Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

Thou shalt …!

The roots of the X commandments New texts – new observations – new discussions? German premiere

Ten Austrian and international dramatists and prose writers were commissioned by the Schauspielhaus Vienna in co-operation with the Ruhrtriennale to question one of the Ten Commandments in a text for the theatre.

The authors Paulus Hochgatterer, Ewald Palmetshofer, Clemens J. Setz, Gerhild Steinbuch and Ivan Vyrypaev will approach these several thousand year-old commandments from a contemporary perspective in order to ask what the meaning of these texts might still be. Our interest in confronting this heavily traditional, millennia-old ethical system arose from the question of whether there is or can be any kind of foundation or rules which can be valid or binding in the present in which we find ourselves. Addressing the Ten Commandments with this questioning process seemed logical at first sight. On second thoughts, the reflex of turning to tradition and especially of hawking religion was an irritation.  The Janus-faced nature of the Ten Commandments is particularly apparent: they were never seriously challenged by any ideology or philosophy and yet they have been broken indiscriminately.

Each of the Ten Commandments begins with words which are strict and immovable, as if ›set in stone‹: Thou shalt ... and their very incontrovertibility invites us to question, circumventing, thwart - or maybe even obey them?

None of the dramatized commandments lasts more than 50 minutes, none is performed by more than four actors and they were all rehearsed in only seven days.  In a series of ten world premieres, the audience were offered a poetic interpretation of one commandment a week open for their discussion.

In a long night of theatre consisting of five productions we present the ›roots‹ of the Ten Commandments and introduce not only an interesting project but also new texts, new writers and directors and invite you to consider the commandments by watching and listening, discussing and disagreeing. With Installations, speed dating and Thou shalt-Lounge at the Zeche Carl.

A co-production between the Ruhrtriennale and the Schauspielhaus Vienna