We prefer to be members of a global community instead of mere representatives of a country.
JSK has been researching the theatrical potential of abstract text since 1998. Nonsensical text is our preferred official term as this gives a quick and easy understanding of the concept for general audiences. Theatre people often tend to use the term gibberish. This term is however more associated with nonsensical talk without necessarily having any link to a specific language. Other common terms are lingua franca, volapük, kauderwelsch, grammelot, and a whole range of more locally found names differing from country to country. When discussing the concept on a more serious level, we prefer the terms pseudo-authentic language and linguistic alias which indicate an intended similarity with existing languages. Which is what JSK deals with.
Audiences are often unaware of the linguistic effort we put into each production. Some assume our performers improvise with merely universal gibberish, others lack the experience to separate one language from another. A viewer from Asia cannot be expected to differentiate Zürich German from Hannover German, for instance. Likewise, but somewhat unbelievably – many Danes cannot even tell Norwegian from Swedish. But this is all fine for us. As long as the text still provides a catalyst for associative perception of the action on stage.
We hereby provide some of the principles to which we submit our language work. We take pride in increasing our competence in each successive production in order to avoid stagnation. We still do not know how far this quest will take us, but the potential of yet undiscovered knowledge indicates that we will stay on this track for quite some time still.
Our Nonsensical Language Manifesto:
Each production should explore a new linguistic alias based on an existing language.
Each language should involve a new method in achieving linguistic credibility.
Amount of text should always be minimized. Excessive text blocking an associative process should be avoided.
Universal words should be used only with thematic relevance.
Body language specific to the chosen language should be incorporated, unless exceptions are deliberately chosen with thematic relevance.
Motivations and intentions should be just as comprehensible to the performers as in any traditional theatre play.
Cultural stereotypes, prejudice, and preconceptions linked to the chosen language should be considered in the creative process.
Cultural taboos and limits of decency should always be considered. Delicate matters should have thematic relevance.
Each production should perform in the region of language origin itself. Local verdict should be considered as a final exam.