On this season’s motto

As in previous years, we would like to adopt a motto for the season ahead of us: ME ME ME ME ME.
It is remarkable how individualistic attitudes have been gaining in significance recently. Little else seems as attractive as an insistence on individual interests – on the personal or professional level, but no less within political debate.

Theories serving the principles of isolation and the significance of interests with a national focus are on trend. Whether in the realm of economics or society, these positions promise to bring about improvement in a wide range of problematic issues by ‘paying attention to only ourselves again’. Over and over, we are presented with a picture that outlines ‘the other’ as our competitor. As a counter-strategy, the ideal of national self-reliance is claimed to offer the solution.

Political strategies like this continue a trend that can also be observed on the social level: We are repeatedly confronted with a notion of the absoluteness of one’s own convictions, accompanied by the denigration of alternative points of view. It has become difficult to find a common ground of understanding in society. Generally binding facts or circumstances are questioned or denied outright. Instead, a multitude of perceived truths and alternative realities stand in harsh juxtaposition. This polarisation of opinions is causing an increasing fragmentation of society. And not only concerning the climate of our lives together and the possibilities of political or social debate, but also with reference to subjective environments and ways of life.

Economic competition is becoming a competition of personalities: This emphasis on individuality reaches new heights when personal fulfillment is seen less as an opportunity than as a categorical contest. The globalised market-place of opportunities is open 24/7 – and this has an impact on us all. Frustration has become a constant companion in our times, to say nothing of actually failing in a society that no longer makes provision for failure.

Before the backdrop of these social and political phenomena, of tendencies towards a fragmentation into split convictions and parallel realms of experience, the theatre is one of the forums where society can meet and acknowledge itself in all its plurality and variety. And one of the forums for discussion and debate. In the 2018/19 season, we will continue the accompanying expert talks at Schauspiel Leipzig.