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Der Mensch erscheint im Holozän - Schauspielhaus Zürich

Der Mensch
erscheint im Holozän

© Eike Walkenhorst

A visual poem after Max Frisch
Staging: Alexander Giesche


Invited to 57. Berliner Theatertreffen
​3sat award winner

“Man remains a layman.” (Max Frisch) – A mountain collapses in a landslide, and a man loses his memory. Nothing much more happens at first in Max Frisch’s novel, which was published 40 years ago. Its protagonist, Herr Geiser, and the mountain gently drift into oblivion. The catastrophe lasts for a long time, and there is something beautiful about it. And it’s the same today, since the geological era of the Holocene, which has defined the Earth for around the past 12,000 years, is now giving way to the Anthropocene, whose name (anthropos means “human being” in Ancient Greek) reflects the way in which human beings are now having an impact on the Earth’s geology. There will be a time after human beings, just as there was a time before them: “Only man knows catastrophes, nature knows no catastrophes,” writes Max Frisch. But perhaps, we might ask, human beings will be saved at the last minute by their gift for innovation, their profound relationship to technology? Under an almost tender gaze, the human and demented Herr Geiser disappears into the story – instead of masses of Earth, it is a human being that is being eroded here. But is there not also some relief in forgetting? Alexander Giesche’s aesthetic, which moves constantly between the virtual and the analogue, between simulation and all-too real reality, makes us feel the beauty in catastrophe and its potential to heal us.

Alexander Giesche
Set Design
Nadia Fistarol
Luis August Krawen
Felix Lübkemann
Ludwig Abraham
Frank Bittermann
Joshua Wicke
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Audience Development
Philine Erni
Drama Teacher
Patrick Oes
Drama teacher assistant
Nadir Ak
Costume assistant
Ulf Brauner
Set design assistant
Marie Hartung
Production assistant
Natascha Zander
Extra (Children)
Benjamin Bubica, Rosa Curi, Alexia Finocchiaro-Piu, Julia Kalberer, Matti Kramer, Cara Stäger
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Supported by Ars Rhenia
Mit Dank an Stone Island

  • 1 hour 50 minutes, plus screening afterwards
  • Premiere: 23. January 2020, Pfauen
  • Pfauen
  • Recommended age: 16 and above
  • 🛈 Introduction 30 min before the play on 23.09., 26.09., 28.09. and 30.09.

    Attention: Use of stroboscopes and fog!
Wednesday 23.09. 20:00 - 21:50 Pfauen
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Saturday 26.09. 20:00 - 21:50 Pfauen
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  • Carte Blanche
Monday 28.09. 20:00 - 21:50 Pfauen
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  • Theatre Monday
Wednesday 30.09. 20:00 - 21:50 Pfauen
  • Pay what you want
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Saturday 03.10. 20:00 - 21:50 Pfauen
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