Bodenprobe Kasachstan (Soil Sample Kazakhstan)

By Stefan Kaegi

In the 20th century people were shipped between the continents like barrels of oil. The documentary-theatre piece “Bodenprobe Kasachstan” (Soil Sample Kazakhstan) sets out in search of oil with a cast of individuals able to talk about the resource in terms of personal history. Stefan Kaegi and his team began casting in March 2010; the biographies brought together on the stage trace the route of the pipelines from Germany back to Kazakhstan then below the ground.

The oil trail is pursued by: a retired Russian-German tank-truck driver who is also an impassioned choir singer; an East German engineer who drilled for oil in Kazakhstan as well as Iraq and Texas; a young Kazakh who trades in mineral oil and solar cells in Germany; a woman who lives in Hanover but grew up by Baikonur, where Gagarin was shot into space; a beautician and bank clerk raised in Dushanbe during the Tajik civil war who now dances the Coyote Ugly in German bars.

“Bodenprobe Kasachstan” enables five performers to return to their almost-forgotten Kazakhstan and meet up with distant relatives via CinemaScope messages. The theatrical result is a simulated Kazakhstan, a celebration in Russian and German of the trails of the steppe, the paths of people’s lives, of oil, and of power.



Concept & Direction:: Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)
Video Design: Chris Kondek
Music: Christian Garcia
Set Design: Aljoscha Begrich
Dramaturgy: Aljoscha Begrich, Juliane Männel
Lighting Design: Sven Nichterlein
Produktionsleitung: Juliane Männel
Technische Leitung: Sven Nichterlein
Director’s Assistant: Jessica Páez
Assistant Set Design: Justus Saretz, Maria Ebbinghaus
Translation & Surtitles: Franziska Zwerg (dt./russ.), Amanda Crain (engl.)
Video Operator: Bodo Gottschalk
Sound Operator: Daniel Dorsch, Nikolas Neecke

A production by Rimini Apparat and HAU / Hebbel am Ufer Berlin.
Coproduced by Schauspiel Hanover, Wiener Festwochen, Goethe Institute Almaty, Le Maillon - Théâtre de Strasbourg / Scène Européenne, Territory Festival 2011 and BIT Teatergarasjen.
Supported by the Capital Cultural Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery for Cultural Affairs.