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Documentary theatre: Masterclass by Hans-Werner Kroesinger

Writer and director Hans-Werner Kroesinger investigates controversial issues on contemporary history for documentary theatre. He examines political issues beyond the media mainstream and experiments with their presentability on stage. He is one of the most significant representatives of documentary theatre in the German-speaking world, and, among other things, regularly works at the HAU Berlin.

His comments on his workshop are: “Wars are the greatest possible conflicts in which all norms familiar to us are abrogated. They are about people who are exposed to exceptional situations. My interest lies in the examination of such conflicts by looking at the marks they leave — documents, case records, notes in newspapers, travel accounts. These texts constitute the starting point for the play that will be written. The writing process is the montage that everybody is involved in. The participants of the seminar will become part-time experts on the topic. We will deal with the genocide in Rwanda, the country’s colonial history and its consequences until today. We will analyse sources and try different approaches to the material. Which texts will prevail after a staged rehearsal; what stages can documentary theatre take place on; how is an official record different to a private memory? All this will be part of the workshop. The participants are encouraged to bring their own material.”