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Real news, real dramas

New plays on social and political themes distinguish the city’s theater offerings this month.

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Michiel Devijver

Photo by Michiel Devijver

New plays on social and political themes distinguish the city’s theater offerings this month.

Die Parallelwelt, written by Alexander Kerlin, Eva Verena Müller and director Kay Voges, will play simultaneously at the Berliner Ensemble and over 400 kilometres away at the Schauspiel Dortmund. The two acting ensembles will be performing and interacting with each other on two distant stages made to look identical. Voges is using VR technology to explore the digitalisation of society as well as of the theater. At Deutsches Theater, Andres Veiel, best known for his film Black Box BRD and his play/film Der Kick, picks up a theme so current he has to set the play in the future to cover it: the dissolution of the European Union. In Welche Zukunft?! Let Them Eat Money, Veiel and co-author Jutta Doberstein imagine it’s 2028, five years after Italy’s withdrawal from the EU. Despite the introduction of a universal basic income, the EU economy is withering. A committee convenes (we’re talking about the EU, after all) to examine the previous 10 years and figure out just what went wrong. Also premiering in September are three plays on gender politics. The Gorki is preoccupied with the #metoo movement: In Yes but No director Yael Ronen and her ensemble of actors draw on the cast’s own experiences and feelings to examine lust and its expression in the wake of #metoo. At Gorki’s Studio R, You Are Not the Hero of This Story, featuring some of the members of the refugee Exil Ensemble, uses the Genesis myth to explore the male response to #metoo. In contrast, at the Schaubühne, Milo Rau’s is the least contemporary of the aforementioned shows: Die Wiederholung goes all the way back to 2012 to examine a fatal gay bashing that took place in Liège, Belgium. He’ll be using an ensemble documentary approach that should make for interesting comparisons to Moisés Kaufman’s 2000 ensemble piece, The Laramie Project, which examined the 1998 murder of a gay student in Wyoming. The repetition referred to in Rau’s title might be a comment on the dreadful recurrence of such events – or on the lack of repetition in the discourse about society that makes these new works necessary.

Die Parallelwelt Sep 15, 20, 26, 19:30 (in German) Berliner Ensemble | Welche Zukunft?! Let Them Eat Money Sep 28, 19:30 (in German), Oct 3, 19:00 (English surtitles) Deutsches Theater | Yes but No Sep 7, 8, 13, 28, Oct 5, 29, 19:30 (English surtitles) Maxim Gorki Theater | You Are Not the Hero of This Story Sep 7, 18:00, 8, 13, 14, Oct 6, 20:30 (English surtitles) Maxim Gorki Theater | Die Wiederholung Sep 1, 4, 20:00 (French and Dutch, English and German surtitles) Schaubühne