Scar Territory

'February 1989. Marie and Marc want to flee over the border to the West under cover of night – an attempt that fails because they get into an argument just as they are about to set off. Marie realises that her view of the future differs significantly from Marc's. She runs blindly into the forest to think things over and disappears for days on end. Marc goes ahead with the escape plan alone and is shot.

Eight years later. Just after the Berlin Wall came down, Marie left home without a word and never returned again. She moved aimlessly from place to place, tried her hand at various jobs and lives today in a disused railway station. Her parents never left their home town, from where they have followed the upheavals of recent years. Marie's father finds the new world so alien that he prefers to seek traces of the old world in his collection of stones. The mine where he used to be employed has been flooded – but maybe 'the ground needs to recover from all the people,' as he says. Ingrid, Marie's mother, has a strong desire for action, but does not exactly know where to begin. She rummages in piles of rubble, surfs the World Wide Web and eventually sets out after her daughter.

From changing perspectives, in scenes that move back and forth in time, Anne Habermehl tells of the price that sometimes has to be paid for freedom, the hopes and yearnings with which it is associated and how difficult it sometimes is to translate them into reality, particularly when each individual has an utterly different idea of what freedom is.'
(Rowohlt Theaterverlag)

Responses to the play:

'Should I stay or should I go? Under the shadow of the Berlin Wall, this question could be a matter of life or death. In Anne Habermehl's Scar Territory, it is a generational question as well: Marie and Marc are driven to the forests near Gera in February 1989 by the vigorous extremism of 17-year-olds who dream of transcending boundaries of all kinds; Marie's parents, a grumpy old couple who oscillate between affection and weariness, fight out day after day their little battles between the sarcasm with which he looks back on their degraded biographies since the collapse of communism and the courage she finds to make a new beginning of sorts, even if it involves a not entirely unpleasant sideline composing pornographic text messages. […]
Eschewing ornamentation and full of empathy for the bravery with which her characters struggle and founder, Anne Habermehl reflects the political in the scars of the private until one thing is clear: The question of whether to stay or to go cannot always be answered with a straightforward 'yes' or 'no'. Scar Territory is dominated by various shades of grey.'
(Barbara Burckhardt in: Theater Heute, 03/2011)

'One could paint all this with a broad brush as great tragedy, but Anne Habermehl sets out on a different path. The text strikes the viewer as almost light on its feet, many things are only hinted at, are present unspoken as overtones, while unhappiness is revealed in fragments of speech and subordinate clauses. And it is this especially that makes Scar Territory a dense, 80-minute-short meditation on human beings, their wounds and what they take with them from their previous life into another life, a new life.'
(Ute Grundmann in: Die Deutsche Bühne 12/2010)

Technical data:

Premiere 8 October 2010, Theater Altenburg-Gera
Director Anne Habermehl
Cast 2 F, 2 M
Rights Rowohlt Theaterverlag
Translations Theaterbibliothek