etb English
Theatre
Berlin
International Performing Arts Center




Blog Archive

Please, Repeat After Me

Following a sold-out performance in the 2019 Expo Festival and a rave review in Der Tagesspiegel, we are very pleased to welcome Please, Repeat After Me back for two encore performances!

I have millions of reasons to be crazy; give me one reason to be sane!

Or

Please, Repeat After Me is a play about decision-making and labels.

(We)* are left abandoned in the theater with a real mermaid: a fish incapable of being eaten and a woman incapable of seduction.

But the mermaid is real!

When does a stereotype stop being a stereotype?

When does a refugee stop being a refugee?

When does an actor stop being an actor?

 

Electra

ETB | IPAC & Berlin International Youth Theatre present

HARVARD COLLEGE STUDENTS with their production of the Sophocles classic, Electra, featuring Turkish TV star Ece Hakim.

A moving exploration of family and justice: Thousands of years ago, King Agamemnon ruled over Mycenae alongside his wife Clytemnestra and his four children Iphigenia, Electra, Orestes and Chrysothemis. All was well until Agamemnon’s sister in law, Helen, was taken to Troy. Now it was up to him to command the Greek armed forces into the infamous Trojan War which would claim many victims, including Agamemnon’s daughter Iphigenia, whom he sacrificed to the Gods in exchange for a strategic advantage. Upon his return, Agamemnon was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover. Electra, along with her dead father’s adviser, organized the kidnapping of her youngest brother Orestes, with the intent of training the young boy to one day avenge his father and murder his mother. Fifteen years later, Orestes returns to fulfill his murderous destiny…

This is the latest production by director Isaiah Michalski, actor of Lars Kraume’s award-winning film The Silent Revolution (Das schweigende Klassenzimmer). Michalski studies theater at Harvard College and is currently participating in the Schaubühne’s prestigious apprenticeship program.

The show will include an original score and live music by composer Marie Carroll.

 

Impro 2019

Improvised theater is surprising and always different at the same time.

IMPRO, the international impro festival hosted by Die Gorillas, is one of the biggest festivals of its kind: for the 17th edition from March 16 – 24, 2019, improvisers from all over the world get together in Berlin to inspire the audience with their spontaneous stories and diverse characters. The artists will sweep them off their feet with their concepts and ideas of improvised theater which go in the most different of directions to show the variety and possibilities of this special art form: Storytelling inspired by Aki Kaurismäki, Shakespeare or a local playwright, improvisers giving very personal insights in Role Models, Meta Impro and Community, an improvised radio play, the Improvision Song Contest and much more is going to happen in five theaters around Berlin.

IMPRO 2019 brings new shows and presents improv classics.

Stunning. Emotional. Connecting.

Community

March 16, 17 and 18 |  8pm

“Life in contemporary forms of capitalism is becoming unbearable, and one survival strategy is to develop and protect at all costs small communities that offer us different relations. With art, we cannot and do not aim at causing great social change but we can make room for collective creation, a space where it is possible to survive and even have a good time. Every moment is worth asking the very important human question of ‘How do we actually want to live together?’. And by doing so, we are finding answers along the way. Exquisite and daring performers from different cultural, economic and political environments dive into the topic of community.”

Maja Dekleva Lapajne, Artistic Director of the EU project Our Lives and the format Community

Theatersports

March 19 | 8pm

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to the roots. Many of those looking for new improv formats today started with this popular form of improvising back in the day. Several teams compete for the best scenes and songs, for the audience doesn’t just make suggestions, it also decides the champion of the night. It’s no coincidence this show format succeeded all over the world: it’s improv full of fun, imagination, suspense, speed and passion…

Not by Kaurismäki

March 20 and 21 | 8pm

The concise manner of speaking and the quiet humor of Aki Kaurismäki is the model for the improvisations. And we‘re getting back to basics.

Not by Shakespeare

March 22 and 23 | 8pm

It goes without saying that we won’t be able to improvise a play which matches the works of the British genius. But we can let ourselves be inspired by William Shakespeare and use the rhythm of his language as well as the structure of his dramas, comedies and tragedies as a template. A Shakespeare play about gentrification, digitalization or factory farming – that could be pretty cool.

 

Parataxe – International Literature

What languages does Berlin write in? Berlin authors who pen their work in languages other than German are invited to take part in conversations, readings and new translations. On March 26th, PARATAXE presents Tomer Gardi (Israel/Berlin) and Ana Ristović (Serbia/Berlin), hosted by Martin Jankowski.

Tomer Gardi was born in the kibbutz Dan in Galiläa in 1974. When Gardi read in “broken German”, completely forgoing grammar and spelling at the Bachmannpreis event in 2016, his text and its use of hybrid-language caused vehement discussions among the jury. Following his very successful novel with the same title (Broken German), he now presents his newest book.

Ana Ristović was born 1972 in Belgrade, Serbia. She has published nine books of poetry, several of them award-winning. Her poem “Round Zero” was chosen by an international jury, curated by The Guardian, as one of the best love poems of the past 50 years.

PARATAXE is a project of the Berliner Literarische Aktion e.V. and is supported by the Berlin Senate Administration for Culture and Europe. Further information can be found at www.stadtsprachen.de.

Fuck me i love you

The circular motion and fluctuation of desire, power, ambition and the endless search for the unattainable love we all crave for is explored by an international cast of seven multi-talented performers. Together they create a station drama inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s Reigen (La Ronde).

A series of encounters strung together depicts a society locked in a cycle.

“This city is no place for love. The people are too fragile to be genuine, too shrewd to be open. One becomes accustomed to immerse oneself in so many vain interests and ultimately lose sight of what is real.” Heinrich von Kleist, 1800.

We Keep Coming Back

by Selfconscious PRODUCTIONS (Toronto)

The (mostly) true story of an odyssey to Poland that a son and mother – both descendants of Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivors – took while accompanied by Katka Reszke (Polish-Jewish scholar and author of Return of the Jew) as their guide.

We Keep Coming Back is a story that Michael Rubenfeld set in motion and one that now involves a core co-creative team. It was a trip of return to the country of Michael and his mother’s cultural origin. While elemental in its urge to reunite mother and son, the work is also steeped with a contemporary politic. While seeking to understand Poland’s complicated history, the narrative takes an unexpected turn in discovering a vibrant contemporary world of Jewish life in Poland.

In her book Return of the Jew, Katka Reszke refers to this narrative as the ‘Generation Unexpected’ – this is a new generation of young Polish Jews who are mostly descendants of Jewish families who had hid their roots to survive both the pogroms and later, the Shoah. It was only after the fall of Communism in 1990, that it became safe to once again practice as a Jew in Poland. Subsequently, thousands of discoveries of unexpected Jewish histories have been made – and these stories are growing every day.

In the performance, the concept of ‘generation unexpected’ is realized both in the retelling of Katka’s own story of personal Jewish discovery, and by dissecting Poland’s confrontation with the energy of a revitalized Jewish narrative in Poland, and the deep roots of a North American antipathy towards Poland. To borrow from and broaden Katka’s term, ‘generation unexpected’ characterizes the surprising positions each of the four characters in We Keep Coming Back are revealed to hold. It also elementally sits at the nexus of unexpected results forever revealing themselves in the other generation.

We Keep Coming Back is presented in a visually and audio rich environment, incorporating video footage from the team’s research trips, archival material (photographs, maps), and live and recorded music. The creators play themselves.

It was developed in Toronto and Poland.

SELFCONSCIOUS PRODUCTIONS is the performance company of Canadian theater makers Michael Rubenfeld and Sarah Garton Stanley. They both share the belief that other people and being alive are both very confusing. They think that this is probably why they get along so well and also why they both remain interested in using the theatre as a place to explore how hard it is to do and be the things they most want to do and be. But they also believe that it is possible. So they keep trying. Their shows are The Book of Judith, The Failure Show, mothermothermother…, and We Keep Coming Back.

In cooperation with the 31st Jewish Culture Days Berlin

Palmyra

By Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas (London)

The Best of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe at ETB | IPAC

Selected as one of The Guardian’s Top Ten Theatre Productions of 2017

“…a brilliant piece that reflects on Syria and the breakdown of relationships.” (★★★★ The Guardian)

Palmyra is an exploration of revenge, the politics of destruction and what we consider to be barbaric, inviting people to step back from the news and look at what lies beneath, and beyond, civilization.

★★★★★ “A thrilling tightrope walk of a show – tense yet cathartic, angry yet thoughtful. A five-star triumph.” – The To Do List
★★★★ “Weird, wonderful and strangely stressful.” – The Stage
★★★★ “It’s rare to see emerging artists with such a strong signature style … It’s a stressful watch, though, but sublime as well.” – Matt Trueman, What’s On Stage
“Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas have created a strong contender for “Best Piece of ‘Political Theatre,’ Edinburgh 2017. … Proper genius, this.” – Andrew Haydon, Postcards from the Gods
★★★★ “The show’s focus on broader issues emerging from Syria is its great strength. Challenging the audience constantly on our role in the conflict from spectators to global influencers, the piece covers a great amount in under an hour… Unsettling.” – The Reviews Hub

Mouthpiece

by Quote Unquote Collective

The Best of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe at ETB | IPAC

Pick of the Edinburgh Fringe 2017 by The Guardian

“Truly astounding stuff.” ★★★★★ The Stage: Critics Pick Edinburgh 2017

In the wake of her mother’s death, Mouthpiece follows one woman, for one day, as she tries to find her voice. Interweaving a cappella harmony, dissonance, text and physicality, two performers express the inner conflict that exists within one modern woman’s head. Ranging from tender to merciless, with uncompromising precision, Mouthpiece magnifies a daughter’s contemplation of her mother and becomes a rigorous investigation of womanhood itself.

After Hollywood actor Jodie Foster and wife Alex Hedison had seen Mouthpiece in Toronto, they brought the play to the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles: “Mouthpiece touches on every part of the female experience from birth to death using dance, music, and wicked humor with just a bathtub for scenery. The result is a new kind of feminist language which ignites pure, intravenous emotion. It’s impossible to describe and truly unforgettable.” JODIE FOSTER AND ALEXANDRA HEDISON
“There are no weak moments. Nostbakken and Sadava are powerhouses of performers: the standing ovation at the end is the topping on the cake, a well-deserved accolade to the formidable strength of this piece.” ★★★★★ Edinburgh Spotlight

 

AMY NOSTBAKKEN | CREATOR + DIRECTOR + PERFORMER
Co-artistic director of Quote Unquote Collective and core member of Theatre Ad Infinitum UK. An award-winning playwright, performer and composer, Amy has co-created numerous award-winning productions including Theatre Ad Infinitum’s First Class (2011), The Big Smoke (2012), Ballad Of the Burning Star (2013) and Bucket List (2016). Amy co-wrote, directed, composed and performs Mouthpiece, which is currently touring the world. In 2017 Mouthpiece was published by Coach House Books and adapted into a feature film. Currently Amy is developing Quote Unquote Collective’s six-woman play Now You See Her premiering in Toronto October 2018.

NORAH SADAVA | CREATOR + PERFORMER
Co-artistic director of Quote Unquote Collective, Norah is a Toronto-based actor and creator with a background in devised physical theatre. A graduate of the MFA program at the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, she has been involved in the writing and creation of new work with numerous companies both in Canada and internationally. Norah co-wrote, created and performs Mouthpiece, which is currently touring the world, was recently published by Coach House Books and is being adapted into a feature film. Currently Norah is developing Quote Unquote Collective’s six-woman play Now You See Her premiering in Toronto October 2018.

 

Parataxe – International Literature

Parataxe – Berlin’s international literature community:

What languages does Berlin write in? For the PARATAXE series, Berlin authors, who write in languages other than German, will be introduced in discussions, readings and translations. This time with Kinga Tóth (Hungary) and Elnathan John (Nigeria).

Kinga Tóth was born in Sárvár, Hungary in 1983. She is a linguist, teaches German language and literature, works as a communications specialist and is an editor at the art magazine Palócföld. Tóth describes herself as a (sound)poet and illustrator. In addition she is the songwriter and lead singer of the Tóth Kína Hegyfalu project as well as a board member of the József Attila Circle for young writers and an active member of several projects and associations. Her articles have been published in magazines and websites like Palócföld, Prae.hu, Pluralica, Árgus, Irodalmi Jelen and Irodalmi Szemle. Tóth is a participant in the exchange program for authors between the Akademie Schloss Solitude and young Hungarian writers in Budapest. Her publications include Zsúr (Party) (2013) and All Machine (2014). Currently she is working on her newest book The Moonlight Faces.

Elnathan John is a writer and lawyer living in spaces between in Nigeria and Germany. Mostly. His works have appeared in Hazlitt, Per Contra, Le Monde Diplomatique, FT and the Caine Prize for African Writing Anthology 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He writes weekly political satire for the Nigerian newspaper Daily Trust on Sunday (and any other publication that PAYS him). Unless you are The New Yorker, he considers it violence of unimaginable proportions to ask him to write for free. He has never won anything.
This record was almost disrupted by the Caine Prize when they accidentally allowed his story on the shortlist in 2013 and again in 2015. Of course, both times, he did not win. He has been shortlisted and longlisted for a few other prizes, but he is content with his position as a serial finalist. It is kind of like being a best man at a wedding – you get to attend the ceremony but you can get drunk, sneak off and hook up without anyone noticing because, after all, you are not the groom. In 2008, after being lied to by friends and admirers about the quality of his work, he hastily self-published an embarrassing collection of short stories which has thankfully gone out of print. He hopes to never repeat that foolish mistake. His novel Born On A Tuesday was published in Nigeria (in 2015), the UK and the US (in 2016) and in Germany (in 2017).

 

I Am Not A Joke (Take Two)

WORLD PREMIERE

Feminism has never been so hip and trendy! We could see this as a true victory for feminism and still post a “I’m a feminist” selfie real quick. Let’s be honest. This kind of “high gloss feminism” doesn’t cover up the smell of the shit we encounter every day in the form of sexism, racism and every other kind of possible phobia.

Accompanied by a guitar, a synthesizer and drum machine, The Kill Joys sing, scream and perform against daily discriminations and the patriarchy. I Am Not A Joke (Take Two) is an appeal against this shit while simultaneously questioning the consumability of feminism.

The Kill Joys (Olivia Hyunsin Kim, Magda Drozd & Co.) examine intersectional feminist issues within the form of a theatrical concert performance. The collective was founded in 2016 and has screamed about what makes them angry in a do-it-yourself style ever since. Using songs and performative actions that focus on their own experiences with everyday racism as well as within the performing arts, they create a feminism that is relevant for them and their concerns as women, artists and immigrants that is certainly not a “feel good” marketing strategy.

Featuring a post-performance discussion on Thursday, March 1 in collaboration with Theater Scoutings Berlin!