Nouveau théâtre allemand - Saison 2011/2012

jenseits von fukuyama (i.e. Beyond fukuyama)en

An institute for happiness research and future studies is searching for the meaning of human existence and is apparently in possession of sensitive information that could easily penetrate to the public and wreak havoc. Peer, a staff member of the institute, has applied for a promotion from his boss, Dr. Phekta. But he has stiff competition. And there also seems to have been a data leak that could seriously endanger the work of the institute. The relentless battle to set one's foot on the next rung of the career ladder is accompanied by a subterranean quake: what are yesterday's models of happiness worth? The "end of history" proclaimed in 1992 by Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man) has obviously not come to pass – yet what does the future promise us today? Is the future a shining utopia, or rather a tethered monster? Peer is fighting for his own future and is prepared to resort to the extreme. The young writer Thomas Köck […] dissects our present, its masks and self-deceptions, and contrives a wrathful "chorus of disappointed expectations".
(Theater Osnabrück)

Comments on the play:

Thomas Köck's testing of our culture is as intelligent as it is amusing. For his play Jenseits von Fukuyama, which was premiered at the Osnabrück Theater, he rightly received the Osnabrück Dramatist Award. […] In a powerful and at the same time very funny tour d' horizon, six actors equipped with long rat tails reflect on the changing values of the last two decades. First of all, the search for meaning is banished from the laboratory, this privatised fetter for the uninhibited proliferation of events. The hedonistic, meaning-free 90s appear in person and smash into history […]. Because history is to blame for the neo-liberals, the weapons lobby, the mass graves and so much more. Above all, for the "eternal re-chewing of the lack of utopia". Yet the hopeful attempts at a clean break end in the morning after, because now […] we strive not for utopia but for happiness. […] Perhaps it is also the disappointment about Francis Fukuyama's optimistic thesis of the "end of history" from 1992 that enables Köck to formulate things with at once such marvellous exaggeration and so floridly. The soul eaten up by fear, the anxiety for security and bogus criticism he calls the "fluffy legacy of the twentieth century for all future time". That hits home.
(Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 19.05.2014, Christine Adam)

The third millennium. The staff of the Institute for Happiness Research and Future Studies pedal away in the rat race of self-exploitation and fear for their careers, for the competition never sleeps. Beyond its walls has long raged a rebellion; the masses are coming closer, and eventually you don't really care about the job anymore because now all that is left is to barricade yourself in the so-called "average room" and tremble for your own sheer survival. It is hard to assign Thomas Köck's play to a genre. Dialogue breaks away from epic passages, speaking masses dissolve into individuals, and allegorical figures like the "Nineties", "Desire" and "History" appear on stage and, joining with the chorus of disappointed expectations, venture to take stock of the present.
(excerpt from the jury decision for the Osnabrück Dramatist Award, December 2013)

Technical Data

Premiere 17.05.2014, Theater Osnabrück
Director Gustav Rueb
Cast 3 women, 2 men
Rights Suhrkamp Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Suhrkamp Theater & Medien
Papellallee 78-79
10437 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 740744-395
Fax: +49 30 740744-399
Translations theatre library