Commissioned by old friends of two theater groups in Frankfurt (Germany) – Theater Willy Praml and Wu Wei – I have been working, since September 2014, on my new play TRANSIT, based on the novel by Anna Seghers. I finished the first draft on May 1st. It’s my first play written in German. Now I will direct it.
Subject: German refugees who have escaped the Nazi’s in their own country, then have to flee for them when the latter occupy France, May 1940. Via collaborating ‘Vichy France’ they desperately try to find a way to get to the ‘free world.’ For that they need visa: entrance visa (for the USA, Mexico), transit visa (for the countries they need to travel through in order to reach their destination), exit visa (out of France), and a million stamps from the french authorities. Marseille is the last open port, there are only a few ships… there are more refugees than inhabitants of the city, food is rationed, secret police are everywhere. In the melée of thousands of desperate people we see how some individuals try to escape… some succeed, some don’t… and there is a tragic ending love story.
Rehearsals of TRANSIT have begun Monday May 18th with the reading of the first draft of my play. In the following days I have edited the text into a performable play, read the text twice with the actors, and cast the actors into their roles (22 roles for 9 actors).
The performance, with dance and video will be in the Naxoshalle, an impressive ‘industrial cathedral,’ built before the Great War in 1906. It was taken away from their Jewish owners after the Nazi’s had come to power, starting on August 27th.
With these two photo’s of the first dance rehearsals with our choreographer Heike Hennig from Leipzig, I proudly present the group of actors in the Naxoshalle,