Thomas Hürlimann

3 D, 5 H, St, 1 Dek.
UA: 14.09.1996 · Theater Neumarkt, Zürich · Directed by: Volker Hesse
DSE: 15.09.1996 · Niedersächsisches Staatstheater, Hannover · Directed by: Hartmut Wickert
In Kansas, the granary of America, the land of infinite fertility, nothing is growing anymore: the soil has been depleted by over-exploitation, it’s completely desolate. Carleton, agronomist, sent by the government in Washington, is coming with the assignment of solving the grain and drought problem. And Carleton solves it. He crosses the dry steppes and the ice deserts of Russia searching for the most resilient grain. With this Russian miracle wheat, America manages to eliminate hunger and unimagined riches flood the country. But abundance itself causes a new crisis. And again, Carleton is on the scene, again he embarks on a breakneck journey to lead America to salvation.

Thomas Hürlimann doesn’t tell this story as an uninterrupted fable, he shows in whose head it is created and sprawls. Dr. Gottfried Benn gets in deep with Carleton, who is restlessly wandering. Carleton, who is oscillating between behaving like a saviour and a farce of nothingness, fascinates him: the small official, who brought America unimaginable riches, isn’t cunning enough to participate in this prosperity.
At the same time, Dr. Benn is involved in another matter. Hürlimann’s play takes place in Berlin during a single night, the history-making night of 30 January 1933. During this night, Benn believes he is seeing signs of an awakening, a revolution; he believes in the dawn of a new era. But while the National Socialists parade outside, Benn drives his Carleton into a delirium, into the realms of delusion… By making Carleton rush through the world and letting Benn brood in his study, the Swiss playwright lets the myth of the 20th century, the dreams of grandeur and self-made salvation, emerge from the dark. (Bruno Hitz)
Translated into: English, French