New German dramatic art - Plays

Das Leben auf der Praça Roosevelt (i.e. "Life on the Praça Roosevelt")

" 'All of us were taught at a very early age how to accept the bed of nails presented by life'. Praça Roosevelt is a square in the heart of Sao Paulo: offices, brothels, bars, a bingo-hall, a tailor who does alterations ... The jobless Raimundo, known as Mundo, simply sat down on this square and stayed there.
He is almost completely covered by a black plastic bag and sometimes he smokes a cigarette. The life-stories of individual characters criss-cross, mostly by chance and often only fleetingly, on this plaza and around Mundo who is a good listener. Here there gets under way the story of the policeman who doesn't involve himself in dirty business but one evening sees his son selling drugs. Here Concha, a secretary with cancer, meets her best girl-friend, Aurora, a transvestite. Here Concha's boss, a weapons manufacturer who has dismissed all his employees, falls in love with bingo. We also meet a man wearing a suit and carrying a case and a mobile phone, Maria and her double, a man with elephantiasis, Susana a supernaturally beautiful transvestite, a woman with bones ...

Dea Loher's play describes life in a big city where everyone is lonely and yet all keep an eye on one another. But when a husband and wife see something like a black swan on the plaza, the fateful end of a father's search for his son announces itself".
(Thalia Theater Hamburg)

Responses to the Play:

"Dea Loher's command of language is worthy of respect. For almost fifteen years now this author (...) has been writing plays that ingeniously combine sensuality and deceptiveness, comedy and death. A moment ago one was still laughing at a raucous monologue, but now attention is gripped by a crowd of shattered psyches. Her new play, "Life on the Praça Roosevelt", is set in the Brazilian mega-metropolis of Sao Paulo, bringing together the lives of a handful of people. The strands of their desperate search for redemption are woven together with great virtuosity. Loher wrote this piece in Sao Paulo itself. She undertook extensive research into aspects of Brazilian society, combining what she heard and experienced as a wide-ranging story. (...)

Physicality is a central theme. After all the piece takes place in Brazil where the cultural stereotype says that everone dances, sings, and is happy. So no place for depression. However Loher allows this cliché to tip over into the grotesque and the horrifying. Life is a chain of wounds; behind joy looms destruction. (...) The author skilfully links past and present, combines the living and the dead by way of abrupt leaps in time-levels, and constantly fractures theatrical illusion at just the moment when one had pleasurably taken it on board".
(Werner Theurich in: Spiegel-Online, 3.06.2004)

Technical Data

Premiere 02.06.2004, Thalia Theater Hamburg
Director Andreas Kriegenburg
Number of Performers 3 females, 3 males
Rights Verlag der Autoren
Schleusenstr. 15
60327 Frankfurt a. M.
Tel. +49 69 238574-20
Fax: +49 69 24277644
Translations Theatre Library