Children of the Sun (Kinder der Sonne)

by Maxim Gorki
German translation by Ulrike Zemme Edited by Stephan Kimmig and Sonja Anders Maxim Gorky wrote "Children of the Sun" in 1905, while imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress for taking part in protests against what came to be known as "Bloody Sunday". That was the day Russian troops had opened fire on peaceful demonstrators as they tried to deliver a petition to the Tsar. The massacre sparked the first, unsuccessful, Russian revolution. Gorky set "Children of the Sun" during a Russian cholera epidemic in the late 1800s, but it was widely understood to be a comment on contemporary events. The play presents a darkly comic portrait of a society divided by social and political conflict. Various characters frequent the house of the scientist Protasov and his wife Yelena. These include: Waghin, an artist who’s in love with Yelena; Melania, a rich widow who loves Protasov; Chepurnoy, a veterinarian who’s long been partial to Protasov’s sister Lisa; and Yegor, the caretaker who drinks and beats his wife. All of the characters are searching for a better life, a fulfilling life – one that’s worth living. But how must they go about their work and co-exist with others to sense something like purpose? They don’t understand one another, are distant, and can’t live together even under ordinary circumstances. Each of these neurotic, unhappy and egotistical – yet incredibly comical – characters has constructed a cocoon around themselves. “Down there“, on the streets below, real revolution has yet to break out. There’s no utopia in sight and it looks as if the status quo will prevail for the foreseeable future.
Costumes Anja Rabes
Dramaturgy Sonja Anders
Premiere October 15, 2010
Ulrich MatthesPavel Fyodorovich Protasov
Katharina SchüttlerLisa, his sister
Nina HossYelena Nikolaevna, his wife
Peter JordanDmitri Sergeyevich Waghin
Alexander KhuonBoris Nikolaevich Chepurnoy
Natali SeeligMelania, Chepurnoy’s sister
Markus GrafYegor, Metal worker and Caretaker
Pavel Fyodorovich Protasov
Lisa, his sister
Yelena Nikolaevna, his wife
Dmitri Sergeyevich Waghin
Boris Nikolaevich Chepurnoy
Melania, Chepurnoy’s sister
Yegor, Metal worker and Caretaker

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13.30
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A family play by Axel Hacke
Director: Anne Bader
Saal
15.00 - 16.00
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by Sarah Kane
Director: Ulrich Rasche
Deutsches Theater
18.00 - 20.50
Guest performance
In English language
by Jan Guillou
With: Claes Bang
Director: Julie Pauline Wieth
Follow-up discussion – Box
Box
20.00 - 21.05
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With English surtitles
by Heiner Müller
Director: Amir Reza Koohestani
Kammerspiele
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20.00 Introduction – Bar