It’s the summer of 1989: After the death of his girlfriend, Edgar, a student of German philology from Halle, leaves his former life with a bag in his hand and his head full of the poet Georg Trakl. His destination is Hiddensee, the mythical island, virtually unattainable to the average GDR-citizen. Ed manages to get a job as a dishwasher at the inn “Zum Klausner”. Here he meets Alexander Krusowitsch, aka Kruso, who initiates him into the island’s secrets. Because Hiddensee is a beach for the stranded, for all those who place their hopes on the dangerous escape across the sea. Invisible to both the day tourists and the army, Kruso has infiltrated the island. His mission is a freedom beyond all systems and mainlands, his utopia is the island itself as a place outside of time. Ed, whose escape was rather to take him away from himself than to any specific place, becomes “Robinson” Kruso’s “Friday” for one summer. But inevitably, autumn comes. What was magnificent now seems ludicrous. Small, individual happiness becomes important. And he who has no house now, will belong to the floods.
Lutz Seiler’s “Kruso” is a major novel about the latter days of the GDR; the central image of the island serves as a spacious metaphor for disappearance. Seiler captures the contradictory nature of the Wall as both prison and as protection – protection less from potential enemies than from a different kind of era. Lutz Seiler received the 2014 German Book Prize for “Kruso”.
Director Armin Petras is particularly interested in exploring biographical disruptions of the kind that the protagonists of “Kruso” experience. His previous work as a director brought him to theatres like Schauspiel Frankfurt, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Maxim Gorki Theater and Münchner Kammerspiele. Petras’ productions were invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen in 2003 and 2004, and his plays, which he writes under the pseudonym of Fritz Kater, have won numerous awards.