New German dramatic art - Plays

Push up 1-3

They are in a hurry to become top managers, exert influence at executive meetings, or get important postings abroad, or their working lives are close to disaster: being fired, shunted to the sidelines, or made to retire early. The women and men in "Push Up 1-3" work in a big company's administration, the scene of three big struggles for power, each waged by two people competing mercilessly for business and private interests.
Angelika, a top executive, and Sabine, an up-and-coming young manager, deploy their different advantages powerwise against one another. Angelika insinuates that Sabine is having an affair with her husband, who is also the younger woman's superior. Sabine confirms the false suspicion, parading greater erotic attractiveness which becomes her downfall. Angelika fires her.
Patrizia and Robertt, who are having an affair, also try to deprive each other of opportunities. So too do Hans and Frank, who have both applied for a much coveted posting to Delhi. They compete mercilessly and the older Hans loses out to Frank, despite being able and fit. Only the security staff seem to be free of such inhuman conditioning.

Responses to the Play

Schimmelpfennig's managers and advertising executives are intellectually and emotionally conditioned by the achievement principle to such an extent that their freedom of action is comparable to that of prisoners in isolation cells. All of them are dominated by the same compulsive image of the omni-successful, attractive, sexually active, and -- curiously time and again - free personality, which they believe first has to be fought for on all conceivable fronts.
(Eva Behrendt, taz, 14.11.2001)

This is an entertaining play, witty, accurate, and well put together ... probably the most down-to-earth that Roland Schimmelpfennig has ever written ... Unlike Schimmelpfennig's previous piece, "The Arabian Night", where narrative fantasy wove together an Arab harem and a German block of flats to bring about real miracles, "Push Up" constantly preserves the chosen style and form. The characters may occasionally step out of dialogue and speak their thoughts aloud, but in general the depiction of reality is astonishingly representational given Schimmelpfennig's preferences.
(Christine Dössel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 13.11.2001)

Technical Details

Premiere Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin, 10.11.2001
Director Thomas Ostermeier
Cast 4 women, 4 men, changing set
Rights S. Fischer Verlag GmbH
Theater und Medien
Hedderichstr. 144
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. 069/ 60 62 339, Fax 069/ 60 62 335
theater@s-fischer.de
Translations Theatre Library