Discussing gentrification has become a Berlin cliché, but Schumacher’s company Post Theater uses the topic to raise an even more basic question: what kind of world do we want to live in? Their answer is the “house of hope”: a rotating, egalitarian, utopian space.
What was the impetus behind this project? How much do you want to share and with whom?
People who want to live in a city want the diversity. At the same time, there is a difference between this theoretical approach to diversity and a practical one. Otherwise, people wouldn’t go to clubs or restaurants where there are only people like them. One of my favourite restaurants in Berlin is the IKEA restaurant. I don’t like the food, but it’s one of the very few eating places where you have the entire population of Berlin, mirrored. If you want to see who really lives in Berlin, you can’t go to your cool Neukölln locavore blah blah restaurant; you have to go to IKEA.
Why use theatre to talk about gentriﬁcation?
Theatre is about people. You have all kinds of different people; how do you bring them together on stage? One way is to have all kinds of different scenes with all kinds of different characters, which is what we do. We have these lecture parts in order to frame the scenes and to explain the issue. I’m not saying gentriﬁcation is the easiest subject matter for theatre. Maybe it’s too big a topic. But I think in theatre, because you can fictionalise and dramatise it, you have a chance to really get a new perspective. And that’s what theatre should do: not just explore new topics, but discover new approaches to or perspectives on known topics.
Is “The House of Hope” somewhere you really want to live?
My wife doesn’t want to move in there. But I do. Fortunately it’s not a serious question.
HOUSE OF HOPE Mar 9- 12, 20:00 | Theaterdiscounter, Klosterstr. 44, S+U-Bhf Alexanderplatz.