Niels Höpfner

Die Dressur
Schauspiel in 24 Szenen
8 H, Verwandlungsdek
frei zur UA
Ratte is the new pupil in a 1970s children’s home. He is faced with educators who believe uniformity to be the only guarantee for an undamaged group. And he meets young people who are cast out from society: because they are born out of wedlock, because they abandoned their apprenticeship, because their only way to get some attention was petty crime.
Ratte has to have his hair cut, Boa is caught after another attempt to run away, Snail, Wolf and Jellyfish discover sniffing as a way to escape in their own minds. All of them become stunted doing their work: they have to twist ballpoint pens together.
Only young pedagogue Kauz tries to replace the old ways with new measures through group therapy and one-to-one conversations. Inspired by him, the youths rebel. But the rigid system is still too powerful: Ratte betrays ringleader Wolf because they promise he can leave the home one year early. The revolution leads to a fatal catastrophe.

Inspired by Ulrike Meinhof’s Bambule, Nils Höpfner criticises the inhumane methods of an education that has as its main goal the breaking of the indivdual's will. His “Play for the Present Time” is also an example of how hard it is for new insights to assert themselves in the face of convenient old habits.