etb English
International Performing Arts Center

Blog Archive

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.


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.

Oury Jalloh – Oranienplatz – Ohlauer Strasse

The Impact of European Refugee Policy in Europe

Exhibition | Scenic Presentation | Panel Discussion

We commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the death-in-custody of Oury Jalloh with a day of art and action. The event includes a specially commissioned foyer exhibition, the official launch and scenic presentation of the play The Most Unsatisfied Town by Amy Evans, directed by Daniel Brunet, and a panel discussion moderated by Noa Ha, urban researcher (board member of Migrationsrat Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.), with Mouctar Bah, human rights activist (Initiative Oury Jalloh), Canan Bayram, politician (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen), Eddie Bruce-Jones, legal expert (Oury Jalloh International Independent Commission) and Mai Shutta, human rights activist & refugee (Oranienplatz & Ohlauer Straße).

In cooperation with Sharon Dodua Otoo, Witnessed Series and Africavenir





In the early hours of 7 January 2005, Oury Jalloh, a man seeking asylum from Sierra Leone, was apprehended by German police authorities in Dessau and shackled by his hands and feet to the floor of a cell furnished with nothing other than a fireproof mattress. Several hours later a fire broke out in the holding facility. Police authorities neglected to respond to fire alarms in a timely manner, and Oury Jalloh was left to burn to death in his cell. Three years later two of the police officers on duty at the time of the incident were prosecuted on charges of wrongful death. The defense argued that Oury Jalloh had intentionally set himself alight with a cigarette lighter concealed in his clothing. After a trial lasting over fifty days, the police officers were acquitted of any wrongdoing.

The Initiative Oury Jalloh, an organization founded by friends and family of the deceased, appealed the verdict, insisting that the trial in Dessau had been mishandled. Five years to the day of Oury Jalloh’s death, the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe overturned the verdict and re-opened the case against the police. This unprecedented decision brought urgent attention to the contentious triangle of asylum policy, racism, and police brutality in Germany and in the European Union as a whole.

The Most Unsatisfied Town by Amy Evans

Since his arrival in Germany as a refugee, Laurence has tried to do everything right, taking the kind of job no national would ever want and making friends with his neighbors, even the families of those who tease his children in school. He’s found the formula for survival, or so he thinks, until one day his closest friend mysteriously disappears. When the body turns up charred beyond recognition, a search for those responsible begins, forcing Laurence to take a closer look at the town he was so ready to call home.

Development of The Most Unsatisfied Town began in September 2009 at the ICI Berlin Institute of Cultural Inquiry and involved direct contact with activists working on the case, including Carl von Ossietzky award recipient Mouctar Bah and Yonas Endrias, Vice President of the Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte. A rough draft of the script was presented to the public in December 2009 at an open workshop hosted by the ICI Berlin, where audience members were encouraged to share their feedback on the work-in-progress. A revised draft of the play incorporating that feedback was presented to the public as a staged reading in April 2010. The script will be published in 2015 by Edition Assemblage as part of Witnessed, a series of new books chronicling the Black experience in Germany.

Amy Evans (playwright) is a New York-based playwright whose work explores the impact of borders, loss and movement on the human spirit. Amy began writing for the stage full-time following the premiere of her award-winning first play, Achidi J’s Final Hours, at the Finborough Theatre in London in 2004. Other plays include Many Men’s Wife (Tricycle Theatre), The Next Question (HB Playwrights Foundation), Unstoned (Soho Theatre), The Big Nickel (Soho Theatre) and The Champion, a new play inspired by the life of Nina Simone. She is an alumnus of the Institute of Cultural Inquiry Kulturlabor in Berlin, Hedgebrook Women Writers’ Residency, BRICStudio Performing Arts Residency and the Tricycle Theatre Writers’ Group. Amy’s plays and poetry have appeared in several publications, including Velocity: The Best of Apples and Snakes performance poetry anthology (Black Spring Press, 2003); Mythen, Masken, Subjekte: Kritische Weißseinforschung in Deutschland (Unrast, 2005), a multi-disciplinary publication on critical whiteness studies in Germany; and How Long Is Never? (Josef Weinberger, 2007), a collection of short plays written in response to the crisis in Darfur. She holds an MA in Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths College.

Sharon Dodua Otoo (Project Coordinator, Limited to You) is a Black British mother, activist, author and editor of the book series Witnessed. She co-edited the first publication of the series The Little Book of Big Visions. How to be an Artist and Revolutionise the World with Berlin-based curator Sandrine Micossé-Aikins (edition assemblage, 2012). Sharon’s first novella the things i am thinking while smiling politely was published in February 2012 (edition assemblage). The German language translation die dinge, die ich denke, während ich höflich lächle, appeared in October 2013. Her latest novella Synchronicity (in German) appeared in August 2014 and will be published in English at the end of 2015. She lives, laughs and works in 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

Berlin Circle

Berlin Circle begins with the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 at the Berliner Ensemble and ends with a custody battle over the infant Karl Marx Honecker…

This satirical look at the end of the Cold War through a vaudeville lens brings together the real figures of Heiner Müller, Warren Buffet and Erich Honecker with a host of fictional ones to ask whether this war actually had a victor…

Inspired by The Chalk Circle (Huilan ji) a Chinese zaju play by Li Qianfu, written in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), which inspired The Chalk Circle by the German poet Klabund, which inspired Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, which inspired the Beijing opera production of Huilan ji by Hu Zhifeng.

True to the spirit of the playwright, who claims “there is no such thing as an original play”, Berlin Circle serves as the point of departure for our larger project 25 Jahre Mauerfall or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Ossis/Wessis and the themes contained within it served as inspiration for We Are the Play by SISYPHOS, DER FLUGELEFANT (SdF) and Nasty Peace by copy & waste.

This scenic presentation offers the opportunity of experiencing Mee’s urtext before attending these dynamic, site-specific performances.

Charles_L_MeeCharles Mee has written Big Love and True Love and First Love, bobrauschenbergamerica and Hotel Cassiopeia, Orestes 2.0 and Trojan Women A Love Story, and Summertime and Wintertime among other plays–all of them available on the internet at, and, as a free iPhone app at the iPhone app store.

His plays have been performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, American Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, the Public Theatre, Lincoln Center, the Humana Festival, Steppenwolf, and other places in the United States as well as in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Brussels, Vienna, Istanbul and elsewhere.

He was honored with a full season of his plays at the Signature Theatre. Among other awards, he is the recipient of the gold medal for lifetime achievement in drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, two Obies, of a Laura Pels Award, the Booth Award, and of the Richard B. Fisher Award.

He is also the author of a number of books of history (Meeting at Potsdam, The Marshall Plan, The End of Order) that have been selections of the Book of the Month Club and the History Book Club. He is the former editor-in-chief of Horizon magazine, a magazine of history, art, literature, and the fine arts. And he is a lifetime trustee of the Washington think tank, The Urban Institute.

His work is made possible by the support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher and Richard B. Fisher.

Southern Promises

When the master of the plantation dies, he wills his slaves to be freed, but his wife doesn’t think that good property should be squandered. Pandemonium ensues. The play is inspired by the true story of Henry Box Brown who escaped to the north by mailing himself in a box.

Thomas Bradshaw’s plays have been produced at regional theaters, in NYC as well as in Europe. In 2012, the Flea Theater successfully produced his play Job and in 2011, his play Burning ran to rave reviews at the New Group/NYC and the Goodman Theater produced his play Mary, which they had previously commissioned. His play The Bereaved, produced by Partial Comfort, was named one of the Best Plays of 2009 in Time Out New York and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. The Bereaved was subsequently produced at The State Theater Of Bielefeld in Germany and presented in Berlin. In 2008, two of his plays premiered in NYC: Southern Promises, at Performance Space 122 in September, and Dawn, at The Flea Theater in November, and both were listed among the Best Performances of Stage and Screen for 2008 in The New Yorker. His plays Purity, Prophet, and Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist and Cleansed were produced in NYC. A German translation of Dawn was presented at Theater Bielefeld in Germany in October 2008 and published by Theater Der Zeit in that same month. Mr. Bradshaw received his M.F.A. from Mac Wellman’s playwriting program and is Professor of Playwriting at Northwestern University.