Monday, 29 September 2014

From Vienna to Bratislava

How wonderful to be fetched at Vienna airport by a driver of the Slovak National Theatre Bratislava. It is 10 years now that I first was brought by car from Vienna to Bratislava, then also being involved in an ETC project: ‚Learning Europe’, created by Armin Petras - it united 12 actors and 6 directors from 5 countries. Three of them – Slovakia, Slovenia and Lithuania - were just about to join the EU. 10 years ago I for the first time recognised that Bratislava was only some 60 km away from Vienna, that the river Danube was the same here and there, and the landscape as well – and I was overwhelmed by this fact. And I cursed those who had constructed the Iron Curtain, and divided the very heart of Old Europe, and had separated people and made them feel more and more foreign to one another. Now, 25 years after the Fall of the Wall and the start of ‚Soft Revolution’ in Slovakia I just felt happy on my way to the rehearsals of LAND DER ERSTEN DINGE / BLUDIČKA / FEN FIRES. And I didn’t at all like the pictures which, too, came into my mind and which tell what actually happens at the Eastern border of Slovakia, in Ukraine.
Although the bathtube on the stage broke during an interview for this blog because too much people hat entered it, and despite some difficulties to completely understand one another in this bilingual production, I still got happier in discovering that our play will work, that with the actors Emilia, Gaby, Dusan and Eric, directed by Brit, we obviously got a dream team to create Ninos play. The first part of rehearsals in Bratislava now is finished. In the end of October we’ll start for another three weeks of rehearsals in Berlin – and then have the first night on November 14th in Berlin, 27th in Bratislava. Keep your fingers crossed!

Christa Müller, Dramaturge at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Production "Strawberry Orphans" ready to premiere in Craiova!

Press Conference with the artists from "Strawberry Orphans" at the Staatstheater Braunschweig, soon departing for Craiova

Monday September 21st : Journalists from TV, radio and print media attended the press conference and received a profound insight into the project and the rehearsals of Strawberry Orphans ("Căpşunile şi Orfanii/Erdbeerwaisen"). After the showing of three scenes the actors and the director Julia Roesler gave interviews. "We are convinced that theatre is the best artistic way to draw people’s attention not only intellectually but emotionally to an important European topic" she says.

Image: Kim Efert (Musican) and the actors Gabriela Baciu, Gina Calinoiu, Sven Hönig and Oliver Simon at the press conference, Staatstheater Braunschweig.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Festive atmosphere in Timisoara!

The premiere of the German-Romanian production "The Clock is ticking" (Pe ceas, Die Uhr tickt) was a great success last Sunday September 7 in Timisoara.

The highlights of the evening here below!

Opening speech with Peca Stefan, Jan Linders and Ada Hausvater

At the end of this very participative performance, the actors and the audience sang all together "Forever young" and celebrated their unique evening with champagne and cakes on stage.

Some pictures of the performance that will never be the same!

Photo credit: Adrian Piclisan

Monday, 8 September 2014

Never isolate yourself!

Interview with Nino Haratischwili
In Bratislava, rehearsals for LAND DER ERSTEN DINGE / Bludičky, the co-production of Deutsches Theater Berlin and the National Theatre Bratislava have begun. Shortly before her journey home to Hamburg playwright Nino Haratischwili describes the first three days of rehearsals:

“I think it is impressive how quickly the involved parties from the two theatres have come together and that after just a few days of rehearsals we have already become a team, in spite of the many communication and translation problems. The coming together and the growing mutual awareness of the two groups from different countries, their cultures, their temperaments and their modes of expression is inspiring for everyone and can be used as a major source of creativity. I am excited to know that we have four brilliant actors and a young production team who will, in the coming weeks, make my play into their own story”.

From now on rehearsals will continue without you. How does that make you feel?

“It is sad but I feel that it is also right. At this stage of the process I, as the author, am no longer needed even though I would have loved to continue working on it. But I am looking forward to attending further rehearsals in Berlin and the premiere on 14th November”.

What aspect of this project posed the biggest difficulty for you?

“The biggest difficulty was also the biggest challenge. When you are commissioned as an author, you are usually in contact with a dramaturge, maybe even a stage or theatre director who supports you in working on ideas and first drafts.  But for LAND DER ERSTEN DINGE I was in contact with two theatres, four dramaturges and very different ways of communicating and different historical backgrounds. Owing to the distance (I live in Hamburg) as well as the language barriers we had to find a common level of communication. This was, ultimately, very productive and an important learning process for me but it also gave me a few grey hairs which brings us back to “The Art of Ageing”. (Laughs)

How did you feel about the topic “The Art of Ageing”? Was it inspiring or limiting?

“At first I was a little intimidated by the topic because it so easily takes on a negative connotation if it is not approached openly enough. But the topic is extremely important to modern society and so I also wanted to accept the challenge of dealing with it. Especially, since the topic has a different kind of relevance in the two countries for which I wrote the play. Questions of the future and ageing also concern us younger generations”.

The main focus of the play are two older women, one from West Germany who is confined to her bed after being ill, the other one from Slovakia, who nurses her. They cannot avoid engaging and dealing with each other. A hopeless situation?

For the two women the situation certainly seems to offer little hope and no way out. But they have no other option than getting to know each other and, over the course of the play, come to value each other’s life stories, quirks, sense of humour and problems.  The fact that we have two actors from Bratislava who speak both German and Slovakian was a huge asset. This made it possible for me to incorporate their linguistic abilities into the play from an early stage”.

And finally: What is the art of ageing for you?

“I believe it means not to isolate yourself, not to live in the past and to stay inquisitive. But this is not the sole responsibility of the ageing individual but also of society which, in times of youth obsession and superficiality, makes the topic of “living in old age” a taboo. That needs to be changed”.

Interview: Ulrich Beck

Friday, 5 September 2014

The issue of Ageing explored by the artistic team - Part I

Interviews with the artistic team from Romania and Germany
Production "The Clock is ticking" ("Die Uhr tickt" / "Pe ceas")

Colin Buzoianu, actor at the Teatrul National Timisoara, Romania 

Sophia Löffler and Jan Andreesen, actors at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Germany

Sabine Bijan, actress at the Teatrul National Timisoara, Romania

Malte C. Lachmann, Director, Germany