Guttenberg introduces the Theatertreffen
Dr., no, Herr Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the former German defense minister better known to some as Baron Cut-and-Paste, hasn’t had much to do since resigning recently in an overblown scandal, so he kindly offered his services to us as a guest blogger. In his first post, Guttenberg gives you, lovely reader, a high-octane English introduction to this year’s Theatertreffen – and be sure to check back, because he’ll return throughout the festival to offer his thoughts on the various productions and German theatre in general.
You simply cannot miss the 2011 Theatertreffen (“theatre meeting”)! This Berlin festival has been hosting this exhibition of the German language theatre landscape ever since 1964. Experience new trends and controversial themes from May 6-23 with the 10 most notable, outstanding, exciting and innovative productions from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Some complain that the Theatertreffen is just a hit parade of “winners” that reduces to losers the unnamed works not selected (often for political reasons). And every theatre studehttps://exberliner-admin.metropublisher.com/blogcenter/6a6bfae2-77e8-11e0-8520-123136004002/edit.htmlnt knows that German drama is more or less a comedy-free zone. Hell, let’s face it, some pieces can be difficult to watch.
But we shouldn’t let these spoil-sports ruin our fun. We can expect tt11 to be bigger, louder, and sillier than its predecessors. With their exhilarating action sequences, the artists defy the laws of gravity and dictates of narrative logic.
And even those who do not speak the Teutonic tongue will be able to sample their selection, as the festival reaches out by presenting five plays with English surtitles: Tchekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Testament (performed by Berlin’s own She She Pop), Mad Blood, The Beaver Coat, and Schiller’s classic Don Carlos.
My own personal favorite is Mad Blood (“Verrücktes Blut” in German), an exciting play about a female school teacher running amok by forcing her class to watch Schiller’s The Robbers at the point of a gun (May 11-14 in Ballhaus Naunynstraße, public viewing in the Sony Center on May 13). Don't forget to read Exberliner's interview with director Nurkan Erpulat.
Matt Cornish is a doctoral student currently living in Berlin; he works freelance as a critic and dramaturg, and is blogging the 2011 Theatertreffen festival at theatertreffen-blog.de.