“Titus Andronicus” is a play by William Shakespeare which he wrote at the end of the 16th century. In this farce about the clash of two cultures, Romans encounter the Goths, those “barbarians” who lack the civilized behaviour of the Greek-Roman Empire. The two groups find themselves ensnared in a vicious cycle of violence fed by prejudice, the thirst for revenge and the manic defence of their honour.
Together with the Teatr Polski in Wrocław, the Staatsschauspiel Dresden was developing a German-Polish co-production of the play, in which both the Roman civilization and the Gothic culture become involved in murderous intrigues. During several weeks of rehearsals, five Polish and five German actors, directed by Jan Klata, have examined the play’s relevance in contemporary culture. What characterizes the relationship between both countries today, on whose shared boundary the Germans launched their eastward invasion and ignited World War II? Who are the “barbarians”? Who are the vanquished? Why can foreignness incite hate and why do neighbours love hating each other so? How do we deal with the unfamiliar nowadays and how does it affect our concept of “civilization”?
Scientific and documentary events have accompanied the bilingual theatre project. Audiences had the chance to attend a dramaturgical introduction to the play, and all the performances in Wrocław and Dresden have been supplemented by scientific lectures in related disciplines, such as history, politics and archaeology. Furthermore, blogs, photos and films were used to document the “making of” the project. The accompanying programme included school workshops and game clubs.
Director: Jan Klata (PL)
Set, costume, light design: Justyna Łagowska (PL)
Choreography: Maćko Prusak (PL)
Dramaturgy: Ole Georg Graf
Premiere at the Teatr Polski Wrocław, Poland: 15 Sep. 2012
Premiere at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Kleines Haus: 28 Sep. 2012
Additional performances throughout the theatre season at both theatres