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Fear Industry

What are we afraid of?

2 performers and 1 mezzo-soprano reveal a living archive of 21st century fears: we now fear anything from killer bees to pedophiles, deadly diseases and online spying, avian flu, old age and mad cows, immigrants, anthrax, wrinkles, environmental collapse, and, lest we forget, terrorists.

Enthusiastically received by audience and critics during its world premiere as part of the opening festivities at the European Capital of Culture and Cyprus Fringe, the performance explores the concept of fear and its orchestrated manipulation through economic and political forces, its dissemination by the media and its subtle proliferation in contemporary society. The staging blends theater with elements from opera and Lieder and combines stand-up performance with stylized movement to walk the tightrope between our instinctive fears and those amplified and manipulated by our surroundings.

Watch the trailer here:

“The atmospherically dense staging places us in a vigil state of recognizing a culture of fear everywhere in all its glorification and with all its personal, political and cultural dimension…  …Achim Wieland manages to move this performance in the category of art as a vehicle of reawakening.”  –ANEF Magazine, Christina Georghiou
“An invasive and pervasive testimony.” –TimeOut Magazine

The production as well as some sections of the European project tour are supported by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture, the Cultural Funding Program of the City of Stuttgart, Diablog.eu, the German Embassy Nicosia, MITOS Center of Performing Arts, Kulturabteilung der Republik Zypern in Berlin,  the University of Nicosia, the Goethe-Institut and Columbia Shipmanagement

Featuring a post-performance discussion on Wednesday, February 17 as part of Theater Scoutings Berlin!

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The Story of a Tiger

Nanzikambe Arts (Malawi)

Inspired by the 2011 Malawi protests against the government which resulted in 20 deaths and nearly 100 injuries, leading Malawi theater company Nanzikambe Arts responded with an adaptation of Dario Fo‘s 1978 play La storia della tigre.

Geoffrey Mbene Tiger - Photo by Philipp Hamedl Web

Originally inspired by Fo‘s 1975 trip to China, this dramatic monologue tells the story of a revolutionary Chinese solider wounded during Mao‘s Long March and left to die by his comrades. Nursed back to health by a mother tiger, he returns to civilization determined to cure its ills.

In Thokozani Kapiri‘s international adaptation intended for both African and European audiences, Geoffrey Mbene provides a tour-de-force performance relying heavily on pantomime and physical theater.

This production of The Story of a Tiger, commissioned by Theater Konstanz as part of its three-year partnership with Nanzikambe Arts – Crossing Borders, von See zu See – received 10 different presentations in Germany in 2012. It was also performed at Mwezi Wawala International Arts Festival, Blantyre Arts Festival and Malawi Cultural Arts Festival, in Austria and in Ireland in 2013.

Photo by Philipp Hamedl

Confirmation

Theatertreffen stückemarkt revisited

If you pinned me against a wall, I’d probably admit to being a liberal. Of course, pinning me against a wall is exactly what I’d expect from someone like you. A show about the gulfs we can’t talk across, and about the way we choose to see only the evidence that proves we’re right.

With an election looming and new voices appearing in mainstream UK politics, Chris Thorpe and The TEAM Artistic Director Rachel Chavkin examine the phenomenon of confirmation bias through an honorable dialogue, real and imagined, with political extremism. To find out how we believe what we believe and how we can end up so far apart.

Edinburgh Fringe First Award Winner – 2014

“Rachel Chavkin’s fast-moving, kinetic production offers us an absolutely compelling performance from a man who is fast becoming one of the most powerful performers in the UK” – The Scotsman

Watch the trailer on Vimeo:

Chris Thorpe | Writer and Performer

Chris is a writer and performer from Manchester. He is a founder member of Unlimited Theatre and also an artistic associate of Third Angel. He is making a cycle of solo pieces and continues to collaborate with companies like Slung Low, Forest Fringe, RashDash and Soup Collective, with whom he wrote and recorded the piece The Bomb On Mutannabbi Street Is Still Exploding, which has been permanently installed at the Imperial War Museum North. Chris’s plays have been produced worldwide and he has toured with Unlimited and Third Angel in Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA.

Recent projects include a trilogy of plays, Overdrama, House/Garden and Dead End for Portuguese company mala voadora, which continue to tour in Europe. He is also still touring in Third Angel’s show What I Heard About The World, recently to Poland, Brazil, Germany and Lebanon. He worked with poet Hannah Jane Walker in 2010 to make her solo show, This Is Just To Say. Hannah and Chris then worked together again to create The Oh Fuck Moment, which won a Fringe First at Edinburgh Fringe 2011. Their show, I Wish I Was Lonely, is still on the road. He also plays guitar in Lucy Ellinson’s political extreme noise project TORYCORE.

As a playwright, Chris recently worked with Hannah Jane Walker on a commission for The Unicorn Theatre in London, and revived his hit show, There Has Possibly Been An Incident, at the Stückemarkt in Berlin (following an invitation from playwright Simon Stephens). He also wrote Northern Stage’s Christmas Show, Dark Woods, Deep Snow in 2013. Chris is currently writing a new show for the Royal Court Theatre and a new project for the Unicorn Theatre as well as continuing work with Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.

Rachel Chavkin | Director

Rachel is a Brooklyn-based director/dramaturg/writer, and the Artistic Director of collaborative ensemble the TEAM. Founded in 2004, the TEAM makes new work about the experience of living in America today, and aims to keep the brain, eyes, and heart of the audience constantly stimulated. Four time winners of the Fringe First, winner of the 2011 Herald Angel, the 2011 EIF Fringe Prize, and ranked Best of 2013 on three continents, the TEAM’s work includes Mission Drift, a new musical composed by Heather Christian that travels through 400 years of history in pursuit of the soul of American capitalism, and RoosevElvis, the story of a surreal road trip from the Badlands to Graceland. The TEAM has been presented at or received commissions from organizations all over New York (including the Public Theater, PS122, and the Bushwick Starr), nationally (including the Walker Art Center and the A.R.T.), internationally (including London’s National Theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland, the Barbican Centre, the Almeida Theatre, the Traverse Theatre, international festivals in Perth and Hong Kong, and the Salzburg Festival’s Young Directors Program).

In addition to her work with the TEAM, Rachel collaborates regularly with writers and composers on new work. Recent projects include Dave Malloy’s immersively staged electro-pop opera Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino – commercial transfer; World Premiere: Ars Nova – New York Times, Time Out New York and New York Post Critics’ Picks, and Top Ten); storyteller James Monaco and composer Jerome Ellis’ collaboration Aaron/Marie; Meg Miroshnik’s The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Yale Rep); Rick Burkhardt,

Alec Duffy and Dave Malloy’s Three Pianos (A.R.T., NYTW – Dec ’10/Jan ’11, Ontological Incubator Series – Feb/March ’10, 2010 Obie Award); and repeat collaborations with playwright/performer/activist Taylor Mac including his extravaganza The Lily’s Revenge (World Premiere, Act II) (HERE Arts Center, 2010 Obie Award) and Peace, co-written by Mac and Chavkin (Workshop, HERE Arts Center, 2007).

Rachel is a two-time Obie Winner, and was nominated as Best Director for both the Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards for her work on Great Comet. Upcoming work includes multiple projects with Dave Malloy, adapting folk singer Anaïs Mitchell’s album Hadestown, a theatrical concert adaption of Mac Wellman’s intergalactic Ohio-based novel Annie Salem in collaboration with composer Heather Christian, and the TEAM’s multigenerational cover band project, Primer for a Failed Superpower.

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The Story of a Tiger

Nanzikambe Arts (Malawi)

Inspired by the 2011 Malawi protests against the government which resulted in 20 deaths and nearly 100 injuries, leading Malawi theater company Nanzikambe Arts responded with an adaptation of Dario Fo‘s 1978 play La storia della tigre.

Geoffrey Mbene Tiger - Photo by Philipp Hamedl Web

Originally inspired by Fo‘s 1975 trip to China, this dramatic monologue tells the story of a revolutionary Chinese solider wounded during Mao‘s Long March and left to die by his comrades. Nursed back to health by a mother tiger, he returns to civilization determined to cure its ills.

In Thokozani Kapiri‘s international adaptation intended for both African and European audiences, Geoffrey Mbene provides a tour-de-force performance relying heavily on pantomime and physical theater.

This production of The Story of a Tiger, commissioned by Theater Konstanz as part of its three-year partnership with Nanzikambe Arts – Crossing Borders, von See zu See – received 10 different presentations in Germany in 2012. It was also performed at Mwezi Wawala International Arts Festival, Blantyre Arts Festival and Malawi Cultural Arts Festival, in Austria and in Ireland in 2013.

Photo by Philipp Hamedl

Big Love

by Charles L. Mee

BigLove1_web“In the real world, 
if there is no justice 
there can be no love
.”

Charles L. Mee´s Big Love is based on a play written 2500 years ago:  The Suppliant Women by Aeschylos, in which he investigates the consequences of a mass of women fleeing from their impending forced marriages and their treatment in the land in which they seek shelter. Today, in Big Love, they gain and then lose asylum in their new country, face death from their own people if they refuse to return, and must constantly fight to have their voices heard. Defiant to the last, they commit themselves to a terrible pact in order to win freedom at any cost.

So we ask ourselves: Twenty five centuries later, and what has changed? What is our modern reaction to mass immigration, even when accompanied by stories of atrocity and oppression? What do we do, when a group arrives en masse, claiming political asylum, and our response to their pleas could jeopardise our own national security? In order to regard ourselves as “civilised”, how far are we required to go, to defend the oppressed people of another nation against the “injustices” of their own culture? Are our values somehow inherently “better” than theirs? And even if they are, when do we get involved and when not? Kosovo, Rwanda, Libya, Syria, Gaza… these narratives are frighteningly familiar to a modern audience, lacking any certain compass for moral guidance.

ACTORS-SPACE BERLIN / PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

Since its inception in 2009, Actors Space Berlin has become a mecca for actors from all over the world, who are committed to truthful, thoroughly engaged performance and creating a powerful, moment-to-moment, living experience for their audience. Actors-Space Berlin gives artists a sense of community in which they can explore and develop their craft, and supports the development and presentation of new and provocative work. “Push Comes to Shove” is a grass-roots, English-speaking ensemble, born out of this soil, comprising German as well as ex-patriot actors and artists. Incorporating all the available disciplines to aid in the telling of the story, the company here works collaboratively with choreographers, with sound, costume and set designers and with installation artists, in order to create a comprehensive, interdisciplinary story telling. André Bolouri, founder of the Ensemble and director of the play, commented on the artistic process saying, “It’s about challenging traditions, forms, and boundaries. Each artist brings their own talents to the team to organically build the piece.”

“True love has no conditions.
That’s why it’s so awful to fall in love.”

Hotel Methuselah

imitating the dog (UK)

hotelMethuselah_16cmbreit_freigestelltA contemporary ghost story that explores our fears around mortality, sexuality and the terrifying sense of responsibility that comes with having children.

A visual masterpiece of contemporary British theatre – in Germany for the first time, exclusively at English Theatre Berlin

Hotel Methuselah is  In a stunning homage to post-war British cinema and the French Nouvelle Vague, imitating the dog create a unique and disturbingly immersive experience for the audience.

Telling the story of night porter Harry’s search to uncover the forgotten truth of his past, Hotel Methuselah is a searing tale of the destructive power of love and the hell of personal disintegration. Fusing spectacular live action and video projection, this is stylish, cutting edge visual performance that places narrative, emotion and wit at its core.

“…unlike any other piece of theatre you’re likely to have experienced before…intriguing, a successful narrative experiment and a piece of art in its own right.” Yorkshire Evening Post

“a company at the forefront of testing the nature of theatre” – The Guardian

supported by     British CouncilNEW_BLLUE_180breit

 

to die for

tacheles productions (Berlin)

TDF_image_web“Today is a consequential occasion, and consequential occasions need witnesses.”

So says Ariana Krankovic- the fiercely unconventional lady, who has come to Berlin on a special mission. She’s not exactly a social butterfly, but she’s invited YOU to her birthday party- if you dare! To mark this momentous occasion Ariana Krankovic will perform the lethal Encanta’s Aria– a piece of music so beautiful that singing it stops the singer’s heart.

Will she go through with it? If so, will she survive to tell the tale? What binds her to this extraordinary aria? Before she can find out, there are ghosts from the Krankovic family tree that must be laid to rest.

This highly comic and touchingly magical one-woman show fuses naturalism and live music to explore the power of the stories we tell that shape our lives…and deaths.

Following rave reviews, including four stars in Irish Theatre Magazine, and successful performances in Dublin and Prague, Ariana Krankovic now comes to the heart of Berlin to captivate audiences once again.

This is one birthday party not to be missed!

Between

Fourword Productions (South Africa)

between 2012_web

Lost somewhere between love and lust – a man, a boy, a couple, a teacher and his student .

When is sex exciting, slightly naughty, arousing and playful?
How does sex suddenly turn into a ritual, an act, a sacrifice… into emotional pain form which there is no coming back? An emotional dead end from which a relationship is hard pressed to return from.
Three separate, yet suggestively interlinked, stories explore how love can transcend sexual boundaries and what happens when the love disappears and the loss becomes acute.

'between' 3Between has been nominated for two prizes at the 2012 Dublin Gay Theatre Festival: The Oscar Wilde Award for Best writing (Oskar Brown) and The Micheal Mac Liammoir Award for Best Male Performance (Nick Campbell)

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate,
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.
William Shakespeare

I, Ca$$ie… or The End of Days

by Matthew Earnest

cassie3“Hi, I’m Ca$$ie, standard-bearer of the apocalypse! May I take your order?”

Inspired by Cassandra, the shrill prophet of doom from Greek mythology, Matthew Earnest’s piece features Ca$$ie – head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and soon-to-be-named valedictorian of Troy High School – doing community service hours in a fast food drive-thru. Ca$$ie is on probation for driving drunk after last week’s homecoming game, and ever since the resulting car accident that injured most of her friends and put her brother Hector in a coma, Ca$$ie has been having “the freakiest dreams,” horrifying visions about the end of the world. The most persistent one, about a tall horse at the gate, is especially annoying, and all Ca$$ie really wants is sleep.

“Somebody please just pour gasoline on my life and strike a match.”

Impervious to her nightmares, Ca$$ie files her nails, plays war games on her phone, calls her friends and takes orders at the cell-like window of the drive-thru. She has no idea that this night will be her last. After a series of economic meltdowns, brazen displays of breathtaking greed and corruption, and massive cuts in education to fund imperialistic wars, her formerly great nation is vulnerable and ill equipped for the modern world. Armageddon is encroaching just outside. The riots and looting have already begun. Great cities are in flames from coast to coast. The bankers and congressmen are already tanning on the beaches of Caribbean resort communities. And this is where it all ends: with a spoiled, oblivious teenager in a disposable building.

Dark

by S. D. Clifford

Dark_WebHere is Terry, an obsessive-compulsive depressive with a fear of light. In order to cope with the terror of everyday living he forces himself to remain in an almost constant self-induced psychosis, maintaining only impersonal superficial relationships with inanimate objects like his boots and radio.

Terry´s world comes crashing down when out of the blue he is informed that he is to be executed with immediate effect. He is also given the task of organizing it himself. This includes the execution, the funeral and the payment of his outstanding debts.

But there is nothing to fear. There never has been.