shitting I see three empty rolls on my left and one roll with only four sheets theatre because I really don’t know theatre because I love the smell because I hate you because I need to cry because I need to cry with my friends in my arms theatre because Rachel no longer wants to be comforted because her children were taken away from her theatre because I was deprived of myself stolen from me

M: Because you think it’s weird that I’m offended by the fact that I am in a line-up with robots, plants and animals.

E: I am answering the question why theatre not with what theatre is but with what theatre could be
M: I love theatre
E: I love theatre
M: I love theatre because the ceilings are so high
E: I love theatre because the scenes are so wide
M: deep
E: I like theatre because the lights are bright
M: I like theatre because it makes me genuinely happy.

E: Because it was Angela Davis who said that the trans community has been indispensable to any struggle to make it more radical to bring life to it

M: And because theatre is the only way I can share that experience that feeling that power that magic that potential that gift with you for a moment

E: I chase myself into the field because I am looking for a place where people are willing to take the time
to listen to me, a place where the lights go down everyone sits down on a chair and listens or at least tries to

Emiel Lenaert is a trans-non-binary artist and drama student at KASK Ghent (Royal Academy of Fine Arts). They are co-host of the podcast Flikker op.
Malique Fye is a budding theatre-maker and actress. She studies Drama at KASK Ghent. The starting point of her work is the search for and exposure of beauty in all aspects of life, with a particular focus on beauty in relation to queerness, color, and ancestry.