High

Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Benjamin Krieg

We never wanted to take drugs. And we don’t dance at raves, in fan corners or in church services either. We are suspicious, always have been, and even more so since Covid: everything seems intrusive, garish, harder than before. We are alienated, life is a participatory hell. The pandemic has put its hat on individualism. And everything we ever knew about dissolute collective states we have forgotten. We need a rush, an ego disorder, we need collective euphoria.

“High” is a ceremony in a changeable, all-encompassing tent. Here we will gather behind the banner whose inscription we do not yet know. With explicit consideration of all resistances and differences, we will find a rhythm, rehearse a procession and eat from the dough that bears the imprint of all our hands. Until the melancholic, neoliberal ego monster is anaesthetised. Until we jump out of our skin and breathe a sigh of relief: all together. High time.

 

Credits

Concept/Idea: She She Pop, By and with: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Tatiana Saphir, Claudia Splitt, Berit Stumpf.

Artistic Advice: Rodrigo Zorzanelli, Sets and Costumes: Lea Søvsø, Künstlerische Artistic Support Sets and Costumes: Ulrike Plehn, Hannah Wolf,  Artistic Support Sets: Michael Kleine, Technical Director and Light Design: Christian Maith, Sounddesign: Manuel Horstmann, Video: Benjamin Krieg, Production: Alisa Tretau, Tina Ebert, Intern and Cookiedealer: Charlotte Engel, Dough production: Greta Patten, Intern: Gali Har-Gil, Simultaneous English Live Translation: PANTHEA, Audio description: Pingpong Translation & Subtitling / Martina Reuter, Johanna Krins, PR & Communication: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro, Freelance Communication Support: Tina Ebert, Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner, Company Management: Elke Weber.

Workshop Input: Club Gewalt, I Can Be Your Translator, Mirah Laline, Tuk Bredsdorff.
Odd Meter Groove Doctor: Maurice de Martin.

A production by She She Pop in co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, FFT Düsseldorf, Schauspiel Leipzig, HELLERAU – EUROPÄISCHES Zentrum der Künste. Supported by Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Senate Department Department of Culture Berlin.

 

Trailer

Dates


past dates:
October 16/17, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin
October 15, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin
October 13/14, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin
October 12, 2023, HAU 2, Berlin

Press

“It is no coincidence that many other theatres and performance collectives aside from She She Pop are also currently focusing their work on community and ecstasy. Because the longer the growing isolation and social anonymity are taken for granted, the harder we will be hit by the consequences in form of radicalization, hatred and agitation. Just how democratizing intoxication can be, was already evident in the ancient forerunner of theatre: the mystery play, whose content was of a cultic-religious nature and at whose heart lay collective ecstasy. An ecstasy that was rooted in the communal experience of these games, which often lasted for days.”
The Pioneer, Pia von Wersebe, 20.10.2023

“”High” started out as a socio-critical search for a “we”, as an attempt to become intoxicated together with the audience – and ended up as an ironic exercise in meditation with observations on resistance, overcoming shame and participatory fun and games.”
Berliner Zeitung, Ulrich Seidler, 14.10.23

“No, there are no drugs involved here, even if Papatheodorou describes her cookies as having an “effect”. They are to be eaten together at a designated time, so that everyone absorbs the traces and imprints, and possibly sweat and skin flakes of another. Ecstasy is therefore not actually the goal, but rather the experience of collectivity.”
Nachtkritik, Michael Wolf, 13.10.2023

“She She Pop has named the evening “High” with the declared aim of putting us all into a collective state of intoxication here and now, ecstasy under supervision, so to say, or as they call it, “a shared high” (…) Blockages need to be released, resistance eliminated and distracting thoughts banished. (…) The members of She She Pop are not deterred by any of this, they simply perform away any reservations and stick to their guns: stop individualism, bring on the collective ecstasy. Together we are stronger, or at least higher.”
Berliner Morgenpost, Katrin Pauly, 13.10.2023

“It’s okay to think of rituals when watching the show, but we’re not performing any that already exist. (…) As always, we use ourselves as examples and offer ourselves as carriers of strategies that can lead to a high. (…) In this protected theatrical space, there is always the chance to try something out (…), to slip briefly into a different situation, into a different social system, into a social situation. You can’t start a big revolution without first having practiced or tried it out.”
Lisa Lucassen in conversation with Oliver Krantz, rbb kultur radio, 11.10.2023

 

Oratorio

A collective meditation on a well-kept secret
Foto: Benjamin Krieg
Foto: Katrin Ribbe / Theaterformen Hannover
Foto: Katrin Ribbe / Theaterformen Hannover
Foto: Katrin Ribbe / Theaterformen Hannover
Foto: Katrin Ribbe / Theaterformen Hannover
Foto: Katrin Ribbe / Theaterformen Hannover
Foto: Maciej Rukasz / Centrum Kultury w Lublinie
Foto: Maciej Rukasz / Centrum Kultury w Lublinie
Foto: Ruzhin | ACT Independent Theatre Festival 2017
Foto: Benjamin Krieg / HAU Berlin
Foto: Benjamin Krieg / HAU Berlin
Foto: Benjamin Krieg / HAU Berlin
Foto: Benjamin Krieg / HAU Berlin
Foto: Robin Junicke / Impulse Theaterfestival 2018
Foto: Robin Junicke / Impulse Theaterfestival 2018
Foto: Robin Junicke / Impulse Theaterfestival 2018
Foto: Robin Junicke / Impulse Theaterfestival 2018
Foto: Robin Junicke / Impulse Theaterfestival 2018

“Let it belong to those it is good for.” (B. Brecht)

Property changes consciousness. It divides friends, grants power over others and excludes. Property is taken for granted. But it is not talked about. Yet nothing is as constitutive for our society or our coexistence; nothing has such a divisive effect on our community. With ORATORIO, She She Pop wants to air the secret of property, to drag it out onto a stage.
It is said that Western theatre began with the protagonist Thespis, who stepped out from the choir 2,500 years ago. But you could also say: it was the moment that the stage was privatised. Since then, the individual has been consistently overrated, overburdened and emotionally exploited. ORATORIO would like to shed some light on the context of the bourgeois public, property and democratic empowerment.
Together with each chorus of local delegates and their audience, She She Pop will start a discussion on property and examine their own relationship to ownership, the distribution of goods and its related problems. Inspired by Brecht’s Lehrstücktheorie, they develop rules for a dialogical theatre show and form discordant speaking choruses, which renegotiate with each performance how we deal with property. Who is allowed to speak? Who is present, who is represented? A collective monologue emerges from the diversity of voices, discord, and occasional, momentary harmony.
ORATORIO is a work-in-progress, which premiered in February 2018 at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin. First showings took place at Theaterformen 2017 in Hanover and sub- sequently also at the Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival in Lublin and the ACT Independent Theatre Festival Sofia. Finally ORATORIO returned from its tour through Europe, during which it gathered momentary impressions of other economic microcosms and evolved into a great polyphonic meditation at each stop along the way.

Credits

By and with: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Berit Stumpf and the choir of local delegates.

Sets: Sandra Fox. Costumes: Lea Søvsø. Music: Max Knoth. Artistic advice production: Ruschka Steininger. Dramaturgical advice: Peggy Mädler. Artistic advice Tour: Laia Ribera, Alisa Tretau. Technical Director & Lightdesign: Sven Nichterlein. Production: Anne Brammen. Communication: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro. Freelance Communication Support: Tina Ebert. Financial Administration: Aminata Oelßner. Company Management: Elke Weber.

A production of She She Pop in Co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Festival Theaterformen, Münchner Kammerspiele, Kampnagel Hamburg, Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Kaserne Basel, ACT Independent Theater Festival Sofia, Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival Lublin.

premiere, February 2018, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and by the City of Berlin – Department for Culture and Europe.
www.kulturstiftung-des-bundes.de

Trailer

Dates


past dates:
May 7/8, 2024, HAU, Berlin
June 01/02, 2022, E-Werk Freiburg Festival, Freiburg
January 14/15/16, 2021, Le Maillon Theater of Strasbourg – European stage, Straßburg CANCELLED
May 23/24, 2020, Freiburg Festival, Freiburg ggf. POSTPONED
May 16/17, 2020, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater / Bandenfestival, Oldenburg ggf. POSTPONED
April 7/8/9, 2020, Le Maillon Theater of Strasbourg – European stage, Straßburg POSTPONED (Januar 2021)
December 13/14/15, 2019, Schauspiel Leipzig, Leipzig
October 3/4, 2019, HAU, Berlin
May 10/12/13/14, 2019, HAU, Berlin
March 28/29/30, 2019, FFT, Düsseldorf
March 2/3, 2019, Brechtfestival, Augsburg
February 8/9/10, 2019, Kampnagel, Hamburg
January 10/11/12, 2019, Santiago a Mil, Santiago de Chile
November 9/10, 2018, Festival Politik im Freien Theater, München
October 3/4, 2018, HAU, Berlin
September 30, 2018, HAU, Berlin
September 1/2, 2018, Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main
August 31, 2018, Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main
June 23/24, 2018, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Stuttgart
June 14/15, 2018, Impulse Theater Festival, Mühlheim
May 24/25/26, 2018, Kaserne Basel, Basel
April 18/19/20, 2018, Münchner Kammerspiele, München
March 23/24/25, 2018, HAU, Berlin
March 9/10/12/13/14, 2018, Schauspiel Leipzig, Leipzig
February 10/11/12, 2018, HAU, Berlin
February 9, 2018, HAU, Berlin
November 14, 2017, ACT Independent Theater Festival Sofia, Sofia
October 6/7, 2017, Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival Lublin, Lublin
June 9/10/11, 2017, BALLHOF EINS, Hannover

Press

Oratorio gives no answers – but many suggestions – as to how to progress and the choruses offer a guide to collective self-empowerment. So, that’s a good start!”
Andrej Holm, Nachtkritik, 13.05.19

All in all, “Oratorio” is a triumph of experimental performance: it democratises the space of the theatre to tap into a pressing public discourse, it blows up the concept of passive entertainment by highlighting our collective complicity in capitalistic property relations, and it delivers an inspiring show of solidarity in the process. But, aware of its own formal limitations, it ends on a self-critical, yet optimistic note. Question: what use is all of this? Answer: it’s a rehearsal for what’s to come. As the evening comes to a close and my neighbour and I return to our divergent economic realities, I feel that we both leave the theatre with a heightened sensibility for the nuances of property relations. And that’s a testament to a powerful, political performance. Bertie would approve.
Nicholas Potter, Theatertreffen-Blog 2019, 12.05.19

“It’s both the right place – here, in this city up for sale – and the right time to venture an experiment like this with the audience. The right topics – money, property privileges, power, values, community, expectations of theatre audiences – are brought up. The right questions are asked in light of the current situation of housing shortages, exploding rents, temporary employment contracts and exclusionary, right-shifting social structures. And this is the right way to ask them: humorously, not smugly and not with a disapproving undertone. In short: this is the right way to make theatre (collective, equal, de-hierarchised).”
Dilan Zuhal Capan, Theatertreffen-Blog 2019, 11.05.19

The production is at its strongest when it involves the audience, who speak and react to the texts on display in interaction with the performers. For example, when all the heirs are asked to say on stage what they will inherit and to add up the total sum of their inheritances. The time-honoured rule “Never talk about money” is rendered null and void, and the viewer becomes voyeur. When a man states that he is going to inherit a house with a garden in Sachsenhausen, a murmur goes through the audience: these Frankfurters know what his property is worth. “Oratorio” appeals to the moral responsibility of property-owners, but the production also reveals the contradictions of individual apartment owners, and so avoids one-sided moralising. By using the audience as a chorus, it shows that the distribution of property is not just a private matter, but a social one.”
Grete Götze, Frankfurter Rundschau, 03.09.2018

In “Oratorio” no political positions are stated; instead, the different actors illustrate different economic starting points. (…) In fact, this has an important role in the performance: for it is up to each individual to take part in the actions of the chorus and to alternate with the performers in texts projected and so, to out oneself. There is also something liturgical about this (…) from the protected space of the theatre (…), as indicated in the production’s subheading, what emerges is a meditation in which polyphonic groups and chants, the chorus of delegates as representatives of the social region, a chorus of heirs, but also individual voices are raised and bring up questions on the subject of property – well known ones, sometimes moralising, but always worth considering.
Badische Zeitung, 25.05. 2018

In general, “Oratorio” is highly entertaining from the very first second … not only because there are a few clever ideas that affect everyone on stage and in the gallery. But because nowadays one rarely experiences anyone, in cheerful severity, really trying to take Bertolt Brecht’s Lehrstücke as a model for form, word and music. Lehrstücke, because everyone can learn something, and because there is basically no audience. Which is why all those who took part in the three Frankfurt performances had no small part in the success of the choir.”
Eva-Maria Magel, FAZ, 03.09.2018

Reviews of the Premiere in Berlin, February 2018

“The surprise comes right at the beginning. Actually nothing at all has really happened yet on the dark, empty stage of HAU2. Just a text on the screen giving brief instructions. But they are so rousing that for a good ten fifteen minutes the audience is put in a mood that is otherwise familiar only from cabaret or carnival. Just let someone say that the supporters of the post-dramatic are theory-damaged, empathy-hating theatre sceptics.”
Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung, 12.02.2018

Reviews of the Showing in Sofia, November 2017

„To claim that such a theatrical work leads to some sort of surprise or discovery, it would be inconsistent with its aims. It is not so much about the discovery of profound social contradictions, rather then targeting the ability of the theater to act on an individual, biographical level raising resemblance questions, which are otherwise mostly left in the hands of the media. In this way, the theater tries to preserve its freedom, distinguishing itself. So, in the general chorus of theatrical practices from the recent decades, She She Pop is certainly part it.“
Violeta Detcheva, “Kultura” magazine, 01.12.2017

“Oratorio”, at least for me, provoked on many levels feeling for awakening, for clarity, for uncompromisingness and truth. But most of all, it has proven the ever-growing need to articulate from the stage even the simplest and most obvious things that are actually the most difficult to define.”
Elena Angelova, portal “Kultura”, 01.12.2017

Reviews of the showing in Hannover, June 2017

“.. many things suggest  that “Oratorio” – after She She Pop’s success story “Testament” about inheritance – will be a similarly fine, self-deprecating show.”
Mounia Meiborg, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15.06.2017

“That’s how Brecht would have liked it …”
Stefan Gohlisch, Neue Presse, 11.06.17

“… fundamental social questions, which could be thought-provoking. Nevertheless, the evening was not lacking in humour … ”
Kreiszeitung, 15.06.17

Besessen

A collective monologue

People are obsessed with ideas – but also with things. For the Monologue Festival, She She Pop follows the idea of ownership, which has become an eerily important subject in people’s coexistence: if you have nothing, you have to hire yourself out. But even those who own too much, so people say, become obsessed by it. There it is: the community of the possessed.
She She Pop steps forward to elicit a new meaning of “theatre without an audience”. As proposed in Brechtian Lehrstück theory, those on stage try different attitudes and give speeches. In the Possessed monologue, a polyphonic monologue can be heard, whereby the community has its say. A community that is concerned about ownership and the resulting distortions. In speech, it confirms itself, yet establishes that it is at odds with itself.

Credits

By She She Pop (Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou und Berit Stumpf.) Artistic advice: Ruschka Steininger. Support Production: Alisa Tretau. PR: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro. Communication and Production: Tina Ebert. Company Management and Administration: Aminata Oelßner, Elke Weber.

A production by She She Pop and Theaterdiscounter – Monologue Festival 2016. Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin.

Dates


past dates:
May 11, 2024, Polis Teatro Festival, Ravenna
June 06, 2023, re:publica, Berlin
June 11, 2022, Hangö Teaterträff Finland, Hanko
07/11/15Dezmeber, 2019, Litauisches Nationales Dramatisches Theater, Vilnius
September 07, 2019, at.tension Festival, Lärz
November 24, 2018, Festspielhaus Hellerau, Dresden
November 06, 2018, Litauisches Nationales Dramatisches Theater, Vilnius
July 1, 2017, Impulse Theaterfestival, Köln
June 30, 2017, Impulse Theaterfestival, Köln
October 29/30, 2016, Theaterdiscounter, Berlin