Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes with two intermissions
The premiere took place on 16 December 2016.
A family catastrophe against the backdrop of an agitated world. Gerhart Hauptmann’s play, written in 1932, gives us an opportunity to consider the place of the individual in the contemporary world. What prevails, the personal or the socially accepted? Control or freedom of choice? These are the questions Hauptmann asked of himself and of society just as fascism began to rise. Today they take on new significance. Hauptmann’s play centers on the historical tragedy of “non-freedom” facing the 70 year-old Matthais Clausen, who falls in love with the young Inken, but who is hindered on all sides by those around him, his family most of all.
“Hauptmann grasped what this century had in store for us. He saw how, in times of great convulsions, the individual human is turned into a ‘nothing.’ The dignity and freedom of the individual, his or her uniqueness and individuality, would perish in gas attacks and death camps. The only unconditional freedom given the individual is the freedom to dispose of his or her own destiny. The main protagonist here revokes his own biography. But his very own children will not let him rewrite his life anew or relive the emotions of his first and last loves”.
Translated by Maria Levina