The magic is happening again like it always does. Until now I don’t really understand how it works, but it does work, and that’s important. It’s the first scenic rehearsal. During the past few days, we all talked about Undine, about opera and theater, about high sensitivity. We all have our questions and we start with these.
I don’t really know how a scene could look before the actors start experimenting with it. There’s only a text I prepared and some props I put on stage. In fact, I wanted a bathtub for this scene. But for today we don’t have one so we use an inflatable boat that Johana, the set designer, brought. I put a bucket full of water next to it. So there’s something with the shape of a bathtub and water on stage. Now Johannes has to deal with that stuff. Before he starts, I tell him something like: »Huldbrand is bored because of the previous scene. Play around a little bit like everyone does when he or she is bored.« That’s everything. There is this strange stuff, the actor, and an empty space.
But a kind of magic happens. Johannes explores the boat while he’s sitting in it. What does that thing do, when I turn right? What does it do, when I turn left? Can I lift myself and the boat at the same time? Can I jump while I’m sitting in the boat? These might be questions he asks himself without saying a word. In German, the word »acting« is often replaced by the word »playing« and that’s what he does. He plays with the boat and later with the bucket. So many images appear and I only have to order them and to find a structure in it. I’m really good at structuring but I am horrible at inventing something. If the actors don’t become playful children in front of me, I can’t do anything.
Fortunately, I asked four people for this project who are in fact smart, naive, focused, enthusiastic, and simply playful children.
P.S.: After three hours with Lisa, Johannes, and the inflatable boat I know there will be no bathtub in this production, but rather this boat. And that’s great!
Goldstaub team during the Brennender Schnee/Burning Snow production
Jeffrey Döring – artistic director
Mariam Haas – set designer
Johana Gomez – set designer
Felix Nagl – sound designer
Iris Schwarz – motion designer
Simon Greiner – motion designer
Elmar Mellert – designer of the art book
Lisa Ströckens – soprano/ actress
Laila Richter – actress
Johannes May – actor
Pascal Zurek – bass baritone/ actor