unlear­ning acts

A dic­tion­a­ry per­for­med by Jakob Leo Stark

“The new words of the day are: Sea, High­way, Shot­gun. A ‹sea› is the lea­ther chair with woo­den arm rests. Examp­le: ‹Don’t remain stan­ding, sit down in the sea to have a chat. › A ‹high­way› is a very strong wind. A ‹Shot­gun› is a very beau­ti­ful white bird.“
from the movie “Dog­tooth”, Gior­gos Lant­hi­mos, 2009

Are we the aut­hors of our own lives or are we just acting out scripts? The one-per­son play per­for­med by Jakob Leo Stark, inspi­red by the film “Dog­tooth” by Gior­gos Lant­hi­mos, plays with this ques­ti­on. At the cen­ter of this film is a fami­ly in which the par­ents main­tain the fic­tion that the world bey­ond the gar­den fence is a dan­ge­rous place. To do this, they keep their child­ren away from any out­side influ­en­ces, for­bid them from lea­ving the pro­per­ty, and teach them a voca­bu­la­ry that secu­res their nar­ra­ti­ve. This goes “well” until three Hol­ly­wood films get into the hands of the daughter …

“Unlear­ning Acts” takes on histo­ry and asks to what extent we would be able to rewri­te it if the world con­sis­ted only of this one nar­ra­ti­ve and its accom­pany­ing voca­bu­la­ry. You can expect a tra­gi­co­mic play of 120 words, which shows what pos­si­bi­li­ties open up in unlear­ning what has been lear­ned and how dif­fi­cult or even impos­si­ble it is to turn one’s back on the tra­di­tio­nal struc­tures once and for all.

“Unlear­ning Acts’ […] is clas­si­cal phy­si­cal thea­ter. […] Jakob Leo Stark strug­gles for a phy­si­cal mani­fes­ta­ti­on of his exis­tence.[…] His moti­va­ti­on and the count­less attempts to obtain ans­wers, if not redemp­ti­on, on the other hand, is com­pre­hen­si­ble, as if it were some­thing that con­cer­ned one con­crete­ly and with gre­at urgen­cy. It is a sym­bo­lic libe­ra­ti­on that spa­res no ven­ture.” P.S. Zeitung

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jakob leo stark

Pro­duc­tion Team

Direc­tion and sce­no­gra­phy: Maxi­mi­li­an hanisch

dra­ma­tur­gy: niko­lai prawdzic

dra­ma­tur­gy assi­s­tance: Sarah Calörtscher

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