Noémi Ola Berkowitz
Viola Hasselberg, Rania Mleihi, Martyna Wawrzyniak
15 July 2022
21 October 2022
from the age of 15
You are encouraged to be mobile during the performance, to move around and participate in the performance by changing your viewing location and to take photos.
During the performance, the Lambda Warsaw will hold a fundraiser.
„Maybe being queer is the natural, wild state of being. Maybe queering your thinking simply means approaching yourself and everyone else with curiosity and compassion instead of judgement”.
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 explored in the German-Polish performance project “an imperfect utopia”, directed by Noémi Ola Berkowitz. Together with Berkowitz and Martyna Wawrzyniak (co-author of “The Heart”, directed by Wiktor Bagiński), the ensemble – two actors from the Munich Kammerspiele, two actors from TR Warszawa, and one live musician – jointly researched 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. An exploration of a queer utopia beyond the here and now: “an imperfect utopia” is 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!
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.
Noémi Ola Berkowitz, director, (she/they) studied acting and psychology at Stanford University and works in German, Polish and English. Awards include the Eleanor Prosser Prize for Excellence in Theater (2016) and the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Acting Ensemble of a Play (2014). First directing works in California (“Proof”, “The Vagina Monologues”). Noémi wrote and directed the following pieces since moving to Europe: „Epilogue“ (2017, English Theater Berlin), „Movement of Freedom“ (2018, Studio Я of the Maxim Gorki Theater), „a face to the story in the newspaper…“ (2019, Jewish-Polish Festival „Festivalt“ in Kraków). 2021 residency at the Sopot Non-Fiction Theater Festival. Noémi’s production “an imperfect utopia”, a co-production with TR Warszawa and the Munich Kammerspiele, premieres in 2022.
photo: Judith Buss
Read an excerpt from the script…
directed by: Noémi Ola Berkowitz
text: Martyna Wawrzyniak, Noémi Ola Berkowitz, including Tomasz Tyndyk‘s story
stage design: Mirjam Pleines
costume design: Florian Buder
music: Trace Polly Müller
light design: Charlotte Marr (Mk), Daniel Sanjuan Ciepielewski (TR)
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
director’s assistant at TR Warszawa: Wojtek Sobolewski
surtitles: Yvonne Griesel
technical production management: Jonas Pim Simon
artistic production management: Angelika Koch
artistic production management Warsaw: Magda Igielska
The latest premiere by TR Warszawa, co-produced by the prestigious Munich
Kammerspiele, is promoted with a series of questions that perfectly reflect the overall feel of
the performance. Even though „Imperfect utopia” tackles very serious issues, the production is as light and delicate as the songs performed during the show. It does not push, overwhelm or entrap – it opens one up, familiarizes the audience with the issues at hand and gives them a lot of space.
The strength of the performance lies in the closeness of the performers, also literal
closeness, because the space is not divided into the stage and audience area, there’s a bar,
rainbow candies are floating around.
Tomasz Tyndyk’s genius, queer and infused with longing rendition of “Boys” Sabrina will stay
with me forever.
Partner of the performance