How can theater respond to current shifts – and not just those caused by the pandemic? Offering an answer is the Volksbühne, whose upcoming online performance of Anthropos, Tyrann dares to retell a classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles by employing an entirely new mode of performance. Director Alexander Eisenach has joined forces with the Theatre of the Anthropocene at the Humboldt University to create an interactive, digital home viewing experience that transports you to the stage. The streaming platform lets you move the camera angle across a 360 degree axis, panning from the ceiling to the stage floor.
The result is profoundly intimate, with Eisenach’s cast members following the camera around and speaking directly to you on the other side of the screen. The play itself is constantly in flux: performers enter into dialogue with a changing lineup of projection screens that occupy a shifting stage set, while Eisenach’s script places Sophocles’s tragedy in a current context, proving it has lost none of its relevance. The work tells the story of a man who gradually and ponderously recognizes the finiteness of the planet and his own existence. This metaphorical narrative is successfully combined with the innovative medium to hold a mirror up to us in a surprisingly unsentimental way.
Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Credit: Volksbühne Anthropos, Tyrann (Ödipus) von Alexander Eisenach nach Sophokles photographed by Thomas Aurin
Anthropos, Tyrann by Alexander Eisenach based on Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex: a Volksbühne / Theatre of the Anthropocene co-production.
Tickets for the 360 live performance on 01.03.2021 can be booked on streaming service Dringeblieben.