- A documentary-play

By Haug / Wetzel

Actually, Ralf Kirsten had already signed his discharge papers as Police-Officer, returned his weapon, and was abominably said good-bye by his superiors. But then everything changed over night. The wall fell, the “Wende” (‘Turning’) came, and all of a sudden his superiors who had previously branded him had to greet him courtly under the new political horizons. A few years later, Kirsten became the Chief of Police of Weimar. The “Wechsel” (‘Change’) came to Dr. Sven-Joachim Otto in a very different way. As a CDU candidate he was elected mayor, but years later he was manoeuvred from behind into political exile.

Helgard Haug and Daniel Wetzel thoroughly examined Schiller’s “Dramatisches Gedicht” (‘Dramatic Poetry’). They distributed Reclam-editions of “Des Lebens Bühne” (‘the stage of life’) amongst an audience that barely remembered this text from school-years, and asked them to ask themselves: What has this got to do with me? How would a contemporary Gräfin Terzky look like, how would she react? What ideals motivate young men nowadays to risk their lives for? Where do you find allegiance nowadays in Weimar or in Mannheim, and where resistance? This is by no means to shame Schiller’s theatre - it rather raises it to a theatrical attraction which does not exclude reality, but enables us to see reality through theatrical means.

On stage, we see real people of Weimar and Mannheim, who act in their real lives and not just on stage. With their biographies they approach Schiller’s protagonists stand up to them. People of two cities from opposing ideological camps along the Iron Curtain: Experts of the rise and fall in political power games, of loyalty and obedience or even of the individual in times of fast political changes.

A production for the 13th International Schiller-Days in Mannheim / Nationaltheater Mannheim in Co-production with Deutschen Nationaltheater Weimar.

World Premier: June 5th 2005, 13.Internationale Schillertage Mannheim

Invited to Theatertreffen 2006, Berlin