Schwarze Bären oder Die Erfindung der Republik! //
“Why are you surprised you haven’t gained anything from your travels? Aren’t you the one lugging yourself around? The thing that pushed you to leave is hovering right over your shoulder.”
Socrates’ answer to a traveller’s lament could just as well apply today to a burnt-out manager who goes to a Peruvian shaman to have his soul cleansed. We generally associate positive things with travelling – the change of surroundings, sophistication, discovery, learning and all while enjoying the ›spa feeling‹ at a five-star hotel. Weimar, too, offers all of this to more than 600,000 people who visit the town each year.
Yet Lucas Cranach the Elder may have had other reasons to visit Weimar in 1552 when, at the age of 79, he decided to settle here and found a painting school. What moved the officers and wagoners of the Swedish king to camp here, what made Goethe, Liszt and Gropius decide to call Weimar their home? The ›legacy of Weimar‹? But wasn’t it them who made the town famous in the first place, without whom Weimar’s institutions, buildings, monuments and commemorative sites would have never existed?
»Zum Schwarzen Bär« (To the Black Bear) is the name of the inn where the Swedish wagoners took room and board. Built in 1540, it is one of the two oldest guesthouses in Weimar. The big, black bear on the sign over the entrance remains a symbol of protection and safety for travellers today. Though for the innkeeper, who had to put the troops up during the Thirty Years’ War without payment, it meant quite the opposite, namely financial ruin. To him, the »Black Bear« must have seemed like a dangerous beast.
The directing team is developing a play in which the »Black Bear« serves as the basis for examining Weimar as a place of passage, refuge and reflection. In addition to drawing on historical and literary sources, the play directs its focus on young and old, prominent and fictional inhabitants of Weimar and Weimar experts. Where do they come from, why are they here, especially in this day and age? For a performance in the extra choir, to study at the university, or in hopes of purifying their souls as they gaze at the statue of a poet? What »Black Bear« is hovering over their shoulder? Members of the music theatre and acting ensemble, as well as musicians of the Staatskapelle are invited to participate in a workshop to come up with their own answers to these questions and develop corresponding scenic and musical pieces. A personal encounter with one another and with their town. The project will culminate in a musical and theatrical performance which will gather all the »Black Bears« together.
Along with »Weiskerns Nachlass«, this is the second project by the in-house director Enrico Stolzenburg to be presented at the DNT in the upcoming season.