Ina Doublekova reports on the digi/topia premiere at Schauspiel Köln

Author: Ina Doublekova

An Ancient Greek myth tells that Zeus decided to determine where the centre of “Grandmother Earth” or Gaia is. To do that, he sent two eagles to fly in opposite directions – one from the Western extreme and the other one from the Eastern extreme of the sky. Their trajectories crossed over town of Delphi, seated on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Zeus marked the spot by placing a stone known as omphalos or the naval of Gaia. At that place the most famous and influential temple of Antiquity emerged – The Temple of Apollo, where Pythia spelled her prophesies during certain months of the year.

Yet, in the 21st century we find out that the centre of the Earth has moved, at least temporarily, to Cologne, Germany. At Offenbachplatz to be precise. There the oracles of Delphi meet us at the end of a theatrical journey digi/topia. It involves 30 non-professional actors (with the exception of several elderly actors from the troop of the theatre) between the ages of 13 and 78, whom take their “test subjects”, the members of the audience, into small groups of up to 12 people in every 15-minutes through their performative installation, dedicated to the possible scenarios about the future they can imagine. It lasts about 90 minutes and unfolds between the two buildings of Schauspiel Köln, a significant part of which is undergoing reconstruction at the moment. Like the paths of the two eagles, it also presents two opposite to one another possible trajectories about what might be coming next: the utopian one and the dystopian one. Near the end they come together in a scene, where the audience is standing in a circle, each person showing to the others his or her just created avatar on the tablet, received at the entrance of the room, when two oracles appear to share their prophesies in the form of mystic sentences.

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