Nowa dramaturgia niemiecka - Sztuki teatralne

WE ARE CAMERA/jasonmaterialen

"This third play in Fritz Kater's Homeland trilogy is the story of a flight, or the story of abduction of a family - a very private family story and at the same time a highly German political story.

The play circles around a family trauma; December 31, 1969, New Year's Eve in a hotel in Finland. A staging-post in a flight from West Germany to East Germany. Ernst, the father, is a GDR spy in the Federal Republic. He travels with his family to Finland so as to reveal the situation to his wife, telling Paula that he will take her and their two children - Mirco and Sonja - to the German Democratic Republic. That night she is unfaithful to her husband with the fifth character in the play - a hotel page, a non-realistic theatrical figure whom the author calls superman/thalidomide skinhead/multiple personality.

Fritz Kater presents this night, lets his protagonists talk about this night and how life continued in the East - up to the father's death in 1992 after the irreversible end of his utopian hopes. The children become adults, protest and rebel; the father comes to grief, becomes an alcoholic, a reluctant dissident. Cinematic flashbacks with the father's wartime childhood superimposed on Mirco's infancy. A very confined, private story reflects German history from the Second World War to the end of history after 1989".
(Thalia Theater Hamburg)


Responses to the Play:

"Fritz Kater's new play "WE ARE CAMERA/jason material" seems like a spy thriller yet is very much more: marital tragedy, drama of adolescence, and game of memory. A picture of Germany as a family puzzle. Most of the fragmentary action takes place during New Year 1969 at a hotel in Helsinki: leaps in time, snapshots, theatrical polaroids. March 1975, December 1981, Autumn 1992. Instant images as if from a family album. (...)
"you while filming filming/a camera that wants to learn how to understand yourself/in search of the things you are" - That is the maxim Fritz Kater follows in this piece. It's a circling around existence, a switching and zooming through the things of life, a postdramatic balancing act between reality-soap, myth, and melodrama. Like all of Kater's plays, this one too is written in language that is laconically terse and rhythmically speedy; it contains epic and poetic passages, breaches and lacunae, leaving space for questions - and for the world's lingering echo".
(Christine Dössel in the programme for the 2004 Mülheim Theatre Days)

"With this third part of his GDR trilogy Fritz Kater adds (...) the most mysterious, glamorous, and presumably most autobiographical of his plays. (...) A Finnish New Year's Eve in 'WE ARE CAMERA/jason material' presents a highly concrete threshhold moment against the background of his characters' memories. That happens in mostly brief, tightly edited scenes jumping between New Year 1969, later everyday life in the GDR, and two or three moments after the Wall came down. (...) Dialogue that seems to have been overheard in laconic reality (...) stands alongside scenes where language also seems to vanish along with the characters".
( Eva Behrendt in: Theater heute, 2/2004)

Technical Data

Premiere 6.12.2003, Thalia Theater Hamburg
Director Armin Petras
Number of Performers 2 females, 3 males
Rights henschel SCHAUSPIEL Theaterverlag GmbH
Marienburgerstr. 28
10405 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 44318888, Fax: +49 30 44318877
verlag@henschel-theater.de
Translations Theatre Library

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