Goethe and the inspiration //
If you were to ask someone about Goethe in Weimar or about Weimar since Goethe, you would be inundated with endless information. There is hardly a writer of modern times, for whom there is so many biographical texts, and only a handful of cities whose reputation extends so far and is so firmly invested in one of their former residents.
Yet even during his lifetime, Goethe was reason enough to pay Weimar a visit , and thus he transformed the provincial duchy into a jewel of the literary and intellectual world. It was and still is because of him that people come to Weimar: back then, Schiller and Herder, and today thousands of tourists in search of – what exactly?
Who is Goethe for us? An academic and philosophical source – of reference? A source of torment for pupils required to read him in school? A source of quotes? A source of inscrutable desire? Where and for whom has Goethe been a source, what writers and readers, what contemporaries and future generations has he moved and inspired, infuriated and provoked, whom has he rescued from and pushed to despair?
And what sources did the master himself draw from? What and who inspired him? What places did he visit, whose reports did he raptly listen to when travellers of the world visited Weimar’s parlours and salons? What intangible souvenirs did Goethe, the tourist, bring back with him from his own journeys?
Together with actors from the ensemble, set and costume designer Oliver Helf and dramaturge Verena Elisabet Eitel, Jan Neumann sets out in search for evidence of encounters between Goethe’s Weimar and the world at large in files and manuscripts in Weimar’s archives, hotel registries, tourist information statistics, the relics of the lost-and-found office and the secret treasures of the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek.
Oliver Helf (Bühne)
Oliver Helf / Marie-Luise Otto (Kostüme)
Dirk Sobe (Musikalische Einstudierung)
Verena Elisabet Eitel (Dramaturgie)