Wednesday 8 October 2014

Rehearsals have started in Heidelberg!

An E-Mail-Correspondence between the director Miriam Horwitz and the dramaturge Jürgen Popig about Ivor Marinić's play ‘Ich befürchte, jetzt kennen wir uns’ / ‘Bojim se da se sada poznajemo’

The play is based on the results of a workshop with the Croatian and the German cast who will perform the piece in Heidelberg and in Zagreb.

September 20th
Dear Jürgen,
I am asking myself what kind of importance the city has for the characters in the play. It seems to me a place where they can orientate themselves, find ways to go. As soon as they can't find themselves in it anymore, they can't survive. It seems to me a mirror of time as well as of themselves.
All the best,

October 3rd
Dear Miriam,
I also assume the city supports the characters. Here they can find the localisation that is disappearing in their existence. In our text the city is always presented in a positive way: The city is safe, the city is comfortable, that's why I love to live here, etc... At the same time this city turns out to be an imaginary place: it combines elements of Heidelberg as well as elements of Zagreb. A kind of an utopian construction of a European city in which the characters can locate themselves. In the Heidelberg production the city will be called Zagreb, in Zagreb it will be called Heidelberg. Conflict arises when the city loses its reliance: in Mirogoj cemetery the inscription of the memorial for the fallen Croatian soldiers in the first World War has been extinguished so that you can mistake it for a partisan memorial now. I am anxious to know what equivalent in Heidelberg history our author will find.

Second question: The play is part of the European theatre project „The Art of Ageing“. Where do you see the connection? In my opinion the play is about locating oneself in history. The memories of the characters change in the course of time until they cannot be sure any longer what really happened. At the same time they fear they cannot exist without history. The text says nothing about the age of the characters. I could imagine that ten years are passing between each scene. How do you think about this?

October 4th
Dear Jürgen,
that's an important question which I hope we can answer. How much time passes between the scenes? The actors in Zagreb said at first they felt the whole action would take place in a few hours, later they thought it would cover many years. Time passes and our counting of it can only be a kind of guiding rule. What does it mean to feel young or to be tired of life? How can you say, you have lived your life, you have experienced everything you could, and now it's over. For me it is exciting that not only Andreas – our ‘older’ generation – feels like this, but also Josepha (Natalija) has a reply that describes exactly that feeling. The question is, what do I have to experience in life? How many things do I have to have seen, how many questions do I have to have asked? When are we old? Is Filip young because he denies life, denies memory? He lives just in the moment, he creates his own life, not reacting to anything that lies in the past, he becomes timeless. Through that he is no longer available for the others and at the same time he is immortal. When I don't know how old I am, I am not as old as I am, am I not? The years and hours and moments we are counting are just a kind of education – I say it’s summer even if it is raining and hailing, because it is June. I believe that our history depends on ourselves. We use language for orientation, to share and communicate with each other, to become of one voice. By doing so, values have changed. At an age of 65 you are going to be a pensioner, whether you are tired of life at 30 already or even not before 80. This Orientation makes understanding possible but doesn't permit deviation. This is what the play points at: deviation.

„Man kann die Dinge nicht aufschreiben. Und wenn man sie aufschreibt, sind sie doch immer anders.
Er ist immer ein anderer."

Same as time. Perception of time – it is always deviating.


October 6th
Dear Miriam,
Let’s develop this further! Another question: You are putting the play on stage, first with a German and afterwards with a Croatian cast. I find that very unusual! Do you have different concepts and/or expectations for the two productions? 

-   to be continued - 

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