Kathrin Röggla

fake reports/die 50 mal besseren Amerikaner

This text, based on Röggla's first-hand journalistic account of events in New York on September 11 ("Really ground zero"), takes as its theme the change in general awareness produced by catastrophe.
The nameless characters in the play, who are however recognizable as representatives of the media world reporting on that event, attempt to find their own way of dealing with this act of terrror and in the process - influenced by media images and the opinions of the public, politicians, and press -- lose their orientation. Finally each gives in, unable to grasp what has happened, develop a point of view, escape external influences, and keep reality and interpretations separate. Disillusioned, they once again return to the current everyday view of what's happening.

Responses to the Play:

"To make reality acceptable we must first turn it into fiction. That is the issue at stake in "fake reports", the first full-length play by Kattrin Röggla who herself had first-hand experience of the process of extensive fictionalization - in New York, Ground Zero, September 11, 2001. Röggla's theatrical confrontation of a dramatic event pursues the question of "how we produce reality by resorting to the patterns and ideas we already have about it; and how this reality then strikes back at us" ... The play is concerned with the communicative gestures underlying our insecurity and panic, and with the social rituals we deploy in trying to bring these under control. It doesn't only deal with how discourse functions - even beyond the intention to facilitate understanding - , but also with how it in turn produces reality, particularly if "a politics of fear" comes into existence". (Röggla)
(Volkstheater Vienna, 2002)

"The fifty times better Americans/fake reports" investigates social changes and displacements of collective awareness from September 11, 2001, up to the present day. It seems as if such feelings as anxiety, panic, and hysteria are constantly kept alive and thus become the basis for a politics of inner security and a permanent state of war. People will have to get used to a life where "being under threat" is a daily experience, no matter how unreal that threat may be ..."
(Klaus Völker, Mülheim Theatre Days Programme 2003)

Technical Details

Premiere 16.10.2002, Vienna Volkstheater
Director Tina Lanik
German Premiere 11.4.2003, Sophiensäle, Berlin
Director Barbara Weber
Cast 5-6 (variable). Basic set
Rights S. Fischer Verlag GmbH
Theaterabteilung
Hedderichstr. 114
60596 Frankfurt/Main
Postfach 700355
60553 Frankfurt/Main
Tel: 069-6062271, Fax: 069-6062355 theater@s-fischer.de
Translations Theatre Library