your palaces are empty (all we ever wanted)

funded by the Zero Fund

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Project description

With its production of Thomas Köck’s “your palaces are empty (all we ever wanted)” at the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam, director Moritz Peters draws attention to human-caused climate change and its origins in European colonialism.

The play, featuring the theatre’s chorus and commissioned music by composer Fabian Kuss, begins in an apocalyptic future with no humans. They have gone extinct, doomed by their greed and expansionism. Nature has since filled the void. A nameless first-person protagonist strolls through the ruins of abandoned palaces – the former centres of power. Köck takes the audience on a poetic, rhythmic-musical journey, interweaving the history of human progress in overlapping narrative layers and lands deep in the heart of European colonialism. He outlines the impact that systematic exploitation has had – not only on humans, but also nature. The play investigates how humans handle crises, antiquated images of power and the question of guilt and responsibility. It asks where one can still find hope and what forms of action or resistance can take shape in the individual and the collective.

The production’s environmental challenges result from heating and illuminating the rehearsal stage and the planned venue “Reithalle”, a historic, landmark-protected building with poor insulation. Half the material for the costumes will come from its own stock, while the other half will be made of recycled, easily recyclable or renewable materials. The project will be accompanied by experts from the IASS – Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.


Hans Otto Theater

Schiffbauergasse 11
14467 Potsdam (external link, opens in a new window)