Day begone! – The long night of the Hessian Theatre Academy

TiL studio, Löbershof 8 // 23 June 2013, 19.00 h

By and with students from the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies Giessen (Institut für Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft Gießen, ATW), the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main, HfMDK) and the Offenbach University of Art and Design (Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main, HfG) as well as their guests. 

Mattis Kuhn (HfG)

HERZ WOYZECK (Woyzeck’s Heart)

Subject Woyzeck. An interesting case of anatomical theatre. Dead. Alive in death-defying art. Based on an assessment of Woyzeck’s accountability and death by stabbing in front of thousands of onlookers in 1824. Reduced to a heart. Resurrected around 1900. By an “operator” – Alban Berg. A long-lived opera, an interlinear version of Büchner’s drama. Berg’s style preserves the fragile tissue. It follows the assessment closely and determines the instrumentalists. Dodecaphony, developed by Berg’s great mentor Arnold Schönberg, provides the foundation for the composition. Twelve tones taken from an ECG. Further influences on Woyzeck’s Heart are Adolf Loos, an architect, a creator of levels, musicians on the balcony and things in the room which lead Woyzeck to his place; Egon Schiele, an Expressionist painter who imparts bodies with Woyzeckian spirit. Woyzeck conjures soundscapes. The heart coordinates the attempt.

Suse Pfister (ATW), Pedro Hafermann, Thurid Goertz, Dirk Müller, Anne-Elise Minetti, Pascal Thomas

WÄRST DU NUR ... MARIE (If Only You Were … Marie)

Staged audio play

W: Close your eyes. Tighter. Stay quiet or he’ll come get you.
M: Don’t touch me, Franz, or you’ll soon be stabbed in the back.

Eyes which hear better, ears which see better! Let’s split the senses with a scalpel. The staged audio drama If Only You Were … Marie plays with the boundaries between auditory and visual perception. The aim is to examine what happens when these two performance layers are separated from each other, unable to interact. Just like the main characters in Büchner’s fragmented drama.

Leander Ripchinsky, Max Brands, Hanna Steinmair, Jonas Werminghausen, Kevin Barz (ATW)


176 years after his death, it seems inevitable that a virtuoso author’s work comes to be examined as a whole and mixed with his life and other writing. Yet, how can Büchner’s work be modernised by regarding his depictions of reality from a (pop) cultural perspective? Büchner is confronted with the very demons he created; thrown into a post-apocalyptic scenario, he invites us to eat him up. The resulting zombie epidemic leaves behind bodies reduced to nothing but bitten vessels that pose both an obstacle and a requirement for an intellectual approach. Reanimation seems essential, the return of the living dead inevitable.

Carolin Millner (HfMDK), Caroline Rohmer, Daniel Schauf, Caroline Ströhle, Julius Ohlemann, Thomas Strecker, Daniel Schauf


An examination with three performers

Three performers set out in search of clues in an attempt to comprehend the events that are depicted in Büchner’s fragment and thus achieve the feeling of “being Lenz”. Internal processes are expressed in images that demand to be dealt with. The actors become archivists, play with fragments, get closer to each other then push away and turn back – is it even possible for them and us to understand and emphasise with Lenz? Do we really want to?

Simon Möllendorf (HfMDK), Larissa Bischoff, Linnan Zhang, Jonas Schlagowsky, Lisa Weidenmüller


He thought he should draw the storm into himself, embrace all things with his being, he spread and lay over the entire earth, he burrowed his way into the universe – it was an ecstasy that hurt. Lenz is open mountain range in which two performers labour away with their words and bodies. Sharp edges and deep ravines loom everywhere – as does the fear of falling. Lenz grips us, reams us, ropes us in. Who are we when we have nothing left to hold onto?

Lin Nan Zhang (HfG)



Humans are torn. Angles and razor-sharp edges, layers, reflection on the surface, black and white, an interlocking mesh of individual shapes and limbs that only constitute a whole together. Is this suit of armour a form of protection or imprisonment? The armour with which Lenz is supposed to march into battle? Lenz is left to separate black and white grains of rice from a humongous pile – like Cinderella.

Projects by the Hessian Theatre Academy

Büchner the researcher and practitioner, the scholar and tester – Büchner the “twen”. Who could be closer to him than the young academics of the Hessian Theatre Academy (HTA)? All of Hessen’s university are joining in: Students of the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen are contributing a scenic discourse and installations spread throughout the entire city; young dramaturgs from Frankfurt Goethe University are honing their intermediation skills and will provide their services as hosts to international guests; students from the Offenbach University of Art and Design are presenting spaces and performances that echo Alban Berg’s Büchner-based opera Wozzeck. And the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts is chipping in with two productions of Lenz.