In the 2017 edition of the “Festival of International New Drama”, the Schaubühne Berlin highlighted the theme “Democracy and Tragedy”. The reciprocal relationship between democracy and tragedy has been with us since Greek antiquity. The sympathy, fear and anxiety caused by the conflicts depicted on stage were meant to purify the emotions of the citizenry and allow them to develop political awareness.
The invited theatre artists wished to examine the current status of democracy, its endangerment, its suppressed guilt and its contradictions. Based on the predominantly crisis-ridden diagnoses of the world’s present democracies, this project examined our political and social concepts of community and coexistence, and presented scenarios of how we might live in the future. Angélica Liddell’s piece was a gloomy, dystopian vision of a Europe which has completely shuttered itself from the outside world. Anne-Cécile Vandalem presented her tragicomedy on the theme of right-wing populism. Romeo Castellucci’s production delved deep into history, back to Alexis de Tocqueville, in order to gain a view of contemporary life and democracy in America. And Christophe Meierhans invited audience members to the kitchen table to test new forms of coexistence. All of the productions premiered for the very first time at the Berlin festival. The programme featured works ranging from straight plays and documentary theatre pieces to scenic installations and interdisciplinary formats.
Artistic director: Thomas Ostermeier
Participants: Romeo Castellucci (IT), Dead Centre (IE), Angélica Liddell (ES), Mapa Teatro (CO), Christoph Meierhans (CH), Sanja Mitrovic (CS), Milo Rau (CH), Anne-Cécile Vandalem (BE)