Black Box

Phantom Theatre for 1 Person.

By Stefan Kaegi

The theatres have been empty for months. Performances in front of filled halls are prohibited until further notice. On the other hand, exhibition visits by individuals are allowed. So let’s turn the black box theatre into a white cube museum and make it exhibit itself. The halls still resonate with those moments that connected spectators - storms of emotions, laughter, tears and applause.

What is left of a theatrical performance, ephemeral by nature? Recordings, reviews and even director’s notes document only a tiny part of a performance. Hormones, smells, textures have left other traces. The deserted foyer, the stage, the light control room, develop the charm of ruins - post show: temporary ruins of a ritual meeting place, the archaeological remains of a society in representation. How much of it can be technically simulated, reproduced, synchronized? What if the world simulation machine sets itself in motion and the spectator slides into the center of it all?

Covid-19 makes possible what no theatre could otherwise afford: an entire house plays for one person. Like Tarkowski’s Stalker, the audience carefully walks through the hallways, with headphones and gloves, they step through the empty rows in the auditorium onto the back stage and enter the labyrinth of a fiction machine. The black box opens up to researchers and asks the question: where are the others? In times of social distancing and isolation, the question of community arises.

Stefan Kaegi summons experts for politics, simulation and memory; People whose lives are connected to these spaces and the idea of theater: makeup artists and prompters, actors and philosophers….Their voices recorded with binaural microphones and music build up a site-specific sound score. A path is being drawn beneath the theater, in the subconscious of our society, through the multiple layers of the palimpsest of memory.


Boite Noire 
Théâtre Vidy, Lausanne:

Concept and direction: Stefan Kaegi
Assistant director: Tomas Gonzalez
Sound design: Stéphane Vecchione
Narrator's voice: Lola Giouse
With: François Ansermet, Eric Bart, Pierre Berrou, Danielle Chaperon, Claire De Ribeaupierre, Matthieu Jaccard, Yvette Jaggi, Roger Monnard, Anne-Cecile Moser, Thierry Sartoretti, Yvette Théraulaz, Fatmir Ademi, Nehat Shabani, Janyves Coïc, Bruno Dani, Mathieu Dorsaz Tomas Gonzalez, Stéphane Janvier, Catherine Jodoin, Thierry Kaltenrieder, Rosi Morilla, Pierre-Nicolas Moulin, Martine Staerk and Virigine Triaire, Andrea Kaegi, Solal Oechsner, Lætitia Dosch, Yuval Rozman

Production: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
With the support of: Pro Helvetia


Black Box
Staatstheater Stuttgart

Concept and direction: Stefan Kaegi
Dramaturgy: Aljoscha Begrich + Carolin Losch
Sound design: Niki Neecke

With voices of Silvana Krappatsch, staff of Stuttgarter Schauspiel and external experts

Production: Staatstheater Stuttgart


Black Box
Volkstheater Vienna

Concept, script and direction: Stefan Kaegi
Sound design: Nikolas Neecke
Dramaturgy: Aljoscha Begrich, Christoph Gurk
Sound: Sebastian Hartl
Artistic assistance sound: Johanna Hirzberger
Lighting design: Julian Paget
Video editing: Max Hammel

with the voice of Bettina Lieder and many more