“Fear or Love” is the motto of our current season. By pairing these two concepts, this great, maybe even greatest possible contradiction, we will attempt to capture the complex situation of our present times in a metaphor. This conceptual pair seems to us to describe the great emotions dominating the present times. In keeping with this motto, Schauspiel Leipzig will continue to explore the social and political upheavals of our times.
Many people in Germany, Europe and the world are ruled by feelings of insecurity and fear. At the same time, however, it is evident that the topic of fear is permanently used and exploited by politicians and the media. Anxieties are instrumentalized for political and commercial gain. But to which extent are these anxieties justified? And, above all, what will they lead to?
The agenda is set by politically incisive events like Brexit, the US-elections (including the causes and particularities of its outcome) or the developments in Turkey, Poland and Hungary. Brexit, as an emotionally driven decision with an entirely unresolved further organisation and outcome, can be seen as an almost symbolic trait of our times. And the narrow results with which these precedent-setting political and social issues are decided are another striking phenomenon of our present days. Choices are made between two camps of almost identical sizes, facing each other (before and after the event) in controversial opposition.
It has been a long time since economic growth and the living situations of many people in Germany have been this positive at the same time. And yet, there is a fear of social decline in this country, as well as a not inconsiderable number of people whose economic and private situation is not promising in the long run. Our lives take place before the backdrop of these contradictions, controversies and upheavals – and, as a consequence, so does our theatre. We want our theatre to contribute to the discussion of our present times. Our project “Gewonnene Illusionen” deals with the contradictions inherent in the way this present manifests itself quite tangibly in the city of Leipzig. It explores the realities and illusions, the upturns and disruptions, the winners and losers of the hype surrounding Leipzig.
Associate director Claudia Bauer will investigate the prototype of an egomaniacal power-monger in Alfred Jarry’s “König Ubu”, a play that is rapidly reclaiming topicality today.
The programme at the “Diskothek”-venue includes the world premiere of Enis Maci’s play “Lebendfallen”– a text that explores the contradictory lives of a young generation, caught between a sense of belonging and the experience of displacement. In the world premiere of Heinz Helle’s “eigentlich müssen wir tanzen”, a fictitious catastrophic scenario examines what happens when fear or love become existential. Elfriede Jelinek wrote “Wolken.Heim” in 1988, an ambivalent deep exploration of centuries of German intellectual history that truly warrants a new, contemporary interpretation.
The productions presented at the Residenz-venue will also be an element of our exploration of new creative and social visions. Selected European performance artists will address the economies of our social relationships, the role of the body in digital communication systems and the social-utopian potential of rhythmic dances. They will query the priority of private property in choric form and dance with machines. The audience is invited to join the companies in the newly designed ambience, to dance, debate, criticize and venture into new theatrical terrain.