Saturday 23 Nov. // 08:00 – ca. 10:15 p.m
Piece after the story of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist
The Saxon squire Wenzel von Tronka mangled two black horses belonging to the horse trader Michael Kohlhaas of Brandenburg. Kohlhaas tries to enforce the law and to sue the petty noble in a court of law for damages. This, however, fails due to the squire’s good connections with the authorities.
As a result, Kohlhaas takes the law in his own hands, heads gang of brigands and during his quest for the decamped Wenzel von Tronka takes on the whole Electorate of Saxony. The Reformer Martin Luther appeals to the Kohlhaas’ conscience. After a second attempt to legally obtain his rights, Kohlhaas becomes the victim of an intrigue, is sentenced to death by the Elector of Saxony and then executed.
Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811) fell back at a historical source when he wrote his presumably best known tale. He followed facts only partially and used as his focal point Kohlhaas’ unconditional sense of justice, that trait that pulls him into a maelstrom with no escape.
The dramatic tale fascinated theatre people throughout the ages. Schauspiel Leipzig created a stage version which is not a conventional dramatisation but exclusively uses Kleist’s original texts and sees in its complicated language a challenge to the theatre. (Schauspiel Leipzig, Jahresheft 1996/97)
The text’s large scale shall equal the size of the venue. To play »Kohlhaas«, the artist troupe will meet in a former gymnasium. The thematic references, whether and how to obtain justice within a government, remain amazingly explosive subjects.
Pierre Walter Politz directed at various independent theatres in Kassel, München and Hamburg and since 1989 he was director and manager of the author’s workshop at the Bayerische Staatsschauspiel in München. After guest performances as a director at Schauspiel Leipzig, he has remained affiliated with it since 1994 as a director and studio manager.
Contribution selected by Schauspiel Leipzig
Uraufführung: 15.11.1996, Leipzig
Fassung: Pierre Walter Politz
(Mitarbeit: Dagmar Borrmann, Matthias Caffier)
Inszenierung: Pierre Walter Politz
Bühnenbild und Kostüme: Dorothea Mahr
Musik: Gundolf Nandico
Darsteller: Matthias Brenner, Fabian Gerhardt, Walter Jäckel, Guido Lambrecht, Axel Neumann, Andreas Rehschuh, Susanne Stein, Max Urlacher
6th Festival Year