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 behavior to what they have read. At first they are far away from each other and move toward each other. That’s not true somehow. I interrupt and say: Somehow that’s not true. Sit next to each other with the water bucket as a wall between you. J and M start again.
Better. But still not right.
I interrupt. Pretty early. I say: Try to hold hands but without touching each other. Like two magnets pressed together with the same poles.
J and M try it. That’s nice. The gesture has a meaning. Being together and being separated at the same time. Now the text comes back. The text is great. Nice, sad, poetic, philosophical. But overloaded. I can’t follow.
I interrupt. I say: I have the impression that these two people are riding side by side like on two rails. In close proximity to each other, but separated. Like a conversation through a closed door, or just two trains running side by side. Let’s try that. Somehow.
J and M start again.
I wonder, how do I make a picture in which both are separated and yet together. How can they be alone while they are together?
It’s strange how everything shifts when you look from the outside. As I no longer instinctively make proposals out of the figure, but from the outside a picture of the inner process, the feeling, the conflict search. When I think about it, it does not surprise me and yet to learn it is interesting.
Then I play again with Lisa, the Undine actress. And what works, when I saw it, does not work anymore as a player. That confuses me.
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