Noémi Ola Berkowitz
15 July 2022
21 October 2022
In this world in this world of meticulously constructed gender norms, do people even have a chance to be themselves? Is everything that has been instilled in us since childhood as “natural behavior” not only oppression for those who deviate from cultural norms, but also a prison for us all?
Can we dream of a world without shame and stigma? With a love of freedom for all, instead of power for the select few?
These are the questions artists explore in the German-Polish performance project “an imperfect utopia”, directed by Noémi Ola Berkowitz. The ensemble – two actors from the Munich Kammerspiele, two actors from TR Warszawa, and one performer from the Ballroom community – will jointly research various strategies to shake off histories of oppression and problematic mechanisms.
“an imperfect utopia” is an immersive theater evening in which performers and spectators draw close to one another. Not only social norms will be questioned, but also theatrical norms. The audience will be onstage with the performers and a DJ will design sound and drop beats live. The performance form, workshopped at the Sopot Non Fiction Theater Festival in 2021, is influenced by the underground drag performance and Ballroom scenes, where the line between spectator and participant is blurred. A hybrid of liberation and camp, of intimate confessions, queer theory and private enlightenment, of lies and truths, of various languages and their moments of failure – an evening in which impossible dreams emerge in all their extravagant glory!
Martyna Wawrzyniak (co-author of Heart, directed by Wiktor Bagiński) will develop the text after a joint research with the ensemble, in which all the various perspectives come to light: City and country, Poland and Germany, dialogue and dance, public and private, shameful and proud, older and younger, binary and nonbinary…
This production marks the first joint production created in the artistic partnership between TR Warszawa and the Munich Kammerspiele. Both theaters are committed to experimental exploration of new forms as well as contemporary material. “Die Wirklichkeit nicht in Ruhe lassen” – „do not leave reality alone“ – is the motto with which the Kammerspiele’s new artistic directing team began their work in 2020. “an imperfect utopia” is also a part of TR Warszawa’s season called “turn on the full spectrum” programmed as well along queer culture topics.
photo: Judith Buss
directed by: Noémi Ola Berkowitz
text: Martyna Wawrzyniak, Noémi Ola Berkowitz, Ensemble
stage design: Mirjam Pleines
costume design: Florian Buder
music: Trace Polly Müller
light design: Charlotte Marr
video: Jake Witlen
dramaturge: Viola Hasselberg, Rania Mleihi, Martyna Wawrzyniak
assistant director: Claudia Kaunzner
directing and dramaturgy intern: Carolin Bernklau
stage design intern: Mara Yakuba
costume design intern: Liz Bromberger
stage manager: Stefanie Rendtorff
surtitles: Yvonne Griesel
technical production management: Jonas Pim Simon
artistic production management: Angelika Koch
artistic production management Warsaw: Magda Igielska