Brennende Erde (UA)
A project by Regine Dura & Hans-Werner Kroesinger
One of the most important brown coal mining districts extends through the region around Leipzig. Since the 1920s, technological innovations like the bucket-wheel excavator have allowed extensive mining of natural resources in enormous opencast mines, which have caused lasting changes to the existing man-made landscape. Since brown coal mining and its associated industry were the main provider of energy, they were not called into question for decades. Throughout the political upheavals of the 20th century, they were a constant factor. The price to be paid were the destruction of wide areas of land as well as numerous collective and individual stories of resettlement processes. The memories of soot-blackened houses, noisy large mining machinery, dust-filled air, but also of stories of resistance, of weathered conflicts and experiences of community are still alive in many of the region’s inhabitants.
Today, this era of industrialism seems to be coming to an end. As part of the energy transition, many are calling for a quick end of dirty brown coal mining.
In the story of brown coal mining, political debates intersect at global and regional levels.
Regine Dura and Hans-Werner Kroesinger have been working together since the year 2000 and are counted among the most prominent representatives of contemporary documentary theatre. They have worked both in the German-language region (at theatres including Berlin’s HAU and Maxim Gorki Theater, Staatstheater Karlsruhe and Landestheater Linz) and internationally. Their production “Stolpersteine Staatstheater” was invited to the 2016 Berliner Theatertreffen. In their projects, which address issues ranging from German history to international conflicts, their aim is to “create theatrical accounts of wars, genocides or political decisions that span complex, historical arcs and, furthermore, develop a precise analysis of the political or economic interests involved.” “Brennende Erde” is their first production at Schauspiel Leipzig.