New German dramatic art - Plays

Republik Vineta

Five men on a special mission: Hans Montag from the Central Employment Agency, Lutz Born from the Benn Construction Group, management consultant Klaus Hagemann, Captain Fritz Feldmann-See, and local politician Johann Behrens have come together for a secret planning conference organized by Robert Leonhard and his assistant Nina Seiler.
In a remote, dilapidated villa somewhere in the new federal states they are working on the "Vineta" project with a new town and a "Theme Park of Lost Dreams", scheduled to come into existence on an uninhabited island. Various countries have already promised a contribution. A Russian rocket from Cuba is to stand alongside a statue of Lenin, and a guillotine will invoke the ideals of the French Revolution. The first freighters have already set off when Leonhard has obvious doubts and calls in star architect Sebastian Färber from Berlin. Färber then rejects the generally agreed concept. Instead of what is expediently huge and spectacular he proposes an Eden of counter-modernism with buildings which take up old models so as once again to mediate a feeling of security and harmony. Ideological rifts open up and an uninhibited struggle for power breaks out among these top managers, even extending to plans for murder. However this is only the tip of the iceberg, the start of an entire chain of tragicomic developments ...
(Rowohlt Theater Verlag)

Responses to the Play

Two decisive turning-points give the play a depth that finally becomes a maelstrom. On the one hand, the entrance of Färber, the anti-modern or, more precisely, anti-postmodern architect, brings about an outbreak of unconcealed struggles for power among the planning staff only recently drunkenly holding forth about their shared vision. On the other - and here this presentation of reality breaks down to some extent - , everything turns out to be a simulation which Leonhard staged for these top managers so as to provide them with an experimental "collision with reality". However the therapeutic catharsis perhaps intended does not occur. Quite the contrary in fact. The comedy now develops in the worst way possible with suicide and killng. This Vineta crashes before it was even built - and the author's coup is that it was an illusion from the start.
(Thomas Irmer in "Stückwerk 3")

Finally everything turns out to be a psycho-trick. Managers affected by "outsourcing" problems are supposed to be prepared for harsh reality by failure of the project. This cabaret-style twist is less convincing than the beauty of the characters Rinke brings together. For instance, the Captain and his wife, who can only live and love when an ocean separates them. Or Färber, the young architect, whose ardour burns down the divisions between work and life and also awakens the enthusiasm of Nina, the PA. And Social Democrat local politician Behrens whose personal visions circle around the construction of transportation tunnels and reunification of the Beatles.
(Matthias Heine in SPIEGEL ONLINE, 25.9.2000)

So large-scale plays by authors writing in German still exist. Plays not suited to workshops or rostra in a foyer, but instead go the whole hog, seeking to grasp the entire picture (...) With his stage fantasies, both poetic and intelligent, Rinke holds up a satirical mirror to the spirit of the age (...) All of the everyday architectural and political insanity of our fun and leisure society is revealed in the group dynamics of this merrily disputatious think-tank.
(Der Tagesspiegel)

Technical Details

Premiere Thalia Theater Hamburg, September 2000
Director Stephan Kimmig
Cast 4 f, 7 m. Quick-change set
Rights Rowohlt Theater Verlag
Hamburger Str.17
21465 Reinbek
Tel. 040/ 72 72 270, Fax 040/ 72 72 276
Translations Theatre Library