Die drei Leben der Antigone (Antigone’s Three Lives)
FFT Juta Duration: 120 min / Language: German19€/11€ (erm.) Ticket - buy now
January 24, 9 pm: Slavoj Žižek in conversation with Felix Ensslin – following the performance
Philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek developed his own version of Antigone based on Sophokles’ tragedy: A didactic play with three possible outcomes that was regarded as unplayable for a long time. Felix Ensslin stages it in collaboration with the AGORA Theater, and the FFT will present its German premiere. The 21st-century Labdacids have spread all around the globe. But once every 100 years, Oedipus descendants gather for a family celebration – the Oedipus Inc. general assembly. The considerable heritage left by Oedipus, Creon, Antigone and company has to be administered, and the clan must be led towards the future. Because no-one was live on-site, they have to rely on the recollections of Teiresias the seer. Thrice do Antigone, Creon and the choir try their hands at the traditional tragic conflict and try to win, through their playing, possible courses of action beyond preordained fate for themselves. Thrice, the protagonists’ roles in Thebes’ fratricidal war are cast anew, played through, accepted or disposed of.
AGORA Theater, formed in Belgium’s St. Vith, will celebrate its 40thanniversary in 2020. Following “Animal Farm – Theater im Menschenpark” (“Animal Farm -Theatre in the human zoo”), an exploration of the history and present of the European left and AGORA Theater itself, based on George Orwell’s text. Die drei Leben der Antigone is Felix Ensslin’s second theatre work in collaboration with the ensemble. In this, the quest for possibilities to contribute to the political present also becomes a search for forms on stage. The three outcomes that are specified in Slavoj Žižek‘s didactic play, through speech, singing and playing on stage, reach a simultaneousness of a world that seems to recognise the inevitability of the 2,500 year-old tragedy merely as a quote.
AGORA Theater was founded by Marcel Cremer in St. Vith, Belgum, in 1980, in close connection to student theatre. The artistic direction today is in the hands of Kurt Pothen. As an independent and professional touring ensemble operating all year round, AGORA plays more than 230 annual performances throughout Europe and currently counts about 40 members. From 1980 until 2016, AGORA developed 45 stagings in theatre for youths and adults, mainly their own productions, and, up until now, has played around 4,800 performances in 35 countries in front of an audience of 750,000 people. AGORA always develops its plays in both German and French language versions, sometimes adding Dutch or English. The company compiles pieces that scrutinise the present, aiming to inspire the audience to act proactively and formatively towards life and society.
Slavoj Žižek is a philosopher, a psychoanalyst and cultural critic. He teaches philosophy at Ljubljana university in Slovenia and at Saas-Fee’s European Graduate School while also serving as the International Director at London’s Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. His numerous books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He was the longstanding editor of the Slovenian Lacan school “Wo es war”, dealing with, among other things, the philosophy of German idealism, with Hegel and Karl Marx as well with contemporary approaches from the fields of post-structuralism, media theory, feminism and Cultural Studies. In his more than 20 monographs, he aims to fulfill a Lacanian reading of philosophy, of popular culture and, growing more important during the last few years, of political theory.
Felix Ensslin is a curator, playwright, dramaturge, theatrical director, university lecturer, and philosopher. He worked, both artistically and curatorially, at Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) Karlsruhe and at the Berliner Kunst-Werke as well as elsewhere. In 2009, the tome “Notstandsgesetze von Deiner Hand. Briefe 1968/1969 von Gudrun Ensslin und Bernward Vesper” was published, documenting the correspondence between his mother and his father between January 1968 and mid-1969, to which Felix Ensslin contributed a postface. He has been a theory professor at the newly created chair for aesthetics and art education at Kunstakademie Stuttgart. Ensslin’s scientific focus lies on the examination of contemporary aesthetic and philosophical discourses and psychoanalyst cultural theory.
Performance: Karen Bentfeld, Galia De Backer, Roger Hilgers, Line Lerho, Ania Michaelis, Ninon Perez, Daniela Scheuren, Anna Robic, Matthias Weiland, Nikita Zolotar. Music: Wellington Barros. Choreography: Catharina Gadelha. Scenography: Céline Leuchter. Costumes: Petra Kather. Assistant Direction: Mira Simon. Dramaturgy: Mona Becker, Christoph Sökler. Direction: Felix Ensslin. Artistic Direction AGORA Theater: Kurt Pothen. A co-production with FFT Düsseldorf. With support lent by the German-speaking Community of Belgium, the Féderátion Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Province de Liège. Supported by the Ministry for Culture and Sciences of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Supported by Kunststiftung NRW as part of the international co-production series “Eve of Destruction”.AGORA Theater Ans Eingemachte - Jan+Feb 2020