Watching the Clock

After the jury’s selection was announced, Theatertreffen director Yvonne Büdenhölzer named two defining features of this year’s choices: “Collective” and “Time.” Interestingly, the latter was expressed in a deliberately negative way by the festival itself: The phrase “Waste My Time” is projected against the back wall of the garden where audience members and theatre makers mingle every evening after the performances. The official discussion on the topic, which took place this Tuesday, bore the same attention-grabbing title.

Projection in the TT Garden, Photo: Miriam Sherwood

The trigger for this discussion is one particular kind of time: running time. That is to say, the length of the invited productions. Platonov: 5 hours. Faust I+II: 8 hours. John Gabriel Borkman: 12 hours. The Kane trilogy barely gets a look-in with 3.5 hours, which at least by U.K. standards might already be pushing it. Several of the other performances, by contrast, are much more on the succinct side. Hate Radio runs to 90 minutes, Before Your Very Eyes and Kill Your Darlings! to only 70.  Those left (Macbeth, Die [s]panische Fliege, Ein Volksfeind) all stick to a relatively compact 2 hours. Continue reading Watching the Clock