funded by the Zero Fund

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Short description

The Landesbühnen Sachsen in Radebeul is producing the play “Unterleuten”, based on the eponymous novel by the German writer Juli Zeh. The environmentally sensitive interpretation will debut in Radebeul, followed by multiple guest performances staged elsewhere.

The theatrical adaptation by Ruth Heynen poses some pressing questions: Who does the world belong to? Who can buy it and who has the right to destroy it? These questions are explored against the backdrop of a fictitious village called Unterleuten in eastern Germany. The village is shaken by an existential crisis when an opportunity arises to avert financial ruin by building a wind farm.

Ralph Zeger, the set designer and head of the props department of the Landesbühnen Sachsen, is working to transform his institution into a green theatre by re-examining how sustainability was practiced in the past. Back in the times of former East Germany, residents often collected, swapped and reused items and materials. Living in a state of permanent shortage, people gained an appreciation for the principles of a circular economy.

The production is embedded in a new orientation at the Landesbühnen Sachsen. The concept includes partly reorganising the programme and activities as a travelling theatre in order to produce plays in a climate-neutral manner. The overarching question is what such environmentally friendly tours in rural areas can look like in practice.

This will entail making the public more aware of how much fuel and energy is required for sound, lighting and set construction, as well as finding sustainable forms of communication and advertising. With regard to “Unterleuten”, the set and costumes will be almost entirely made of recycled materials or reused from the theatre’s costume department or that of the other theatre. An installation in front of the theatre, comprised of discovered and abandoned objects, will serve as a monument to our society of affluence.


Landesbühnen Sachsen GmbH

Meißner Straße 152
01445 Radebeul
www.landesbuehnen-sachsen.de (external link, opens in a new window)