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?”
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.