Stage adaptation by Robert Schuster and Nora Khuon
The young actor and director Hendrik Höfgen celebrates his first major successes in Hamburg in the mid-1920s. He despises the Nazis, rubs elbows with the leftists and envisions a »Revolutionary Theatre«. No wonder he hides in fear when the Nazis seize power in 1933. But then something completely unexpected happens. He makes a big comeback as the minister’s protégé and is chosen to represent the theatre of the Nazi regime. His most famous and celebrated role is that of Goethe’s Mephisto.
Encouraged by a friend in 1935 to write a novel about a »homosexual careerist in the Third Reich«, Klaus Mann put the story of »Gustav Gründgens« to paper while he was living in exile in Holland. Klaus Mann’s novel was not intended to be a portrayal of a real-life person, but rather a description of the rise of an opportunist whose character possesses – like Mephisto – something obscene, dangerously iridescent and diabolically irresistible. In the book, Klaus Mann raises the question of what possibilities are available to artists in a repressive system, the sinister relationship between art and power, between freedom and temptation. How valuable are artists to society, what standards should artists adhere to and what responsibility do they bear?
The story of the highly talented actor Hendrik Höfgen, who was lured into the service of a Mephistophelian system through his uncontrollable narcissism and ambition, picks up where Goethe’s »Faust« left off at the beginning of the 2013/14 season at the DNT. At the same time, the play revisits an intriguing chapter of history of the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar.
Robert Schuster has directed plays in Freiburg, Bremen, Frankfurt and numerous other cities. In 2013 he was appointed to head the Department of Theatre Direction at the »Ernst Busch« Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin.
Robert Schuster (director)
Sascha Gross (stage- and costumedesign)
Nora Khuon (dramaturgy)
Bahadir Hamdemir (video)