Goldstaub collective

Traces of a Water Spirit

How sensitive is highly sensitive? How can special ways of perception be shared with an audience? How do digital media and theater work together? The off-theatre team »Goldstaub« follows these questions in their current theater project »Burning Snow« on the phenomenon of high sensitivity and the myth of Undine, a water spirit. This rehearsal diary is the attempt to show the plurality of voices during this production.

Traces of a Water Spirit #11

Inside Outside

The end is always the hardest. Especially in this piece. The text says that Hans goes into nothingness and Undine into oblivion. What a wonderfully poetic picture. And this picture is just the problem. Jeffrey, the director, and Mariam, the stage and costume designer, perform and I stage the scene – to check out the effect. Because as an actor in the scene you don’t know how you appear. J and M start. They read the text and adjust their

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Traces of a Water Spirit #11

A Voice Surfacing During the Transcontinental Journey of a Vinyl

Walking through autumn leaves surrounding Schloss Solitude, Jeffrey introduced me to Undine, the water spirit. Although she is not a human being, some aspects of her life correspond with the daily experience of highly sensitive humans; those who seem to get stronger sensory input from the environment than the average human does. Undine finds herself in a world that she used to observe from underwater. Then, love made her appear on earth in the body of a human female. But

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Traces of a Water Spirit #10

11/17/17

I have humility toward theater. I have humility toward any form of theater. I’m thankful to be a tiny little bit of big things. I am grateful to represent and supplement the thoughts of others. I am grateful to act. I am grateful for big and small stages, Boards and lights and curtains and sound systems. Steps and glances and secrets and sounds. I am grateful to be an actress. I am grateful to be allowed to audition at city

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Traces of a Water Spirit #9

11/05/17

One of the best things with opera or musical theater is that people agree on a common frame, a common »timeline,« even if they never met before. The music and the words are written down and provide security and commitment. Therefore, the moment when two (or more) people meet who have studied the same music and perform it together for the first time is full of excitement: Both know the music, but neither knows what the other part has »made

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Traces of a Water Spirit #8

How To Get To a Theatrical Character

To create the story and to invent the traits, needs, and behavior of the character Huldbrand, actor Johannes May and director Jeffrey Döring had many discussions. Most of them looked more like small talk than real business meetings. But the most inspiring aspect for Huldbrand resulted from the following description of Johannes’s ex-girlfriend’s father: Ralf, Rolf. I’m not completely sure anymore what my ex-girlfriend’s father’s name is. I still remember her name. And I remember how it smelled in the

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Traces of a Water Spirit #7

11/05/17

It’s Sunday afternoon and I have no rehearsal, but I work nevertheless. The rain drops at my window and the light of my computer let my eyes feel itchy. I was always sure that understanding and forbearance are the two most important abilities of an director or even more of a dramaturg. In the meantime I’m not sure anymore. Like always I have to organize the rehearsal schedule and other appointments. And like always I reorganize the appointments because of

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Traces of a Water Spirit #6

10/30/17 – 11/03/17

Monday, October 30 Mariam, the set designer with whom I will collaborate during the production, is back in Stuttgart. We have to talk a lot. What has already happened during rehearsals? What kind of new ideas came up? Which materials did I research and which are affordable? We talk and discuss for ages. It’s a marathon to bring each other up to date. It’s very tiring. I have to explain a lot to her and contextualize it. She also tells

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Traces of a Water Spirit #5

10/28/17

My back hurts. Jeffrey is a magician. Since the beginning of rehearsals I am facing problems I was able to avoid until now. Since I was 17, I wanted to become an actress. There was no bigger destination than Berlin, Volksbühne and the Ernst Busch School. But acting the monologue I failed every time. Finding access to a text is horrible. It’s like school. And at school I felt silent inside. Everything I said was always wrong, so I decided

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Traces of a Water Spirit #4

10/19/17

At the beginning of rehearsal I could not follow a single sentence of the colleagues and the director. Even though we’d meditated together at the beginning. It was too loud inside of me. The room’s neon light takes me far away from my inner self. In this mood I have to read texts. When I went to school I couldn’t even breathe when I had to read aloud. At least now I can do that almost without any problems. I

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Traces of a Water Spirit#3

10/17/17

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

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Traces of a Water Spirit #2

Sometimes I Feel Like I Feel Too Much

I think of myself as a highly sensitive person. One day my therapist wrote something on her notebook, the letters H S P. She told me about high sensitivity and the meaning of it. »You are a highly sensitive person if the environment affects you maybe more than it should. Noise and light makes you struggle, you feel like you’re not able to fully concentrate. Also, sometimes you feel like other people’s feelings are your own. If someone is sad,

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Traces of a Water Spirit #1

10/14/17

»The adventure begins. I’m like Indiana Jones and I still have to find out if these are the people who help me out of the labyrinth, or if they lure me into a trap.«Jeffrey Döring (artistic director of »Burning Snow«) In German it’s called »Konzeptionsprobe«: a rehearsal in which the director presents the concept of the production to the team. It’s always the scariest rehearsal for the director. Do the actors like the concept? Do they like the costumes? Is

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