etb English
Theatre
Berlin
International Performing Arts Center




Blog Archive

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!

ts-logo-web

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 (www.playwrightswest.org) and works as a collaborating writer with the award-winning devised theater company Hand2Mouth Theater (http://www.hand2mouththeatre.org).

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.

www.andreastolowitz.com

Interdependency

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!

ts-logo-web

 

PEACE

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

Bring-A-Thing

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…

 

 

I Gave Him An Orchid

I gave him an orchid. I said I’m sorry I was weird with you but I had a difficult childhood.

I Gave Him An Orchid is an exploration of heart break now and then: In 1885 Sarah Henley throws herself off Bristol Suspension Bridge. She lives. In 2014 Sarah talks about it and other things that push us over the edge. It is not about suicide, well it is a bit, but it’s mainly about love and what it makes us do.

Sarah Calver is a British performer, writer and director of theater, now based in Berlin.  She trained at Lecoq and The Central School of Speech and Drama. She has experience and interest in devised and collaborative theater, physical theatre, puppetry and new writing. She has created and performed with companies including Fevered Sleep, Offstage, The National Theatre, Blind Summit, Tangled Feet, Made in China, FanShen, GameShow, Moving Dust, Gecko, The Wooster Group, Fabulous Beast and Old Vic New Voices.  Her writing includes Twelve Miles From Nowhere (nominated for 2012 Writers Guild Award), Piswer (Pulse Festival 2013) and I Gave Him An Orchid.

Flight of the Escales is an international theater collective. Founded by Sarah Calver (UK) and Marie Filippi (France) to act as a platform to get together, exchange ideas, practices and skills and create new work for ourselves and for an international audience. We are interested in good non-cluttered story-telling; in the theatrical and visceral, the epic and the simplistic; in trusting the performer and the audience; in the collaboration and in the play.

New Work From New People

New Work From New People is an evening featuring work by writers, actors and directors who are new to English Theatre Berlin and our community that THE LAB presents every six months, in addition to its regular monthly programming.

The August edition includes excerpts from:

The Saint Factory by Lavinia Abbott

Banking: A Ghost Story by Kishore Chakraborty

Satie et Cocteau: A Rehearsal of a Play of a Composer of a Poet by Mike Czuba

Das Traumkabarett by James Harris

Mundo Overloadus by Michael Lederer

 

Tip of the Iceberg: The Story of an American Obsession

by Liz Erber

lab31_tipoftheiceberg

A multi-media play, with an absurdist and darkly humorous look at modern life in the United States. Through text, movement, video and music we look into the lives of three individuals who are seemingly trapped by their own limited views of the world. One individual, WOMAN, is attempting to dream her way out.

Central to the characters’ lives is the story of iceberg lettuce – a story of modern American food (exported to the world), monoculture, marketing, modern economic colonialism and more.

Juxtaposed with this fictional story is the current reality of the actors’ lives in Berlin.