etb English
International Performing Arts Center

Blog Archive

THE LAB: Shame

Shitting, farting, STDs, growing old, class shaming, language shaming…we all shame ourselves.

Shame connects and disconnects. Shame is collective, but isolates. Shame is private and political/public. Shame flows between me and others, past and future, childhood and adulthood. Shame is hiding, shame is control, social and individual control.

The play stages the stories of the actor and contemporary social and politic events.

With masks and puppets, drag and glitter, let’s all shame ourselves!

Followed by a post-performance discussion.

We are very pleased to present this initial public performance of a new work-in-progress by the team who brought Baba to the 2016 Expat Expo | Immigrant Invasion Festival!

The Color of Honey

The Color of Honey is a glimpse into the daily life of a woman who finds herself a stranger in a strange land.

The story, based on the writer’s experience, explores themes of isolation, privacy, memory, loss and love. The woman in the play envisions a place far away from everything she knows, only to find her fears are not so easy to shake. Coming to Berlin full of hope and with a thirst for discovery, she now finds herself unable to leave her apartment. When her upstairs neighbor falls to his death, a sense of anxiety renders her even more alone, locked inside, communicating only with a dead man. As an alien in a city foreign to her, a city so full of unshakable history and with a spectral quality, where spirits are everywhere, Berlin seeps through the walls of her apartment and she is confronted by the very questions she wishes to hide from.

In The Color of Honey, we put the city on the stage, the woman on the stage and the woman in the city on the stage. Although the woman has already arrived, she still finds herself preparing for a move of huge proportions. It is up to her to come to terms with her next step. Will she survive? Or, like the neighbor upstairs, will she fall down?

After presenting an initial version in the 2014 Expat Expo | Immigrant Invasion festival, we are very pleased to welcome back The Color of Honey in a new and substantially further developed form.

The Ermine

In 1934 in Berlin, a furrier designed a coat for the wife of a man who would become one of the world’s most notorious war criminals.

In 2005 in Bali, Ben, the great-grandson of the man who tailored his last coat before perishing in Chelmno meets Elsa, the daughter of the coat’s wearer who has been trying to escape her father’s legacy for over 40 years. Over the course of one evening, they engage in a confrontation over the fate of this coat on what happens to be one of the darkest nights in Indonesian memory.

Followed by a post-performance discussion

Daniel Sauermilch is a playwright from Brooklyn, New York. His plays have been developed at Second Stage, The SUNY Potsdam Arts Festival, PTP/NYC, The Kennedy Center, The Boston Theater Marathon and Living Room Productions in Berlin. His work has also won the John Cauble Short Play Award and been a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award. He began writing as a part of the Manhattan Theatre Club’s Write Now program, taught by David Auburn and Chris Ceraso. He currently lives in Berlin. B.A., Middlebury College and King’s College London.


Women On A Mound

A woman is on stage.


What do we notice? What do we like? What do we see? Who is she? Does she have ambition? Does she belong? What is her status? Did she party last night?

Should she tell us a story? Sing a song?


Women on a Mound is a theatrical experiment, a choose-your-own-adventure inspired experience.


The performer asks questions. The audience answers. Partially improvised, part game show, part monologue.

Let’s get to know her. Would she complain if she was on the middle seat of a plane?

Followed by a post-performance discussion in cooperation with Theater Scoutings Berlin!


A Date With Catherine Duquette

A Date With Catherine Duquette is a live game / an improvised speed-dating event / a quest to find love in one hour or less!

This participatory performance explores love and attraction and the personas by which we pursue them. Catherine Duquette has created four distinct dating profiles based on four personas abstracted from her everyday identity.

YOU the audience are her date. You are full of possibility. You are an invitation for an intimate encounter, self-projection, or an awkward exchange. YOU the audience are also her competition. You are her gauge. You are an invitation for self-evaluation and self-deprecation.

YOU shape the way Catherine’s story unfolds. Laugh, lie, dance, and sigh. Expect to make one hot mess. Together, you and Catherine will explore the modern search for timeless romance.

This work springs from the idea that social media and online dating sites have changed the way many of us look at love. Such platforms have created a hypermarket of desire, where users perform agency in the vast assemblage of potential mates. Users curate personal profiles, often tendering the best, most marketable versions of themselves, while identifying desirable partner attributes and browsing their options. Despite a clear commodification of self and relationships, we cannot dismiss online romance altogether as a mere commodified process of the “real thing”. In fact, its systems of commodification may help us understand and come to terms with the exact nature of attraction and the complexities of self-identification. Join Catherine to navigate love through a contemporary lens.

In a time dominated by social media, rapid data consumption and curated identities, Berlin-based performer and writer Catherine Duquette strives for closeness and connection. She specializes in audience-performer relationships, movement and improvisational scores. Her performances exact moments of heightened awareness and honesty on stage in an effort to dissolve the barriers that shape how we perceive and (dis)connect with the world around us. Her solo work has been supported by MOMENTUM Berlin, English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, a Fulbright Fellowship in Spain, the International Festival of the Delphic Games in Greece and the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley, California. Catherine studied theater at Arizona State University and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England. She earned her master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University prior to relocating to Germany. Despite frequent moves, Catherine calls the Sonoran Desert of Arizona home.

Schlüterstrasse 27

The very first presentation of a new work-in-progress by Andrea Stolowitz, our 2015 Playwright-in-Residence, followed by a post-performance discussion.

In 1936 Dr. Max Cohnreich escapes Berlin, Germany and arrives in NYC settling there with his immediate family. In 1939 he writes about his experiences in a diary. In 2013 his great-granddaughter finds the diary at the archives at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2015 she travels to Berlin to find clues about the life he describes and the people she never knew. The parallel lives of the characters create a narrative about the search for home and family which operates at the border of reality and memory and the intersection of national history and private lives.

andrea stolowitzAndrea Stolowitz’s plays have been presented at The Cherry Lane (NYC), The Old Globe (SD), The Long Wharf (CT), New York Stage and Film (NY), and Portland Center Stage (OR). The LA Times calls her work “heartbreaking” and the Orange County Register characterizes her approach as a “brave refusal to sugarcoat…issues and tough decisions.”

A recipient of Artists Repertory Theater’s $25,000 New Play Commission, Andrea premiered her newest work Ithaka at the theater in 2013. The play had its mid-west premiere in Chicago in 2014 at Infusion Theater.

Andrea’s play Antarktikos was awarded the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Drama and was published in July in Theatre Forum magazine. The play world-premiered at The Pittsburgh Playhouse in March 2013 and was workshopped at The New Harmony Project (IN), Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival, and at Seattle Repertory Theater.

Knowing Cairo received its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre, which earned San Diego’s “Billie” Best New Play Award and an LA Times’ Critic’s Pick. It is published by Playscripts Inc. and continues to be produced nationally and internationally. It was presented at Profile Theater (OR) in 2013.

Tales of Doomed Love premiered in Washington, DC at The Studio Theater. As part of the 2008 Fringe Festival, DC Theater Scene called it “one of the finest entries in the Capital Fringe” and the Triangle Independent named its production at StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance (Chapel Hill, NC) “best new play.”

Andrea is a founding member of the playwrights collective Playwrights West ( and works as a collaborating writer with the award-winning devised theater company Hand2Mouth Theater (

A Walter E. Dakin Fellow at The Sewanee Writers Conference, Andrea has also been awarded residencies at Ledig House, Soapstone, and Hedgebrook, and Arts Grants from North Carolina, Oregon, and private foundations. She is a 2013 Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship winner.

An MFA playwriting alumna of UC-San Diego, Andrea has served on the faculties at Willamette University, The University of Portland, Duke University and UC-San Diego.


Interdependency is the first presentation of an exploration into Isaac Asimov’s short story “The Last Question”, looking at our desire for completion and dependence in the relationship between human and technology.

Featuring a post-performance discussion as part of Theater Scoutings Berlin!




by Lydia Stryk

How can peace ever be out of fashion?

The pacifists have been silenced by ISIS on the march, images of beheadings. But there have always been those fighting for peace, in their tiny cells, scattered across democracies around the world. Even when military aggression seems to be the popular answer to the ills of the world, they carry on believing in an alternative reality.

Peace, a very dark comedy by Lydia Stryk, is set in the meeting room of a peace group at the dawn of the Drone Wars. The play asks what exactly is peace? Can it be willed into existence? In ourselves? With those closest to us, let alone, in the world?

“As the Iraq war escalated, I began receiving almost daily emails from a peace group in a sizeable college town. I was struck by the group’s impassioned steadfastness and the enormous commitment of time and energy their constant activities implied. They never let up (and still haven’t). I began to wonder how they carried on, not giving in to despair or cynicism. I had the feeling I might write about a group like them one day, to cheer myself up, to inspire, let’s say, hope. That day came one summer, over a decade into the demoralizing war on terror. But the way the play evolved surprised me. These were not necessarily the characters I had in mind! This was not the way the story should unfold! The peace group battling inside me had taken on its own life. But the play is dedicated, with thanks, to those who go on, regardless of the odds, for the sake of peace.”     – Lydia Stryk

With the scenic presentation of Peace we continue our collaboration with Berlin-based U.S. playwright Lydia Stryk.

Lydia Stryk LongLydia Stryk was born in DeKalb, Illinois, birthplace of barbed wire and is now based in Berlin. She is the author of over a dozen full-length plays including Monte Carlo, The House of Lily, The Glamour House, American Tet and An Accident, which have been part of festivals around the United States and produced at, among others, Denver Center Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago), Victory Gardens (Chicago), 7 Stages Theater (Atlanta), The Contemporary American Theatre Festival (Sheperdstown, West Virginia), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), and in Germany at Schauspiel Essen, Theaterhaus Stuttgart and English Theatre Berlin and featured at Biennale Bonn.  Lydia Stryk´s plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing and Dramatists Play Service and translated into German by Per Lauke Verlag, Hamburg. She has been commissioned by Pittsburgh Public Theatre and Geva Theatre, Rochester and is the recipient of a Berrilla Kerr Playwright Award and the 2010 Rella Lossy Playwriting Award.

English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center produced Lydia Stryk´s American Tet in November 2008 and the world premiere of her play Lady Lay in 2011/12.

Headshot photo: Nancy Barnicle

The City Ghettos of Today: Uninhabited Island

This installation and performance constitute the sixth stage of the trans-European project The City Ghettos of Today: Exploring the Memory and Present Day Reality of Migrant Communities in European Cities.

At the heart of the project The City Ghettos of Today is a desire to redefine and reexamine the concept “ghetto” in the context of today’s closed migrant districts. Through artistic creation and sociological research, we aim to create a space in which to examine and discuss the multiple stories emanating from Europe’s migrant “ghettos”. How do we talk about “ghettos” today? Is it possible – and even necessary – to redefine the word in a manner that more accurately reflects the multiple realities that constitute our contemporary urban landscapes? What role do “ghettos” play in constructing a European identity? What factors contribute to phenomena of “ghettoization” in contemporary Europe? What are the dynamics that contribute to the implantation of migrant communities throughout Europe today and how do they connect to the collective memory of Europe’s past?

The City Ghettos of Today entails a series of workshops open to local communities in different European cities – Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp. Run by artists and cultural actors, each workshop installment will conclude with an art installation and public debate on the project’s themes in each of the cities listed above. This European collaboration will conclude in Warsaw in December 2014 with a large-scale installation-performance and debate that will bring together materials culled from each of the participating city workshops. The project unites artists, cultural actors, academics and social workers in order to explore the broad themes of “ghetto” and “migration districts” in participating European cities. The City Ghettos of Today reflects the interdisciplinary dimension of the Strefa WolnoSlowa foundation, which combines academic and theoretical methodologies with practices of artistic and cultural creation. Through artistic reflection and intellectual research, this collaborative project seeks to unravel the complex and problematical theme of “migrant ghettos” in contemporary Europe, paying particular attention to various definitions and visions of ghettos within the contexts of Warsaw, Paris, Bologna, Milan, Helsinki, Berlin and Antwerp.

The City Ghettos of Today in Berlin: Uninhabited Island

November 4 – 13, 2014

Uninhabited Island situates The City Ghettos of Today in the Berlin site-specific context of a rapidly changing city, from the “Cinderella” of European capitals back in the 1990s to the present “place to be”. The focus will be placed on the urban and social changes which are currently affecting the city, such as gentrification and the resulting displacement of low-income inhabitants, often including those with a “migration background”. Former immigrant and poor districts often associated with the idea of “ghetto”, like Kreuzberg or Neukölln, have received unprecedented hype and developed into magnets for tourists and real estate investors during the last five years.

Over the course of this, these districts, once the furthest limits of West Berlin and now central districts in the reunified German capital, have been increasingly populated by a new wave of immigrants. These newcomers, primarily from comparatively rich Western countries, active in the creative industries and often using English, not German, as a working language stand in stark contrast both to the pre-war German residents of Kreuzberg and Neukölln as well as the first wave of post-war immigrants, coming primarily from Turkey through a guest worker program established by West Berlin.

How do these distinct groups see themselves today? How do they see each other? Can they even communicate? 25 years after the Fall of the Wall, Berlin is still an island. An island full of existing inhabitants and constantly arriving new inhabitants. An island whose international glamorization and hyping in recent years have radically transformed living conditions in these previously impoverished, primarily migrant districts in the form of unsustainably increasing rental costs. An island that everyone wants to obtain or defend a piece of. The “struggle” for the island will be examined with representatives from these various groups through laboratories and workshops.

The Berlin-based part of the project is organized in cooperation with English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, OnElf Theater and Performance Collective, European Alternatives and Tanz der Kulturen e.V.

  1. Artistic Workshops: Creating Uninhabited Island

Beginning on November 4, the international artistic team of The City Ghettos of Today from Poland, Italy, Finland and France together with the local partners English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts and OnElf Theater and Performance Collective will invite an heterogeneous group of participants based in Berlin, old and new Berliners, from Germany and from beyond, to work and reflect on the changing living and social conditions in the city. Starting from the stories and biography of the participants as a representative “sample” of contemporary Berliners and in a provocative relation with one another, a collective, controversial and complex portrait of the city will be created and strategies and desires for a common future will be rehearsed.

The results of this collective undertaking will be presented on Thursday, November 13 at 8:00 pm at English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center.

Workshops will be led an artistic project team consisting of: Pietro Floridia (Cantieri Meticci, Bologna), Alicja Borkowska (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Daniel Brunet (English Theatre Berlin | IPAC), Elena Basteri, Christian, Willhelm and Johannes Kup (OnElf Theatre and Performance Collective), Mehmet Ballikaya (Tanz der Kulturen), Linda Fahssis (Cie Check Points, Paris), Tomasz Gromadka (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Piotr Mikuć (Strefa WolnoSłowa, Warsaw), Marek Płuciennik (Ptarmigan, Helsinki), Alejandro Olarte (University of Arts of Helsinki – Center for Music and Technology)


  1. Debate: Gentrification? It’s the Art, Stupid!


When: November 8, 2014, 4:30 pm

Where: English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965, Berlin

Moderated by sociologist Baris Ulker of Technical University Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies, artists, activists and academics will discuss Berlin, gentrification, social and urban change as well as the role of the artist as both catalyst of gentrification and as producer of alternative spaces and counter narratives of the urban and social environment.

Participants: Baris Ülker (Technische Universität Berlin, Center for Metropolitan Studies), Elena Basteri (Onelf Theater and Performance Collective Berlin), Renata Włoch (Sociology Institute of Warsaw University), Daniel Brunet (English Theatre Berlin | IPAC), copy & waste, Michelle Teran, Helga Dressel (Co-curator of the project Haus der 28. Türen),


  1. Spotlight on the Installation


When: November 13, 2014, 8:00 pm

Where: English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965, Berlin

Admission to all events is free of charge.

This project is financially supported by the European Commission – Program Europe for Citizens and co-financed by the Evens Foundation

Logotyp_Europa dla Obywateli Logotyp_Evens Foundation


What the hell is Bring-A-Thing???

Oskar Brown’s 100% improvised storytelling madness. YOU, the audience, bring a “THING”. It can be any “THING”, from the mundane to the unmentionable.

You place the “THING” in the cardboard box on stage, take your seat and let Oskar Brown transport you into his wacky world. Everyone should bring a “THING” and be ready for everything, because anything can happen. Don’t worry! Every “THING” will be returned after the show. Unbroken, undamaged, unconsumed and unsexed…

“He is gifted in his ability to craft imagery with words and a pretty charming and engaging way of going about it. It is an hour show that feels like 10 minutes, leaving everyone wanting more.” (Broadway World Magazine)


Still confused? Let Oskar tell you more…