Over the past weeks and months, the jury of the Autorentheatertage 2019 has read, reviewed and discussed the submitted theatre texts. We would like to thank all authors for this exciting journey through the themes of contemporary drama. The jury has selected the three winning plays, which are:
- Lisa Danulat, Entschuldigung (Apology)
- Eleonore Khuen-Belasi, ruhig Blut (calm Blood)
- Svealena Kutschke, zu unseren füßen, das gold, aus dem boden verschwunden (at our feet, the gold, vanished from the ground)
The Theater Neumarkt Zurich will stage Lisa Danulat's play, the Schauspielhaus Graz the play by Eleonore Khuen-Belasi and the Deutsches Theater Berlin the play by Svealena Kutschke. The three plays will be premiered during the Lange Nacht der Autorinnen (Long Night of the Playwrights). The prize-winners will each receive a world-premiere performance fee of €10,000.
The external and independent jury of the Autorentheatertage 2019 consists of: the author, dance and theatre critic Esther Boldt (jury spokeswoman), the film director Valeska Grisebach, and the actress and acting professor Steffi Kühnert. A total of 113 play texts were submitted. The jury justified their selection as follows:
Lisa Danulat, Entschuldigung (Apology)
Lisa Danulat’s Entschuldigung interweaves the stories of two women: a mother driven by loneliness and pain to drown herself in the Rhine, and a lover who was found guilty in a trial based on circumstantial evidence of murdering two people out of jealousy. The author elegantly unfolds and tightly intertwines the seemingly diverse fates of these two women. She jumps between the two narratives at breakneck speed and with great skill, brings to light new links between the two biographies – which are only outlined, but nonetheless poignant – and in the process, overturns simple classifications of perpetrator and victim, guilt and innocence. Can you simply indulge in suicide? And what is the cost of your desires? Danulat explores brutal questions; Entschuldigung is existential and powerfully unrelenting.
Eleonore Khuen-Belasi, ruhig Blut (calm Blood)
When does a problem affect us? At what point do we get involved? And what price would we pay to be saved? Three women sit in white plastic chairs on the pavement and discover cracks in the asphalt. With their bare hands, spit and blood, they try to patch them up in order to hold their world together. During their painstaking but ultimately doomed endeavour, witty and clever dialogues develop, with other voices joining in as footnotes. Zooming out from micro- to macrocosm, they speak of economic and social imbalances, grievances and uprisings. And even the rebellious asphalt with its cracks and mutations gets involved in the dispute over identity and commitment, power and powerlessness. With her very unique, poetic tone, Eleonore Khuen-Belasi’s ruhig Blut creates an absurd scenario that is nonetheless highly relevant to the present day and a spirited invitation to join in the women’s game.
Svealena Kutschke, zu unseren füßen das gold, aus dem boden verschwunden (at our feet, the gold, vanished from the ground)
A block of flats in Berlin. Here live an aged alcoholic, a lesbian couple, a refugee, a woman suffering from depression and her ex-husband. Numerous contemporary issues such as gentrification and repression are explored through the everyday lives and often hostile coexistence of these six people. But above all, the play examines how we deal with strangers – with people who we fail to understand due to differences in culture, origin or because of misunderstandings and prejudices. The sharply drawn characters develop various strategies to deal with self-alienation as well as estrangement from the world, and play misery poker for the best reasons to do away with themselves. In zu unseren füßen das gold, aus dem boden verschwunden, Svealena Kutschke has created an incisive portait of society in which her antiheroes reflect eloquently on their backgrounds and murky depths. However, their eloquence is ultimately an expression of their own powerlessness.
In addition to the three award-winning plays, the Autorentheatertage will be presenting around ten more world premieres as guest performances for the first time in Berlin. The Autorentheatertage will kick off as it did last year with the festival Radar Ost. The festival programme and the complete list of invited playwrights and theatres will be announced at the end of March 2019. Radar Ost takes place from 22 to 26 May 2019, the Autorentheatertage from 29 May to 8 June 2019.
29 May–8 June 2019
International start of the Autorentheatertage (Festival of new German drama) Radar Ost
22–26 May 2019