Cory Tamler

Cory Tamler, 1986 in Berkeley geboren, stammt aus Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania und wohnt in Berlin. Sie arbeitet als freie Autorin, Regisseurin und Bloggerin und zählt zu den Fulbright-Stipendiaten des Jahrgangs 2010/2011. Sie untersucht „Globalisierung auf Berliner Bühnen“. Ihre Theaterstücke wurden in Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York State und Augsburg aufgeführt.


Alle Artikel von Cory Tamler

25. Mai 2011 - 17:07 Uhr

Die große plurale Rückschau

Nach drei Wochen zieht das gesamte tt-Blog-Team eine vielstimmige Bilanz, sortiert nach Eingang. Und dann ab.

Fazit im Bildformat. Jakob Kraze Foto: Yehuda Swed

Die Zeit während des Theatertreffens habe ich als eine sehr stürmische erlebt: viele neue Gesichter und Ideen, die einen mitreißen und manchmal auch umreißen können. Aber gerade das ist auch das Spannende – seinen Standpunkt zu verlassen und durch die Augen eines anderen zu blicken. Ich lernte neue Perspektiven kennen und gewann neue Erfahrungen. Das wiederum stärkt die Empathie und hilft, die anderen besser zu verstehen. Wir sind alle sehr unterschiedliche Persönlichkeiten und haben unsere Eigenheiten in die Redaktion eingebracht. Die Symbiose dieser Persönlichkeiten in einem Produkt, dem Blog, fand ich sehr spannend. (Anna Deibele)

Ich erinnere mich an ein Festival, an dem viele starke tolle Frauen beteiligt waren. Intendantinnen, Kritikerinnen, Blogkoordinatorinnen, Stückemarktleiterinnen – die Liste lässt sich fortsetzen. Das Theater bleibt ein Ort, an dem ich mich wohl fühle, mich freue, meine Leidenschaft teilen zu können. Das tt 2011 war für mich auch ein Festival mit einem jugendlichen Geist, mit vielen jungen Autoren, Schauspielern und Regisseuren sowie einem Herbert Fritsch, der energetisch gesehen kaum älter als 30 Jahre alt zu sein schien. Und She She Pop-Vätern, die sich nicht von der Herangehensweise ihrer Töchter abschrecken ließen und so ein selten emotionales Theatererlebnis zugelassen haben. (Grete Götze) Weiterlesen »

23. Mai 2011 - 23:02 Uhr

Live-Blog of the „Via Intolleranza II“ talkback

Tonight is the last official night of the Theatertreffen, and we are blogging up to the final minute, with the last of our live blogs. Starting at 22:00, you can follow the Via Intolleranza II audience discussion here. I will be sharing the threads the discussion follows and my impressions and reactions – all in the role of an audience member, filling the seat of those of you who can’t be here but wish you could. So get that „refresh“ button ready, and please feel welcome to comment (in English or German). And as preparation, read up on Christoph Schlingensief’s opera village.

Via Intolleranza II Mamounata Guira Foto: Yehuda Swed

Mamounata Guira (Performer, Via Intolleranza II). Foto: Yehuda Swed

22:13 The talkback is scheduled to start in two minutes – a little later than planned. The show ran until shortly before 10pm, and it’s our last night to enjoy the garden bonfire, after all…

22:17 Slowly but surely, the audience brings its pretzels and beer upstairs. Maybe they were all busy downstairs at the donations booth, responding to the call for donations to the opera village during the curtain call.

22:19 By the way, I hate to spread stereotypes – but I’m really not kidding about the pretzels and beer.

22:20 Here we go! Curious to see how this plays out, because I know a couple of people on the podium don’t speak German.

22:22 Got it. Wilfried Zoungrana’s on it.

22:26 A question on the actors from Burkina Faso about the casting in Ougadougu: Why did you want to participate? How did you end up participating? There were 300 people participating – why did you want to take part? Isabelle Tassembedo: „I’ve never acted before, I came because I heard they needed a woman of my age. And as soon as I got there, I realized there was no language barrier. Even though we didn’t speak the same language, I understood him.“ (Also, a correction from Tassembedo: „actually, there were 400 participants.“)

22:30 Schlingensief has a convert to the theater through Tassembedo: „I had a lot of fun. I think I’ll keep going.“

Weiterlesen »

22. Mai 2011 - 14:00 Uhr

Getting to know you: the Ballhaus and Heimathafen meet their audiences

The term „audience development“ is a new one in Germany – so new, there’s not even one of those wonderful German compound words for it. But as the independent theater scene becomes a stronger presence, theatermakers like Shermin Langhoff of the Ballhaus Naunynstraße and Nicole Oder of the Heimathafen Neukölln are starting to ask themselves: Who is our audience? Who should our audience members be? And how do we find them?

Berlin is a surprising city to live in for an American theatergoer used to American audience sizes. The selling capacity of theaters in the United States, for the most part, just doesn’t compare. Germany hasn’t felt the need to think too much about its audiences, because its theaters are always full. And also because that’s not where they’re getting their money anyway.

As Berlin’s independent theater scene gets more and more visible, however, the voices of smaller, independent theaters that aren’t always full are getting louder. At the talkback after Verrücktes Blut at Ballhaus Naunynstraße, the „target audience“ question was part of what made the discussion turn heated. Artistic director Shermin Langhoff sees the ideal Ballhaus audience as primarily existing of people with „migrant backgrounds,“ which would make ita kind of by-of-for theater. In contrast, Nurkan Erpulat, director/co-author of Verrücktes Blut, sees the target audience as white, educated, middle-class. And everyone at the Ballhaus is opposed to the idea of targeting an audience of children or youth – something that the Augenblick mal! jury seemed to find very offensive during its talk last weekend. (A bi-annual festival of children and youth theater that runs concurrently with the Theatertreffen, Augenblick mal! also invited Verrücktes Blut to their festival this year. The Ballhaus turned them down.)

Only two years old, the Ballhaus has experienced a drastic audience shift after the opening of Verrücktes Blut in fall 2011, which received lots of press attention and praise. Weiterlesen »

20. Mai 2011 - 0:09 Uhr

Die Gewinner des Stückemarkts sind …

Juri Sternburg (Förderpreis für neue Dramatik), Anne Lepper (Werkauftrag) und Mario Salazar (Hörspielpreis)! Alle drei Preisgekrönten waren bei der Verleihung so verdattert, dass sie, sonst so sprachgewaltig, kaum einen Satz über die Lippen brachten. Weiterlesen »

19. Mai 2011 - 14:00 Uhr

Staging the gender imbalance: women in theater

From the theme of the Talentetreffen, to a women-in-directing exhibit, to yesterday’s „Feminism: Today a Dirty Word?“ discussion and more, gender has been a big topic at this year’s Theatertreffen. As the Theatertreffen Stückemarkt prepares to wrap up tonight with the awarding of the 2011 playwriting prizes, which include cash for the author and a production of the winning play, there are numbers that beg the question: what is the Theatertreffen as a whole really doing to contribute meaningfully to the gender debate – other than just talking about it?

We’re thrilled to see a debate happening on the blog – over a sexist-or-maybe-not-remark from director Herbert Fritsch, invited twice to the Theatertreffen this year, and both times with a play centered on a strong female character (in the case of A Doll’s House, one of the strongest female characters in the dramatic canon). For you non-German speakers, it boils down to a little something like: Fritsch says he likes a woman who’s a „Luder“ (hard to translate but suggestions include „hussy,“ „minx,“ or my personal favorite, „a sly cow“). Some folks find this sexist and unacceptable for a theater director because of the way that implies he interprets female characters onstage, others find it to be a mere personal preference and therefore don’t see the harm in it, still others seem to be worrying about how the actresses themselves must feel having to act out Fritsch’s female caricatures for an audience.

Personally, I’m inclined to say Fritsch can go ahead and show whatever he wants onstage – as long as there’s room left for other perspectives to be shown. It shouldn’t be a problem for him to tell a story the way he wants to tell it – as long as other stories are getting their chance to be told.

And in theory, everybody gets to tell their story. But there’s a big gap here between theory and practice.

The „post-migrant theater“ movement represents one part of the population not getting its proportional share of stage time. Yet there is another group whose presence in the theater world is far smaller than it is in the real world, whose voice is not being heard, whose perspective isn’t being seen. So let’s look at it through some numbers, because after all, numbers are neutral, aren’t they?

Weiterlesen »

18. Mai 2011 - 23:21 Uhr

Seitenrang links: Death of a Salesman

After every premiere, we ask one audience member four questions about their experience during the show. Tonight’s interviewee was Tomoya Kiriyama, from Japan, who has been living in Berlin since October.

What did you find remarkable about this production?
The atmosphere and the set design.

Why did you want to see this particular production?
It’s a very famous American play, and I was interested to see a German production of an American play.

How did you get your ticket for this evening?
I bought it at the box office.

To where would you like to travel?
Well, I’m already in Berlin, so – I can’t think of anywhere.

17. Mai 2011 - 23:27 Uhr

Seitenrang links: Die Beteiligten

After every premiere, we ask one audience member four questions about their experience during the show.

Die Beteiligten: Seitenrang links from theatertreffen-blog on Vimeo.

16. Mai 2011 - 19:25 Uhr

Live-Blog vom Publikumsgespräch zu „Nora“

Heute Abend gehen die so genannten „Herbert-Fritsch-Festspiele“ am Theatertreffen zu Ende. Vorher gibt es aber um 22.15 Uhr noch ein Publikumsgespräch zu „Nora“. Wir bloggen wie immer live und berichten, was passiert, wenn „Biberpelz“-Hasser auf „Nora“-Liebhaber treffen. Oder umgekehrt. Und vielleicht kommen wir ja auch Fritschs heissdiskutiertem „Luder“ auf die Spur.

22:13h: Fast nichts an diesem Theatertreffen ist so umstritten wie Fritschs Frauenbild. Mal sehen, was für Frauen beim Publikumsgespräch auftauchen… Bis jetzt: vorwiegend Damen in grau, frisch frisiert und über 50. Keine Luder.

22:14h: One minute til the talkback’s supposed to start, and Fadrina and I are feeling, weirdly, unprepared – flipping through the Theatertreffen booklet like bad schoolkids studying last-minute for a test. Who was in this play again? Who’s going to be talking to us? At least we know who the director is…

22:15h: Kleider-Check bei uns beiden. Fadrina: ebenfalls grauer Pullover, also unbeabsichtigt im unabgesprochenen Dress Code des Abends. Cory hingegen: rot! (Aber auch nur, nachdem sie ihre graue Jacke ausgezogen hat.) Wenigstens ein Farbtupfer im Publikum.

22:20h: This play wasn’t surtitled in English. I wonder if there were any English speakers in the audience? The play was pretty to look at but as far as the content – well, non-German speakers wouldn’t necessarily get much less out of it than German speakers. (Maybe not so true of this bilingual live-blog…)

22:22h: Jetzt geht’s los! …mit Mikroschwierigkeiten…

22:23h: Iris Laufenberg in bunt gemustertem T-Shirt! Danke!

22:24h: Alle Schauspieler plus Herbert Fritsch (natürlich) und der Oberhausener Intendant Peter Carp sind da. Dazu Jury-Mitglied Wolfgang Höbel.

22:25h: Started right away with the good stuff. Feminism.

22:26h: Wolfgang Höbel: „Nora“ ist oft komplett falsch verstanden worden. Da steckt natürlich ein feministischer Gewaltakt hinter der Geschichte, das hat nur keiner bemerkt.“ Damit tut er einem halben Jahrhundert feministischer LeserInnen aber sehr unrecht…

22:28h: Third time I’ve heard Fritsch speak, third time I’ve heard him explain how he didn’t want to do „A Doll’s House“ at all. Something new please?

22:30h: Ein Rätsel lüftet sich: Die Musik aus der Inszenierung stammt aus den Hitchcock-Filmen „Psycho“ und „Vertigo“. Weiterlesen »

15. Mai 2011 - 12:17 Uhr

I saw the Lion King: American theater through German eyes

During Friday night’s discussion in HAU 2, a panel of performance artists, artistic directors, dancers, and cultural politicians debated the state of the „free theater scene“ in Germany. On the table were financial infrastructure, artistic freedom, audience development, interaction of the free scene with state-funded theater, political lobbying and more. Here’s my problem with the problems: in searching for answers, Germany isn’t looking any farther than its own backyard.

We’ve already taken a look on this blog at some of the stereotypes about German theater that appear in English-speaking media. But Germany has plenty of stereotypes and assumptions to match. One biggie: American theater is just not interesting.

You’re welcome to argue for the truth of that statement. And if your knowledge of American theater is a bit broader than Broadway, I’m ready to listen to you. However, my experience is that the complete lack of interest German theatermakers have for American theater is matched by a complete lack of insight into the American theater system and community. I talk to directors, actors, artistic directors, designers, and playwrights here who have grossly limited views of my country’s theater landscape. Statements I’ve recently heard:

  • Oh, but I thought you could get the money to produce anything in America if you cast the right star!
  • Hm, I had no idea there was theater going on in Chicago.
  • Yes, I’ve seen American theater. I saw a touring production of The Lion King.

Outside of the United States, American theater is synonymous with big, commercial Broadway musicals. And in general, it’s not my business to complain about that. Weiterlesen »

13. Mai 2011 - 15:30 Uhr

Plagiacriticism: German Theatre through English Eyes

Our favorite guest blogger, Dr. Herr Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, is back – this time, with a critique of German theatre in general.

German theatre seems to wax and wane in unpredictable patterns – almost as difficult to keep track of as varieties of German sausageNo paparazzi photographing C-list celebrities, no hysterical standing ovations, no mobile phones suddenly going off: simply a well-dressed, middle-aged, bourgeois audience enjoying all the on-stage nudity, sex and graphic violence to which it is accustomed. After all, most theater directors in German-speaking Europe concern themselves with the restaging of classic plays. No wonder that German audiences have developed a taste for audacious plays, and that young German writers are far more adventuresome with form. German audiences can’t be shocked any longer.

German actors look a bit more like the rest of us they do a lot of shouting normally, and sometimes even hit the bottle onstage. Design is a major part of German theatre. And it is taken to extraordinary lengths. Seems like Germans will go almost as far for an elaborate set design as they would for a boot of beer. They’ll wrap all the actors in cling film and swing them from the ceiling on meat hooks, take out all your text and add in new text by Michel Houellebecq.

In the notorious, lavishly financed, postmodern German theater, adaptation and appropriation are the sincerest forms of flattery — which I personally find to be the most fabulous thing about it of all.

Editor’s Note: One of the subplots of Season Two of the Canadian television series Slings and Arrows offers a hilarious look at the stereotyping of German theater in the English-speaking world through the character of Darren Nicholson, a Canadian director who spends a season in Germany and comes back a changed man. He spends most of the season directing Romeo and Juliet with a „German“ concept – only to have a change of heart (worth checking out if only for the show’s version of „German“ costumes and set design). [C.T.]

12. Mai 2011 - 22:22 Uhr

Live-Blog zum Verrückten Blut

Live-Blog: a heated talkback with audience after the second performance of Verrücktes Blut (Mad Blood), Ballhaus Naunynstraße. Related: the tt-Blog Verrücktes Blut Kritik (German) and the „post-migrant theatre“ lexicon (English).

22:21 We’re in the theater! Still gathering some chairs and actors…

22:22 Introducing the line-up. It includes Shermin Langhoff (Artistic Director), Nurkan Erpulat (playwright), Franz Wille (Theatertreffen jury member).

22:24 „Would be hard to explain why you wouldn’t invite this play.“ Franz Wille, Theatertreffen jury member

22:26 Wille’s talking about theater as a center for debate. I’d like to invite anybody who’s on Twitter and wants to join in the conversation right now to tweet at me: use the hashtag #tt11.

22:27 Artistic Director Shermin Langhoff on the definition of post-migrant theater: she’s been asked this a lot. About why it was important to come up with this definition at all:

  • Inspiration: Berlin’s (and Germany’s) incredible diversity
  • Felt that this diversity was visible in other media (film, novels) but not yet in theater
  • Defining a term helps create visibility and potential for financial/cultural support

22:32 Nurkan Erpulat (Verrücktes Blut playwright) says: sometimes people think this is a play for youth! But it’s actually for the educated middle class. Weiterlesen »

12. Mai 2011 - 15:40 Uhr

She He Chat

In Testament, the performance group She She Pop brings their own fathers onstage. Through questions, through songs, and through re-enactments of rehearsals, phone calls and arguments, She She Pop uses „real“ material to explore the „real“ generational shift happening in their „real“ lives. After seeing the show, Matt and Cory shared thoughts through a „real“ GChat session.

Cory and Matt GChatting about Testament.

Cory: Okay. Let’s talk about Testament. My mom read Leo’s interview with one of the fathers, and she’s jealous. She wants me to do a production with moms.

Matt: Well, She She Pop is not planning a production with mothers, so it’s open for you! Your mom was able to read Leo’s interview in German?

Cory: Yes. She lived in Germany, years ago.

Matt: Cool! I didn’t realize until yesterday that the German word „Testament“ is not the same as the English testament, which has a much broader definition.

Cory: What is it specifically in German? Testament as in, will?

Matt: Yup.

Cory: While in English it can mean a lot more. Tribute, for example. Or statement.

Matt: And I found the performance itself to actually have quite an American feel to it. Weiterlesen »

12. Mai 2011 - 9:22 Uhr

Konradin Kunze auf Skype

Stefan Konarske as young journalist and Seyneb Saleh as the daughter of the hotel porter in Konradin Kunze's "foreign angst". Foto: Piero Chiussi

In foreign angst, Stückemarkt playwright Konradin Kunze sets a German sort-of journalist in a sort-of Arabic country, war-torn and rundown and, simply put, not the way Kunze’s protagonist imagined it. The play explores the German „Angst“ (fear) of what’s strange to us, but Kunze says you can pronounce the title any way you like – although an English „foreign“ and German „Angst“ fits the piece’s multilingual leanings. After the reading of his play I talked with Kunze via Skype, that faithful friend that so often accompanies us when we travel far from home.

Warning: German ahead!

Konradin Kunze Interview from theatertreffen-blog on Vimeo.

Below are some tidbits about Kunze and his work that didn’t fit into our Skype interview. Weiterlesen »

11. Mai 2011 - 16:18 Uhr

A „post-migrant theatre“ lexicon

Self-titled „post-migrant“ theater Ballhaus Naunynstraße sits just a stone’s throw from the infamous Kottbusser Tor, birthplace of Döner Kebap and alleged headquarters for drug dealers, gangs and the corruption of German culture through immigrant influence. The Ballhaus‘ raging success Verrücktes Blut (Mad Blood) has been playing to sold-out houses since September 2010 and has received invitations to most of Germany’s major festivals this year, including the Theatertreffen. What’s so hot about postmigrantisches Theater? This lexicon provides a little introduction to the immigration debate currently raging in Germany.

For anyone interested in the topic of post-migrant theatre, Oliver Kontny, dramaturg of Ballhaus Naunynstraße, is delivering a lecture in English and German at Potsdam University tomorrow. 18:00 on May 12, Universität Potsdam, Neues Palais, Haus 09, Hörsaal 1.02. Entry free.

postmigrantisch: Shermin Langhoff, director of the Ballhaus Naunynstraße, didn’t invent this term, but she’s sure been instrumental in defining it. Ballhaus Naunynstraße defines itself as „postmigrantisches Theater,“ which is just to say: it’s concerned with telling the stories of second- and third-generation Germans. Simple the definition may be; but the themes that belong to it are complex. Post-migrant theater asks questions about integration/assimilation, roots, language, education, equality, discrimination, religion, tradition and above all identity.

Berlin's Kottbusser Tor, home to Ballhaus Naunynstraße and often the symbolic center of the Multikulti debate. Photo: Cory Tamler

Migrationshintergrund: Literally, „migration background.“ I find this one especially problematic when I’m trying to speak in English about German race politics. In German, you can denote second- and third-generation Germans as „Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund“ but it would sound awfully weird to talk about second- and third-generation Americans that way. The percentage of actors, directors, playwrights and other theatremakers in Germany with a migration background is far smaller than the corresponding percentage of the German population as a whole (in 2010, about 20%).

Multikulti: Actually, there’s no use defining this one, since it’s dead. Angie says so.

Thilo Sarrazin: Conservative politician who splashed the Multikulti debate all over German headlines with the publication of his book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Abolishes Itself) in 2010. Also, he’s really, really racist. After his book people kind of figured that out, which ultimately led to his resignation from his position as member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank. But the SPD (Social Democratic Party) just voted not to revoke his membership.
Weiterlesen »

11. Mai 2011 - 7:15 Uhr

Seitenrang links: Testament

After every premiere, we ask one audience member four questions about their experience during the show. For Testament, the 2011 Theatertreffen’s first production to use video prominently, our „fast critique“ is a short movie.

Seitenrang Links: Testament (She She Pop) from theatertreffen-blog on Vimeo.