Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Die Kunst war viel populärer, als ihr noch keine Künstler wart!

by René Pollesch

Theatres typically deal with the great issues. “Greed”, for instance, was a huge topic for theatre makers in an attempt to respond to the global financial crisis. Yet for quite some time, the big themes have been competing with the increasing universalisation of smaller ones, such as “creativity”. And it is the theatre makers themselves who have their share in these developments. The theatre is jointly responsible for the fact that the figure of the creative (self) represents the “new spirit of capitalism” (cf. Menke/Rebentisch, Kreation und Depression 2011), making personal qualities such as creativity, flexibility, and self-reliance into crucial requirements in today’s neo-liberal society. Only if, according to Luc Boltanski, you possess these qualities, you are able to take advantage of the opportunities the project-based form of capitalism offers in the 21st century.
The topics of creativity, mobility, flexibility, and self-reliance may not yet have attained the dramatic force and historical dimension of constructs like greed, hate, revenge, love, death, guilt or destiny. They are probably still too fresh, their articulation on stage is only just taking place in new presentational forms like the interactive theatre. As meta-texts, however, these themes have been around for quite a while. Still, theatre makers shy away from creativity and flexibility as subjects of negotiation, they rather keep focusing on greed, guilt or revenge. The reason for this is that theatre professionals have been trained to identify problems in such a way as to be able to easily dismiss and reject them.


With: Marlen Diekhoff, Christine Groß, Marc Hosemann, Silvia Rieger and Catrin Striebeck

Director: René Pollesch
Stage Designer: Bert Neumann
Costumes: Nina von Mechow
Light Design: Frank Novak, Torsten König
Dramaturgy: Aenne Quiñones

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