by William Shakespeare. Based on the translation by August Wilhelm Schlegel. Adapted by Elisabeth Plessen.
A newly interpreted, abridged version of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, set to debut at the Lausitz Festival, aims to probe political and culture ruptures and place them in the context of Lausitz history and society. Shakespeare’s tragedy is often interpreted as a parable of clashing systems, symbolised by the republic under the assassinated Julius Caesar and the empire that followed under his successor Octavian. Based on this collision of divergent value systems, the play investigates the complicated political conflict and its cultural origins. It explores the contemporary, poetic character of upheaval – an upheaval that residents of the Lausitz region have also experienced, most recently in connection with the political revolution of 1989 and its drastic consequences, namely the mass exodus of the younger generation, impoverishment and social isolation. The town of Weißwasser was especially hard hit by this demographic shift, losing almost half of its population in the 1990s. The political upheaval gave rise to an even greater one – as Shakespeare’s piece demonstrates, the rejection of the old regime was ultimately an expression of a deeper cultural realignment. Not only did this transformation leave lasting scars in the Lausitz, but it also opened up new possibilities. The region involuntarily became an expert for structural change, a place from which other towns and communities in Germany can learn.
In cooperation with the National Theatre of Luxembourg, the reinterpretation of this Shakespearian piece will have amateur actors from Weißwasser collaborate with professional actors and theatre artists. Staged in a now defunct lightbulb factory, the performance will combine light installations with atmospheric acoustic elements.
Artistic director: Daniel Kühnel
Stage director: Stefan Pucher
Text version and dramaturgical assistance: Malte Ubenauf
Stage design: Nina Peller
Costume design: Annabelle Witt
Music: Christopher Uhe
Participants: Yorck Dippe, Sandra Gerling, Sachiko Hara, Josef Ostendorf, Bettina Stucky, Samuel Weiss
A coproduction with the Deutsches SchauSpielHaus Hamburg in cooperation with the Théâtre National du Luxembourg and the TELUX premises in Weißwasser
Theatre performances: Danner-Halle, TELUX premises, Weißwasser: 25–28 Aug. 2022; Deutsches SchauSpielHaus, Hamburg: 3 Sep. 2022; Théâtre National du Luxembourg: 2022/2023 season
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www.lausitz-festival.eu (external link, opens in a new window)