New German dramatic art - Plays

Reicht es nicht zu sagen ich will leben
(Isn’t It Enough to Say I Want to Live)

Together with the author Claudia Grehn (Verlag der Autoren), Darja Stocker has taken interviews the two conducted with people of various backgrounds and generations and assembled them into a collage of scenes that explore the different phases of rebellion, which starts with simple outrage and goes all the way to active resistance. What has been created is a sharp-tongued panorama of society in which the commitment shown by these individuals as they fight on all sorts of fronts is repelled by a leaden consensus about the immutability of existing conditions. Whether it is the manager or the student, the woman employed as a carer for old people or the asylum seeker – the more independently and radically these characters agitate against Germany's social security system, the shortage of care workers, the rules that dictate exactly where asylum-seekers have to live, etc., the further they find themselves marginalised in both private and public life, with some landing in the gutter or even ending up in prison. The two authors' text pursues the logic of its title into the absurd in every respect. It is a touching record of contemporary life, a polyphonic manifesto against our acquiescence in our political impotence.
(henschel SCHAUSPIEL)

Responses to the play:
‘In consequence, in Isn’t It Enough to Say I Want to Live, we find ourselves confronted with what is described as a “play in development”, a method that has been practiced frequently for some years at municipal theatres. What is unusual about it is the end product: we do not necessarily see the process of its creation in the play – in contrast to explicitly documentary theatre projects. The stories that are recounted here may have been written by life, but Grehn and Stocker have assembled them into a drama. […] Civil resistance is the unifying thematic thread that holds the play’s nearly 30 scenes together. […] In their play, Claudia Grehn and Darja Stocker sketch out a portrait of a raging society, a society with an absolute, almost despairing will to live. Is it not enough to say, “I want to live”? No, that is not enough. But it is certainly a good start.’
(Wolfgang Kralicek, 2012 Mülheim Theatertage programme)

For this play, the authors Claudia Grehn and Darja Stocker conducted numerous interviews with people in Leipzig and Weimar about their experiences. Fortunately, however, they then resisted the temptation to turn them into a verbatim play about real life of the kind that is so fashionable at the moment. They have arranged what their research brought to light into an artful textual collage, a panorama of society that is far better in terms of its language and style than the dry subtitle ‘play in development’ might lead one to fear. Packed with imagery, witty, confidently switching between gravity and lightness of touch, between rage and irony. A text the viewer is happy to follow. With characters one soon feels close to because they are real, yet at the same time abstract and archetypical: the schoolgirl, the lecturer, the asylum seeker, the office worker, etc.’
(Matthias Schmidt, nachtkritik, 30 June 2011)



Technical Data

Premiere 30.06.2011, Nationaltheater Weimar, in coproduktion with the Centraltheater Leipzig
Director Nora Schlocker
Cast variable
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