Gerhard Meister

2 D, 3 H
UA: 16.10.2008 · Theater Solothurn (in einer Koproduktion des Theater Marie mit Theater Biel Solothurn, Theater Tuchlaube Aarau, Schlachthaus Theater Bern und Kleintheater Luzern) · Directed by: Nils Torpus
"Friend, stop complaining - we're sailing to America
Soon you will have something in your stomach - America is close "

Imagine: the country is starving, and only those who leave their homeland on an unsafe ship have a chance to escape the misery. That which for us is an abstract thought experiment was brutal reality for the grandparents of our grandparents. Around the middle of the 19th century, bitter poverty prevailed in Europe. Capitalism had started its reign, but for many it meant only poverty and distress. Tens of thousands left their homeland each year in search of a better future. America was by far the most frequent destination.

Gerhard Meister's play tells the story of Annemarie and Michel, Erika, Hans and Christian, who have to leave their homeland for America. At the same time, he places the different continents and times on a spinning carrousel. America becomes Europe, Europe becomes Africa, and, not infrequently, Europe collides with Europe. The 19th and 21st centuries merge into an arc of colored and sometimes dramatic images. It may happen that the inhabitants of New York, at the beach on Coney Island with a vanilla ice-cream in their hands, meet swamped, half-dead emigrants who have been shipwrecked on their flight from Europe. And although it sometimes seems as if the author has finally been overcome by his imagination, the play America is based on events which have all occurred and are still happening.
Translated into: Russian, Spanish


Franz Kafka
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