Play Drive. What Do the Classics Bring to the Stage?

Like no other city, Weimar stands for the tension between tradition and the present in culture. Here in particular, the relevance of tradition today is an ever-present question and perhaps a crucial one to survival in cultural and artistic work. The conference Play Drive. What Do the Classics Bring to the Stage? faces this fundamental situation by taking a risk: the risk of encountering this question with the diverse voices of extremely disparate theoretical and practical disciplines. On the one hand, this provides the opportunity for surprising connections and insights and, on the other hand, the possibility of incomprehension and the failure of the necessary "translation". What perspectives open up in the staging of so-called "classical texts" with and in addition to reconstruction and deconstruction, conservative faith to the original and subversive irony? How can the "brittleness" and "incom-pleteness" of classical dramas be made aesthetically productive against the power of tradition? What revolt still exists in these texts? What are the preconditions for giving this political revolt a voice in today's theater? Can classical texts play any role at all in this?

Play Drive. What Do the Classics Bring to the Stage? discusses these questions against the background of the development of a "post-dramatic" or "deconstructive" theater that has made visible on the stage the separation between the sign and the signified, between the statement and what is stated. Its horizon is and was irony, rupture, and disturbance, but also a kind of unending reflection in which no statement and no feeling has permanence in itself. The conference asks where this development is taking tomorrow's theater.

The starting point is Schiller's aesthetic theory, which has new relevance when read today. Jacques Rancière will introduce the conference with his ideas on "Politics and Aesthetics". Discussing with him will be Suzanne Barnard, Claudia Blümle, Anne Bogart, Gabriele Brandstetter, Simon Critchley, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Hans-Thies Lehmann, Christoph Menke, Nikolaus Müller-Schöll, Barbara Piatti, Juliane Rebentisch, Howard Rouse, Joseph Vogl, Nikolaus Wolcz, and Alenka Zupancic.

Curator: Felix Ensslin (Freelance Dramaturge, Author, and Director at the DNT)

In cooperation with the Bauhaus-University Weimar, the Kolleg Friedrich Nietzsche of the Weimar Classic Foundation, and Theater der Zeit.


Deutsches Nationaltheater (German National Theater) Weimar

Theaterplatz 2

99401 Weimar

Contact and information:
Dunja Funke (Project Management),

Tel: 03643-755-259,