The Subjects

The Subj
ects

By Elfriede Jelinek / Directed by Nicolas Stemann / World premiere
Trailer Die Schutzbefohlenen
Dramaturgy
Stefanie Carp
Music
Daniel Regenberg
Nicolas Stemann
With
Thelma Buabeng
Ernest Allan Hausmann
Felix Knopp
Isaac Lokolong
Daniel Lommatzsch
Barbara NĂ¼sse
Dennis Roberts
Sebastian Rudolph
Live-music
Daniel Regenberg

In January 2013, 60 asylum seekers occupied a church in Vienna to draw attention to their plight. Most of them faced execution upon deportation to their homeland. Many of them were due to be deported from Austria in the summer. A few weeks later, hundreds of asylum seekers from Africa drowned off the coast of Lampedusa as they attempted to get to Europe.


Austrian Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek wrote ‘Die Schutzbefohlenen’ (The Subjects) early in the summer of 2013, as a direct response to the events in Vienna. In a sharp polemic, she attacked the inhumane asylum policy of wealthy European countries such as Austria, where people whose lives are in danger are quickly naturalised, mistreated and deported. The author interlaces the events in Vienna, the catastrophes on the external borders of the EU, their causes and consequences, with motifs from Aeschylus’ tragedy ‘The Suppliants’ and gives the asylum seekers’ stories polyphonic voices and an analytical perspective. The deportation of people seeking help and the tragedy at Lampedusa expose Europe’s cynicism and bigotry when it comes to human rights, which are not applicable to everyone, rather only those who can afford to be part of Europe.

Thalia Theater staged a reading of ‘Die Schutzbefohlenen’ (The Subjects) last September, with actors and refugees from Lampedusa in Hamburg’s St.-Pauli church. Nicolas Stemann, who has developed new theatrical forms over the past ten years in his examination of Elfriede Jelinek’s work, stages this complex and moving text as a linguistically and visually powerful oratory, that in form and content confronts us with the aporia of the humanity Europe has never delivered. The production will also be staged at the ‘Theater der Welt’ festival in Mannheim and the Holland festival in Amsterdam.

World premiere 12th September 2014, Thalia Theater

On Tour

8th and 9th October 2016

Munich, Germany

 

24th May 2015

Mülheimer Theatertage, Germany

 

1st and 2nd May 2015

Berliner Theatertreffen, Germany

 

10th, 11th, 12th and 14th June 2014

Holland Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

23th and 24th May 2014

Theater der Welt, Mannheim, Germany

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