Handle with Care

Eine praktische Anleitung
Gob Squad (Berlin) & Leipzig neighbours / Artists in Residence
„Stories bring us together, untold stories keep us apart.“ – Elif Shafak: How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division
„When you’re sad, lonely or completely overwhelmed, then grandma, dad, your best friend or your neighbour steps in to make you a hearty soup. Together, you savour its warmth as you start to put the world to rights... If only! Most of us live far away from this fictional grandma or family, don’t even know the name of the supposedly friendly neighbour, and the best friend has their own shit to deal with.“ – Gob Squad

In a world which puts capital over care, the German-British collective Gob Squad decided to get to know the neighbourhood. Together with local guests, Gob Squad takes over Residenz to cook, talk, eat and sing together – and to ask under what circumstances people can come together. “Handle with Care” is in search of new communities and new approaches towards a better world.

Instead of fleeting encounters, Gob Squad is focusing on developing longer-term relationships and sharing authorship with our guest collaborators. The project focuses on questions of participation, empathy and responsibility: who owns what and why? Who listens to whom and who is not heard? Who cares about what, and who cares about whom? What form does that care take? And why does this work so often take place in secret?
Gob Squad opens the doors of the theatre and look for ways to transcend barriers of language, class, age, culture and other demographics: What can be done here together? “Handle with Care” tries to think of cultural participation, entertainment and experimental theatre together and create a situation that connects instead of dividing people. Ideally, a community grows that expands over the course of the evening to such an extent that guests and hosts can no longer be distinguished from one another. Everyone helps out.

Gob Squad are a British-German collective from Berlin who have been working together on live performances between theater, art and media since 1994. In search of beauty and relevance in the everyday, they place their works both in theaters and in the midst of urban life. Utopian scenarios meet the reality of a concrete situation, the outcome of which is often uncertain. By creating alternative meeting spaces and formats, Gob Squad have been contributing to breaking down interpersonal barriers since their beginnings. Gob Squad most recently co-produced "1984 - Back to No Future" with the Residence.

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Leipzig-Premiere on 25.01.2024


Concept & Direction: Gob Squad
Performed and devised by: Johanna Freiburg, Haifa, Sean Patten, Salma Salaheldin, Sharon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Neam Tarek, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost, Simon Will
ChorAlle ZEOK e.V.: Isabel Herling (Organisation), Shira Bitan (Leitung), Teresa, Natalie Adakh, Chiara Huerta Delacor, Rudaba Badakhshi, Christopher Brückmann, Melanie Grieser, Katrin Pausch, Andreea Moises, Olga Taschirewa, Francillia Soazara, Martin Rosenbaum, Marcus Fischer, Miriam Moch, Michal Greenberg, Susan Herling, Gal Levy
Kültür Kollektiv Leipzig e.V.: Selda Işkın Çolak (Leitung), Öznur Özkaya, Francis Grey, Gülceren Tepe, Can Doğan, Cornelia Klippenstein, Emre Çolak
Das Japanische Haus e.V./ponpoco: Ikuko Komiyama, Mayuko Yamamoto, Mako Fukuda, Ryo Hiratoko, Miyu Matsuki, Olesia Dmitrieva, Kenji Kagenishi
Haus der Begegnung VILLA e.V.: Betty Gruender (Leitung), Sylvia Sekul, Mathilda Feske (Praktikum), Renate Wachowiak
Café kaputt und leben.lernen.leipzig e.V.: Lisa Kuhley (Mitglied Organisationsteam)
Sound Design: Manuela Schininà
Video Design: Miles Chalcraft, Noam Gorbat
Costume Design: Emma Cattell, Sarah Thom
Set Design and Technical Management: Amina Nouns
Lighting Design: Max Wegner
Dramaturgy and Production: Christina Runge
Artistic Collaboration: Nora Vollmond
Outreach & Coordination Leipzig: Christopher Utpadel, Salma Salaheldin
Produktion assistance Leipzig: Helene v. Schirach
Hospitancy Leipzig: Sanja Heitsch
Intern Direction Berlin: Felix Zilles-Perels
Intern Costumes Berlin: Bita Asadi
Intern Video Berlin: Eliana Malena Bussas
Company Management: Marta Hewelt
Funding & Financial Planning: Caroline Gentz, Eva Hartmann (bis Juli 2023)
Touring & Public Relations: Talea Schuré
Financial Planning & Production: Grischa Schwiegk

Handle with Care is a production by Gob Squad. In Coproduction with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Schauspiel Leipzig and HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden.

Supported by Senatsverwaltung fuer Kultur und Gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt and Fonds Darstellende Kuenste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Gob Squad is regularly funded by the state of Berlin (2020 – 2023), Chancellery of the Berlin Senate for Culture and Europe.

With special thanks to Rhiannon White from the British artists' collective Common Wealth for their ongoing advice and professional support in all matters relating to the development of Handle with Care; as well as Stella Konstantinou and the team from HAU to connect, HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin's outreach programme, whose practice we are building on.