New plays for children’s and youth theatre

“Deportation Cast” by Björn Bicker

© Schauspiel Hannover / Isabel Machado Rios„Deportation Cast“ © Schauspiel Hannover / Isabel Machado Rios

Björn Bicker, who was born in 1972 and has sometimes written plays under the pseudonym Polle Wilbert, read literature, philosophy and general rhetoric at Tübingen and Vienna. From 1999 to 2001, he worked as assistant dramaturge and dramaturge at the Burgtheater in Vienna, and from 2001 to 2009, he was a dramaturge under Frank Baumbauer at the Munich Kammerspiele. There, together with Peter Kastenmüller and Michael Graessner, he invented, developed and managed the urban projects BUNNYHILL (2003–2006) and ILLEGAL (2007–2008). Bicker was commissioned by the Staatstheater in Hanover to contribute to the extensive research project TROLLMANNS KAMPF - MER ZIKRALES. That was followed by the German-Turkish theatre project CABINET at the Theater Freiburg in cooperation with Peter Kastenmüller and Michael Graessner. During the 2012/13 season, Bicker has been commissioned by the Munich Kammerspiele to carry out research and write. His text URBAN PRAYERS is to be staged by Johan Simons in summer 2013 as part of a major urban project. Björn Bicker also works as a lecturer for dramaturgy, theatre history and scenic writing at the Otto Falckenberg School in Munich.

Just a few weeks ago, Elvira was attending school in Germany and had just fallen in love. Now, she is living on a rubbish tip in Kosovo and is staring at her mobile, which she can no longer use to make calls. Elvira’s family was suddenly expelled from Germany after living there for many years. Back in Kosovo, they still fact the threat of poverty and discrimination because they are Roma. Elvira’s parents fight, her big brother is always out and about, and her little brother Egzon clings to her. He has not spoken since being left behind on a blazing housing estate when he was four. Nobody knows what he saw or went through. Nor does Elvira want to know. She does not want anything at all to do with the war or persecution, and she definitely does not want anything to do with this country where she does not even speak the language. She wants to go home. To Germany. To her boyfriend Bruno. “I’ll get you out of there,” he wrote in his last text message. Back in Germany, Bruno discovers that his own father, a pilot, has flown deportees out of the country. Is it his fault that Elvira is no longer in Germany? Or the fault of the over-zealous official at the Aliens Office? And what about the teacher? Björn Bicker’s text weaves the story of two families into a moving and multi-layered play around the themes of responsibility and guilt. Which side is right? And who plays their role most convincingly?

“Guilt”, “responsibility“ and “justification” are the titles Björn Bicker gave to the three levels of the plot that form the basis of his play about the deportation of a Roma family from Germany to Kosovo. By turning attention to the people involved, the matter-of-fact bureaucratic act is impressively subjectivised. The story becomes the tragedy of a traumatised family, a drama of first love and separation, a lucrative business and a factor that undermines bourgeois middle-class certainties. In the process, it becomes clear that there is an appalling gap between the law and justice. Simple attributions of good and evil do not get you anywhere and do not do justice to the author’s courage to create complex contents. The author establishes a strong theatrical form, alternating linguistically poignant passages with pseudo-documentary, epic and dialogue passages.
(Jury, German Young People’s Theatre Prize)

2012 Nomination for the German Young People’s Theatre Prize
Technical Data
Premiere 25.09.2011, Staatstheater Hannover
Director Peter Kastenmüller
Number of roles 6 female, 6 male
Recommended age 14 +
Rights schaefersphilippen Theater und Medien, Köln
Gottesweg 56-62
50969 Köln

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