A modified version of the notorious logo of «Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz» on a flag outside a house oppsite of the Volksbühne | Photo: Norbert Bayer
Linguistic, Performative

Volksbühne in Berlin: No consensus – but bonus material galore

After 25 years director Frank Castorf has to stop working at Berlin theatre «Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz» — more than a pardigm shift, but a warning to all of us and especially our politicians

Frank Castorf had to leave the Berlin theatre «Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz» as head of directors in the summer of 2017 after 25 years of successfully changing the aesthetics of postmodern theatre — and he and his team of directors and actors left after a fulminating season. For example Castorf himself directed a seven our long version of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s «Faust», were he integrated also questions of colonialism and Paul Celans «Todesfuge» among several other debates and sources.

Frank Castorf (* 1951 in Ost-Berlin) of Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz applaudes to his team to make it come back on stage after the last performance of his adaption of «Baumeister Sollness» by Henrik Ibsen, 1st of July 2017. | Photo: Norbert Bayer

Frank Castorf (* 1951 in Ost-Berlin) of Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz applaudes to his team to make it come back on stage after the last performance of his adaption of «Baumeister Sollness» by Henrik Ibsen, 1st of July 2017. | Photo: Norbert Bayer

On the photo above he stands under a flag with the so-called «Räuberrad» created by Bert Neumann (1960–2015) for the drama «Die Räuber» by Friedrich Schiller in 1992 which later turned into a logo for Volksbühne. It also stood as a sculpture in front of the theatre since end of June 2017, before it was taken away to make clear that the times there will have definitely changed when the new director will start working. The sculpture was taken on tour to the theatre festival in Avignon where the company played its very last shows early July 2017. It is planed to bring it back and then it has to be decided where it will be displayed. ⠀

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Archeological & Archival, Photography, Visual & Iconic

My view on art & culture in March 2017 in my private pictures & meandering words

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The entrance to the stage workshop of Volksbühne in Weissensee

The entrance to the stage workshop of Volksbühne in Weissensee

This is the entrance to the stage workshop of Volksbühne in Weissensee. ⠀
Volksbühne – so many memories are connected with it. ⠀
The fist time I was there was for the concert of the back then new band Tocotronic in August 1996. I didn’t live in Berlin and the internet as we know it now didn’t exist yet, so we just tried naively to get rest-tickets. Luckily it worked out and I didn’t have a reason to complain like the title of their back then just released album «Wir Kommen Um Uns Zu Beschweren» said it.
Many evenings to be remembered followed there. Also some sleep is envolved here, that comes with theatre productions lasting five hours or more. But over the years I got trained. How good the training was will be tested when I will hopefully get to see the latest staging of «Faust» by Frank Castorf which I was told goes at least for 8 if not for 10 hours even. ⠀
I will deeply miss the challenges the Volkbühne put me in – if the rumours of the announced changes will really become true. ⠀
In January I called them, because I had to cancel a ticket. The music they played while I was on hold was the word «Danke», sung by the choir of Volksbühne in a version of a German Christian hymn written by Martin Gotthard Schneider and one of the first songs in the genre later called new spiritual song. With the lines missing the message it seems to say: «Thanks for nothing!» – and rightly so, because we have to say thank you! ⠀
DANKE, VOLKSBÜHNE! • ⠀


Claudia Sarnthein's presentation «Von Alters her/ From the Old» at Künstlerhaus Bethanien

Claudia Sarnthein’s presentation «Von Alters her/ From the Old» at Künstlerhaus Bethanien

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