Theater in the Underground, Berlin (“Theater in den Unterwelten”)

Historical performance with the “Theater in den Unterwelten”

“And if we flee, we hope.
We hope for the other world. ”

The asylum judge Anna is confronted with the mysterious case of the Syrian Naida. During the hearings the judge suddenly sees faces, has déjà-vus. It seems the Syrian woman evoked these images from a place where the judge as a baby lost her parents: an escape tunnel in the Berlin of the 60’s.

Her mother Hanna, a writer, and her father Bartsch, a Stasi officer, have been drifting apart in the increasing conflict of the society in the GDR. Fritz, the brother of the mother,already fled to West Berlin. He starts to dig a tunnel to help escape her and her baby-daughter. The opponents are varied: water, a Stasi-contra-tunnel, quarreling and betrayal …

Nightmares and box-dreams – the story of the judge Anna – the story of the Syrian Naida. Are they just reflections of their own destiny? Just an imagination? Perhaps the key to their own trauma …

– The story behind the theater –
The history of the Berlin Escape Tunnel is a story of self-determination, demonstration of immense courage and of despair. The power that makes people “undermine” state borders has an anarchistic component and is rooted in the chaos of the fall of Nazi Germany. There, trust and faith into systems were lost par excellence. The tunnel workers and refugees of the 60’s still knew the suffering of torn apart families
from their childhood. They would never accept this from any system again. This is how tunnel-projects such as the “Tunnel29” (1962) or the “Tunnel57” (1964) were founded. People took their fate literally into their own hands and began to dig tunnels.

History does not start and stop. All the stories are connected to each other. The civil war in Syria is also based on the conflict lines of the last World War as well as the divided Berlin. The erosions of geopolitical eruptions have been on the rise, bringing more people in need. They flee and wander this planet to live, to survive. From a great distance you could call this the migration of evolution. Taking a closer look – Syrian villages are burning. And we have more to do with it, than we would like. People are the ones that shape the systems that draw the boundaries and not natural events. Also this story does not end when we turn off the TV or leave the theater.

Author: Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt

Director: Momo Kohlschmidt

Hanna/Anna: Katharina Groth
Naida/Aida: Momo Kohlschmidt
Bartsch: Johannes-Richard Voelkel
Fritz: Claas Würfel
Erwin: Gero Bergmann
Mario: Dennis Katzmann
Puppetry: Dennis Katzmann

Stage / Requisite: Chris Hinze
Videodesign: Momo Kohlschmidt
Technic – Sound / Video: Giacomo Kohlschmidt
Technic – Light: Lucile Chemarin

Music: Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt
Dramaturgy: Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt
Book: Kai-Uwe Kohlschmidt

Production management & PR: Katharina Goebel
Initiator / Historical Counseling: Dietmar Arnold

© A production of the Berliner Unterwelten e.V. 2013
© edition of the Berliner Unterwelten 2014

© foto dpa