very important: this is about theater

Three film minia­tures inspi­red by Per Simon Edström’s thea­ter clas­sic “Most Important”.

“Last year I visi­ted the direc­tor San­kar Ven­ka­tes­wa­ran in Kera­la in the south of India, who is also known here in Zurich from the Thea­ter Specta­cle. He built a thea­ter the­re next to the jung­le on a remo­te pla­teau. It is a gre­at buil­ding and open on all sides. The sta­ge, the vil­la­ge, the bana­na plan­ta­ti­ons and the con­flicts of a socie­ty that thinks in cas­tes inter­pe­ne­tra­te. Insi­de and out­side are abolis­hed as categories.

Then one evening San­kar show­ed me a stran­ge book by a Swe­dish thea­ter maker. It is cal­led ‘Most Important’ and in it a cer­tain Per Simon Edström gathers with anar­chic for­ce his ide­as of ide­al thea­ter buildings.

Now, only half a year later, we are sit­ting here, in an extra­or­di­na­ry situa­ti­on and the ban on assem­blies is in for­ce. Thea­ters are clo­sed and we are thin­king about safe­ty distances.

During that time, the lock­down, I was asked to do an online per­for­mance of ‘Most Important,’ but I’m total­ly against online thea­ter, or at least what’s main­ly unders­tood by it at the moment.

Then, by a nice coin­ci­dence, I met the video artist Tho­mas Tau­be during a walk. They were immedia­te­ly very fruit­ful con­ver­sa­ti­ons. Tho­mas thinks out of his video art. I mys­elf spend a lot of time in thea­ter spaces. How the archi­tec­tu­re of the respec­ti­ve medi­um crea­tes spe­cial con­di­ti­ons for what then takes place in it is our com­mon denominator.

In our pro­duc­tion ‘Very Important: This Is about Thea­ter’, we use the tools of film to think about thea­ter. And with the means of thea­ter about the film.

I walk with Tho­mas through this pecu­li­ar book. I take on dif­fe­rent roles. And Tho­mas is buil­ding me a room for it. He builds me into his moving images. I, Leon Pfan­nen­mül­ler am Leon Pfan­nen­mül­ler, I am an actor, but I am also the thea­ter, the archi­tec­tu­re, the book, I am the aut­hor, I am Per Simon Edström, I am the har­le­quin, I am a tricks­ter and I per­form and I ask mys­elf and you: How do we want to meet? And whe­re do we want to meet?”

Leon Pfan­nen­mül­ler

Part 1: Basics (or: Fuck all Frames)

Part 2: Histo­ry and Size (or: The big­ger isn’t the better)

Part 3: The Future is now (or: Theat­re in Space)


A Lock­down co-pro­duc­tion with Thea­ter­haus Jena

Text, direc­tion and play: Leon Pfan­nen­mül­ler
Text, direc­tion and video: Tho­mas Tau­be
Dra­ma­tur­gy: Hayat Erdoğan
Cos­tu­me: Cor­ne­lia Ste­phan
Sound: Mar­tin Wig­ger
Light: Stef­fen Prietzsch
Sound/Photography: Veit Mernitz

Thanks to Pina Ber­ge­mann, Han­no Ber­ge­mann, Lilith Ber­ge­mann, Hen­ri­ke Com­mi­chau, Ste­ven Kam­phen­kel, Char­lot­te Krenz, Susan­ne Marks, Basi­ro Marong, Kari­mo Marong, Maar­ten van Otter­di­jk, Lui­se Peschko, Jose­phi­ne Roth, Niklas Schae­fer, Mar­le­en Schol­ten, Jonas Tim­mers, Mag­da­le­na Wie­den­ho­fer and Mirel­la Oestreicher.