Theaterkritik: Confirmation

Ich bin ein aufgeschlossener Mensch. Ich erkenne, so gut es geht, wie verworren und komplex die Welt ist. Ich lese The Guardian. Als Liberaler bin ich mir meiner Meinung sehr sicher. Zum Beispiel bin ich mir sicher, dass der Klimawandel wirklich stattfindet. Oder, dass wenn jemand mir rassistische Bemerkungen um die Ohren haut, derjenige einfach fundamentale humanistische Prinzipien nicht verstanden hat und geschichtliche Ereignisse falsch einordnet. Und nun behauptet jemand, dass ich diejenige bin, die vernagelt sein könnte.

Der psychologische Prozess des “Confirmation Bias” sorgt dafür, dass man Informationen genau so interpretiert, dass sie die eigene Meinung bestätigen. Wie etwa das stereotype Einordnen von anderen Menschen, hilft uns dieser Sortierungsprozess eine Fiktion unseres Selbst in der überwältigenden Informationsflut zu etablieren. Das ist zunächst eine relative nützliche Sache. Die Welt bekommt den Anschein, dass alles sinnvoll zusammenhängt; eigene Meinungen werden untermauert und es gibt Gegenpositionen, an denen man sich reiben kann. Eine sich selbst bestätigende Feedbackschleife hat allerdings einen großen Haken. Wie ist es möglich eine extremistische Geisteshaltung zu überwinden, wenn ich mir nicht bewusst bin, dass sie extremistisch ist?

Chris Thorpe ist Autor und Performer des Stückes Confirmation, welches diesen Bestätigungsfehler untersucht. Sein Ansatz scheint auf den ersten Blick effekthaschend. Ein Liberaler spricht mit einem Faschisten, um dann davon zu berichten, wie schwer es ihm fällt, die Position des Anderen zu verstehen. Damit passieren zwei Dinge gleichzeitig. Die psychologischen Prozesse, die zur Konstitution der eigenen Meinung führen werden aufgezeigt und gleichzeitig wird da das größte unverhandelbare Geschoß aller aufgefahren, Rassismus, Holocaust, jüdische Verschwörungstheorien. Confirmation ist ein Fort/Da-Spiel der liberalen Selbstversicherung.

Wie ein geladenes Teilchen in diesem Magnetsturm schreitet Thorpe immer wieder in großen Schritten in die Mitte und wieder zurück zu den Ecken. Er dreht seinen Stuhl um, hebt ihn auf die Schulter, setzt ihn wieder ab und fixiert die Zuschauer, die in einem Quadrat aus Stühlen um ihn versammelt sind, mit einem intensiven Blick. Bald rückt er einen Stuhl ganz nah heran an einige von uns und bildet die Interviewsituation nach, die er mit dem Rassisten “Glen” durchlebt hat. Wir werden genötigt Thorpe Fragen zu stellen, die auf Karteikarten notiert sind, und er antwortet als Glen. Und immer wieder diese bohrende Blick, der fragt, ob wir wissen, mit wem wir es hier zu tun haben? Es widerstrebt zutiefst, wenn Glen Beobachtungen über unser soziales Gefüge anstellt, denen wir als vermutet liberales Publikum prinzipiell zustimmen.

Das Stück schöpft aus einer starken Britischen Erzähltheatertradition und ist teils Vorlesung mit Zuschauerpartizipation, teils künstlerische Verarbeitung des Rechercheprozesses. Wir und Er, Er und Glen, Liberale und Konservative, die Anderen und ich – diese Kluft zwischen Positionen wird im Laufe des Abends immer mehr verwischt. Thorpes unvermeidliches Andersmachen der Position desjenigen mit dem er sich auseinandersetzt, ist das im Vorhinein eingebaute Scheitern des Experiments. Das Stück berichtet von einem Selbstüberwindungsversuch, aber beim Beschreiten seiner psychologischen Reise, fällt Thorpe notwendigerweise auf seine eigene Erfahrung und seine Einstellungen zurück.

Und auch ich selbst werde mir meines eigenen Blickes immer bewusster. Nicht nur auf Thorpe selbst, sondern auf das Publikum. Ich stelle Vermutungen an über die Menschen, die mit mir in dem Raum versammelt sind. Ihre Hautfarbe, ihr Stirnrunzeln an bestimmten Stellen, ihr Dialekt als sie Thorpes Karteikarten vorlesen. Fühlen sie sich angegriffen von den rassistischen Bemerkungen, die der Andere da vor ihnen ausbreitet? Sind sie bereit sich von ihrer selbstversicherten Position bewegen zu lassen? Gerade hier, im Englischen Theater in Berlin, wie sehr wird das Publikum rebellieren, wenn rassistische Positionen zum Holocaust thematisiert werden?

Im TT-Blog Interview mit Chris Thorpe (auf Englisch), spricht der Autor davon wie er den Verhandlungszusammenbruch zwischen Ihm und Glen nicht als Scheitern seines Liberalismus sondern als Ausdruck seines eigenen Extremismus versteht. In den Momenten wo der diskutierte Zwiespielt zwischen den Positionen auf eine poetische oder musikalische Ebene erhoben werden, ribbelt sich das Stück etwas auf und riskiert ein pathetisches Absacken. Thorpes Ausweg als Künstler aus der drohenden Korrumpierbarkeit ist allerdings diese poetische Verarbeitung. Personen, die Augäpfel tauschen, ein melancholischer Rocksong, mit dem er sich unglaublich angreifbar macht, noch ein starrer Blick.

Ich bin ergriffen. Nicht von dem Ausmaß an Hass und Verschwörungswahn, der in den Adern der Anderen pulsiert, sondern von der Vorführung der Umöglichkeit extremer Positionen sich je anzunähern. Confirmation ist pragmatischer Säureregen auf eine verklärte Weltsicht, in der sich alle verstehen können. Ein Seufzen der Verzweiflung.

Confirmation
English Theatre Berlin
Regie: Rachel Chavkin
Cast: Chris Thorpe

TOP/FLOP Inszenierungen für das Internationale Forum

Die Stipendiaten des Forums nennen ihre jeweiligen TOP und FLOP Inszenierungen des Theatertreffens 2015 (ohne BAAL in der Regie von Frank Castorf).

Overcome Racism – ein Modell

Interview mit Chris Thorpe, der mit seinem Stück There Has Possibly Been an Incident letztes Jahr zum Stückemarkt eingeladen wurde und dieses Jahr beim Stückemarkt Revisited sein Theaterstück Confirmation vorstellt. In beiden Texten treten personifizierte politische Gegensätzen in Beziehung zueinander.

Letztes Jahr stellte er das Modell des “anonymen Schreibens” vor. In der Konsequenz sollte jedes Theaterstück anonym veröffentlicht werden. Nach einem Jahr wird bekannt gegeben, wer der jeweilige Autor der nun meistgespielten Stücke ist. Er glaubt fest daran, “that each one of has a an inevitable tendency to prejudice certain kinds of people, certain kinds of name” und dass das anonyme Schreiben eine Stückevielfalt zuließe, die uns helfen könnte unsere eigenen Vorurteile zu begreifen und zu überwinden.

Im Interview greift Chris Thorpe diesen Gedanken auf und entwickelt ihn nun auf der Darstellungsebene weiter. Außerdem erzählt er worin seine Verantwortung als privilegierter weißer, männlicher Künstler liegt.

 

Stückemarkt Revisited: Chris Thorpe Interview on “Confirmation”

After being invited to the Stückemarkt last year, performer Chris Thorpe returns to Berlin with a new piece as part of Stückemarkt Revisited. Rebecca Jacobson and Annegret Märten talked to him about his show, “Confirmation,” which is on until Saturday at English Theatre Berlin.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205641895″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” iframe=”true” /]

“Confirmation,” written and performed by Chris Thorpe
Directed by Rachel Chavkin
Photo by Arnim Friess.

Struktureller Rassimus im dt. Theater

Anlässlich der Podiumsdiskussion „Wer sind wir in der weißen Welt? – Postkolonialismus und Theater“ 3 x 100 Sekunden-Gespräche, die sich mit dem strukturellen Rassismus in Deutschland beschäftigen und der Frage inwieweit man ihn überwinden kann.

1.) Neue Darstellungsmethoden statt Reproduktion // Neu-Defintion von ästhetischer Praxis: Inhalte, Formen, Konzepte //  TT-Jury muss sich strukturell verändern
2.) Blackfacing ist rassistisch wenn es intentional diskriminierend ist // Rassismus in der „Realitätsebene“ von Nicolas Stemanns „Die Schutzbefohlenen“: Flüchtlinge erhalten 25€ Vorstellungsgage
3.) Geflüchtete sind teilweise auch Künstler, können sich selbst repräsentieren // Wie definiert sich Theater-Kunst? Nicolas Stemanns Stück ist Teil der Hochkultur, Subkultur die sich mit gleichem Thema beschäftigt wird dann als Projekte „sozialer Arbeit“ ungleichwertig behandelt

Dr. Azadeh Sharifi ist Kulturwissenschaftlerin und Theaterwissenschaftlerin arbeitet zum post-migrantischem Theater, Postkolonialismus.

Julia Wissert, ist Regisseurin und wurde kürzlich mit dem Kurt-Hübner-Preis ausgezeichnet. Ihre Diplomarbeit behandelt das Thema: „Repräsentation und Selbst-Repräsentation schwarzer Theatermacher*innen im deutschsprachigen Raum“.

Lloyd Nikadzino ist Regisseur und Kulturmanager aus Harare, Simbabwe und ist Stipendiat des Internationalen Forums 2015.

Simon J. Paetau ist Regisseur und Aktivist. Er hat mit jungen Geflüchteten vom Oranienplatz das Filmprojekt “Refugee Strike & Beyond” initiiert, indem die Geflüchteten eigenständig Filme entwickeln und drehen konnten.

Bahareh Sharifi ist freie Kuratorin und Aktivistin, die als Zuschauerin bei der Podiumsdiskussion dabei war.

 

Hier ein Beitrag über die Aktion von KulTür Auf beim Theatertreffen: NAME IT RACISM.
Der Dramaturg Yuri, Dramaturg im Ballhaus Naunystraße, spricht über den strukturellen Rassismus im deutschprachigen Theater, den er persönlich erfahren hat.
Die Forderungen ans deutschprachige Theater von Marianna Salzmann, Leitung Studio Я, Maxim-Gorki-Theater und Ahmed Shah, künstlerischer Leiter Jugendtheaterbüro Berlin um den strukturellen Rassmismus zu überwinden.

English Audio Review: John Gabriel Borkman

Rebecca Jacobson and Annegret Märten from the TT-Blog sat down with theatre blogger and academic Holger Syme to discuss Karin Henkel’s production of “John Gabriel Borkman”. We talk about Ibsen’s play and discuss masks, music and monstrous physicality.

 

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205366018″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” iframe=”true” /]

 

John Gabriel Borkman
by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Karin Henkel, Design: Katrin Nottrodt, costumes: Nina von Mechow, music: Arvild J. Baud, lighting: Annette Ter Meulen, Dramaturgy: Sybille Meier
with Josef Ostendorf, Julia Wieninger, Jan-Peter Kampwirth, Lina Beckmann, Kate Strong, Matthias Bundschuh, Gala Winter
www.schauspielhaus.de

Burning Down the House: A Conversation about “The State”

Annegret:

There’s a black table with a square pit in the middle. It contains a stack of envelopes. A stark spotlight illuminates the table, and a microphone dangles from the ceiling. We’re seeing “The State” by Bulgarian playwright Alexander Manuiloff. Well, we’re not exactly seeing it. We’re participating in it.

We’re expecting it to start but it won’t. A few minutes go by. Silence stretches. The audience, sitting in the round, wait and look at each other expectantly. It just won’t start. Finally, a man in a bright red sweater stands, approaches the table, picks up an envelope, opens the letter and reads it aloud. “The performance will start in 8 hours and 5 minutes,” he says.

I’ve never wanted the audience to mess with a performance so much as with this one. “The State,” invited to the Theatertreffen Stückemarkt – a showcase of new works by young European writers – is a participatory piece without actors or instructions. The piece attempts to tell the story of a Bulgarian man named Plamen Goranov who died from self-immolation. It also questions conventional theatre viewing habits within the theatre space by drawing parallels between audience behaviour and methods of participation within a democratic political system.

It took a few minutes for the first person to gather the courage and walk centre stage to take action. When were you first compelled to participate? Did you feel like you had to?

Rebecca:

I was tempted to leap up from the get-go and open one of the envelopes. But I also knew that’s what was expected of us (I’d read the first page of the script), so in the name of theatrical purity or something similarly bogus, I decided to leave it to someone else. If I were to stretch this, maybe that’s the equivalent of assuming someone else will speak out against wrongdoing – the bystander effect.

In our room, where things were in English, about six minutes passed before the first audience member approached the table to open an envelope. (The German-language room took only two-and-a-half minutes, we learned later.) I hopped up after another five or so minutes, after I grew tired of observing the curious practice of tossing the envelope into the wastebin and leaving the paper on the table.

By this point, though, it had already become clear what awaited us in the letters. Half described how the performance would be starting later – in 6 hours, in 8 hours and 5 minutes, in two hours and 45 minutes – or could not happen because we didn’t have a director, or because the lead actor was missing, or because the show didn’t comply with shady government regulations, or whatever. The other half were first-person missives from Plamen. Some were banal. Others detailed his plans for self-immolation. (Though Plamen was a real guy, the letters are Manuiloff’s creation.)

The first envelope I opened was one of these messages from Plamen. Plamen, we learned, was well-liked. He went shopping for his 90-year-old neighbor. He liked to take walks along the river.

I found the content of the notes less interesting than what was actually happening in the room – how people were working to create structure or to rebel against it. It was quickly clear that Plamen was protesting political corruption, and that the endless “postponements” of our “performance” were also repression. That struck me as a (too?) blunt context for addressing questions of agency and participation and authority.

But the papers have to say something, right? Were you drawn to the text? Or what moments did you find engaging or surprising?

Annegret:

I agree that in light of the experimental structure, the content of the notes became secondary. I think it’s highly problematic that Plamen’s story got lost (sacrificed) amid examining and making a statement about negotiating collective debate in artificial spaces. This would have been different had the main character been fictional, but he was a real person who died in horrible circumstances while protesting mafia-like structures in Bulgaria.

It’s not the first time at this Theatertreffen that real people’s fates were ancillary to making a point about the structure of theatre. “Die Schutzbefohlenen,” too, spent an awfully long time addressing the limitations of theatre and the connections between theatre and society, which detracted from a straightforward account about – and from – the refugees. The crucial difference, however, is that I don’t think Manuiloff intended to drown out Plamen’s story, while director Nicolas Stemann’s version of Elfriede’s Jelinek text drowned out the refugees’ stories very deliberately.

To be fair, it’s not the author’s task to educate us about a topic. I’ll be the first to recoil from didacticism. Hell, I could have looked up Plamen’s biography on Wikipedia right there and then during the performance – who would have stopped me? From our audience, probably no one – considering a woman walked out with a stack of unopened letters and no one held her back.

The moments that were immediately perceived as disobedience against unspoken rules were the most intriguing: someone upending the dustbin with discarded envelopes, someone refusing to read out a letter they had taken from the pile, someone setting fire to a letter – a symbolic action if there ever was one – and being promptly asked by a member of staff to put it out (someone else extinguished it, and left their water bottle on the table).

This doing and undoing, and all these moments of disobedience, were fascinating to watch and certainly surprising from a sociological perspective. At the audience talk afterwards, we learned that, rather stereotypically, the German-language version of the piece proceeded in much more orderly fashion. They certainly had no one jumping into the circle pretending to be a chicken. When that happened in our room, I was utterly bewildered. What question does the space pose to the audience? How do we perform in situations where we know we’re being watched? Was the setup actually a good metaphor for how democracy works (and fails)?

Rebecca:

I struggled to see “The State” as a metaphor for democracy. Some reasons are obvious: It was 45 minutes with about 30 others, not a grindingly slow process with millions of anonymous people. But I was also frustrated with the way the texts demanded we see this as a political experiment, rather than leaving things more open-ended.

Which, of course, is not to say theatre should never be frustrating. It was interesting to observe my own irritation and that of others around me. After an initial rush to tear open the envelopes, I sensed a decrease in curiosity – we knew what they’d say. Some people reacted to this repetition by exchanging exhausted glances. Another man, as you’ve said, squawked around the room like a chicken, and later buzzed around like a fly. But it struck me as a theatrical act, not a political one. (Or is that an unfair distinction to make?) Even though we knew this was a non-traditional piece of theatre, everybody expected some sort of performance, and he attempted to fulfill that expectation. (I found myself squirming from vicarious embarrassment.)

But back to the texts for a second – they were heavy-handed, yes, but also angry, and this anger seeped into the audience. When a woman silently took a letter back to her seat, someone else asked her, very politely, to read it. “Why?” she answered, in an impertinent tone. In the German-language version, an audience member apparently kept a running (and disdainful) commentary from her seat, which upset other people. In our room, a few people acted in bold ways, but no one really talked. There were only a couple moments when anyone offered up their own words.

A few years ago, I took part in another piece of participatory theatre – Ivana Müller’s “We Are Still Watching” – that fostered humor and a sense of community. That was definitely not the case here, and I found myself wondering about this combativeness. Weren’t we in this together? Aesthetically, I think the space encouraged antagonism. It recalled an interrogation room – bare-bones, with a single table and an aggressively bright spotlight. Not exactly a friendly setting. And it was hard to see other people’s faces, so there was a sense of anonymity.

What did you think of the mood in the room? Could you sense people’s anger when the woman grabbed five or six envelopes and left the theatre with them? I thought it was an intriguing, brash move, but afterwards several people seemed genuinely upset about it. (Maybe they were holding onto a hope that one of those envelopes would contain a radically different text…) Did they think she’d overstepped the bounds of “appropriate” participation? If we’ve already been at the mercy of an anonymous ruler (unspoken social norms? The general rules of the theatre? Manuiloff?), how do we react when one of “us” seizes control in that way?

Annegret:

Some people said they interpreted her move as an act of violence, defying the structure that had been set up, but to be honest, I didn’t even notice her taking the envelopes and walking out. Like you and other members of the audience, I became exhausted and disinterested. In one of Plamen’s letters, there was a mention of a bird, and I started trying to fold a paper crane out of one of the envelopes. I think I spent at least 20 minutes on this task, which ultimately failed spectacularly. I think it was my way of withdrawing from the monotonous structure and the “it’s-your-turn”-way of dealing with the envelopes. It felt incredibly liberating, but I was on my own in that experience.

Failed Pelican
Failed Pelican

Maybe other people created these moments for themselves, too? But what a bleak outlook on society: Structures were only challenged on individual terms – here, mostly silliness or defiance – not collectively.

Unlike other participatory theatre I’ve seen, this one felt much less empowering. But that was perhaps intentional, seeing as it dealt with oppression and the shortcomings of our political systems. When I saw Kaleider’s “The Money” at Battersea Arts Centre in London, a real discussion took place. Not just around the topic, but also on a meta level about the processes with which the piece concerned itself namely decisions about spending and doing good with money.

On this evening, and with this audience, “The State” ultimately failed to do that. I wanted rebellion, not resignation.

Rebecca:

I’ve got some rebellion for you. Later that evening, I received a text message from a friend who was also at the performance. “I am an American playwright,” she wrote. “Tomorrow at 5:00 pm I will burn myself alive.”

The State
by Alexander Manuiloff.

OK, OK: Reflections on “Die Schutzbefohlenen”

“Just write something!”

OK, OK.

When the actors speak in German, there are English surtitles. When the actors speak in English, there no German surtitles.

Why is “dolphin” in all caps? DOLPHIN. DOLPHIN. DOLPHIN.

A crucifix. Evening gowns. Hoodies. Zippers. Barbed wire. Teddy bears.

What role does pity play in the theater?

After the show, in the lobby: “It’s such a German play.”

“As an American, what did you think?”

“You must have theater about refugees in America, right?”

A QUIZ FOR AMERICANS
Lampedusa is:
a. a Sicilian-style tomato sauce
b. a nickname for Milan’s star striker
c. an Italian fashion designer known for his austere silhouettes
d. other.

English Audio Review: Die Schutzbefohlenen

Straight out of Die Schutzbefohlenen Theresa and Annegret from the blog orchestra sat down with UK theatre bloggers Megan Vaughan and Andrew Haydon to talk about the show.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203512591″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&false=true” width=”100%” height= iframe=”true” /]

 

Die Schutzbefohlenen
von Elfriede Jelinek
Regie/Bühne: Nicolas Stemann, Kostüme: Katrin Wolfermann, Musik: Daniel Regenberg/Nicolas Stemann, Live-Musik: Daniel Regenberg, Video: Claudia Lehmann, Dramaturgie: Stefanie Carp
Mit: Thelma Buabeng, Ernest Allan Hausmann, Felix Knopp, Isaac Lokolong, Daniel Lommatzsch, Barbara Nüsse, Dennis Roberts, Sebastian Rudolph und einem Flüchtlingschor
www.burgtheater.at

Regietheater, auf Englisch

We’ve done it again. We’ve borrowed a word from the German and made it our own. After “schadenfreude and “zeitgeist, “Regietheater” has now surpassed the translation “director’s theatre” in common usage.

I first realized how serious this trend had become when Alex Ross used it in his commentary on new opera productions in New York over the past season. Note: of course we don’t exactly use the term correctly, in English, “Regietheater can basically be plastered across any non-historical staging of a work.

I would propose, however, that we haven’t earned the right to use the term all. Because Regietheater really only applies if the director actually means something to begin with. And in the States in general, the director is a glorified medium for the playwright or librettist – he or she is there to bring the author’s text, according to his (or her) intentions, to life. This is one reason why there are endless discussions of what Shakespeare really meant, if he would have objected to women playing Macbeth and who the hell “he” was anyway. Non-historical stagings are then approached with the somewhat mystical question: “How would the author have imagined the piece if he or she were alive now? Would he choose McDonald’s or Burger King? Drive a Chevy or a Toyota? Go to Disneyland or the Playboy Mansion?”

And as soon as our directors stray from this melt-behind-the-text role, we automatically cry “Regietheater and dismiss it as, pardon my British, disrespectful wank. So you can also understand why our most talented directors turn toward film. At least there they have some respect and creative control.

Katie Mitchell's direction intensive production of Night Train, invited to the Theatertreffen this year.
Katie Mitchell’s direction intensive production of Night Train, invited to the Theatertreffen this year. Photo Credit: Stephen Cummiskey

Of course there’s also a couple that have made it to the continent, where directors are the geniuses and celebrities, for better or worse. British director Katie Mitchell‘s description of her first encounter with this status change:

“When I went to Salzburg for the first time, I was sitting in the square and there were three banners with three middle-aged men’s faces on them advertising three shows. I asked, ‘Are those pictures of the playwrights?’ No. ‘Are those pictures of the leading actors?’ No. ‘Who are they of, then?’ The directors. And I thought, this would be impossible in the UK: the directors’ faces on their shows? That would be a travesty.” (From a conversation in 2010)

So my perspective on the discussion “Theatre directing is…” on Sunday was a bit coloured by wonder at the fact that such a discussion would even be held. And most of the conversation revolved around predictable historical reminiscing about the emergence of dance theatre and watered-down descriptions of the craft: i.e. “Directing is making decisions.” But there was one nice moment of drama.

Claus Peymann (artistic director of the Berliner Ensemble, slowly increasing in volume): “Don’t we have the theatre that we deserve today? The minimalisation of pieces, actors turned into slaves, into director’s puppets, a contempt for drama, a disdain for literature, isn’t all of this is the expression of our ahistorical society…? Theatre like that of Rimini Protokoll, which represents the triumph of dilettantism and totally disregards literature, isn’t that what we’ve earned?”

Thomas Oberender (director of the Berliner Festspiele, standing up in the last row, and shouting): “That’s enough! What you’re saying is terrible. You still try to explain the world with Brecht and then you denounce the next generation.”

Peymann: “I’m just saying that I think Rimini is a symptom. I, myself, was one of their subjects: they made a whole production about me. Sure, it has an alleged authenticity, but it has nothing to do with the art and skills of theatre.”

More shouting, accusations – thankfully no guns.

So the director discussion on Sunday took a turn toward a discussion of the direction of theatre and society in general. But that also reflects the relative position of the director in German theatre (and theatre in German society). This is a real Regietheater. It’s the director that decides what subjects and aesthetics the theatre should tackle. And directors define generations, not playwrights. Crazy.

The discussion moderator segued out of the Peymann vs. Oberender conflict by saying, with regard to directorial styles: “We should preserve diversity, that’s clear.” At least it is for Germany.

But who knows, maybe the American theatre zeitgeist really is ready for a little bit more Regietheater.