Last week, acclaimed director Thomas Ostermeier and the Berliner Schaubühne returned to BAM | Brooklyn Academy of Music with a contemporary adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play An Enemy of the People. S2S went to see what contemporary German theater is all about these days.
I highly anticipated Thomas Ostermeier‘s Berliner Schaubühne adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, since my first love of all the arts was the theater. Sitting in the dark, all by myself in immediate vicinity to the stage, without the protective arms of my parents, I got hooked at an early age when the company my father worked for would send kids to see The Wizard of Oz and other age appropriate plays during the Christmas holidays.
The evocative and provocative artistry of The Bread and Puppet Theater is more than radical political statement or partisan dogma. Rather Bread and Puppet is and always has been a collaborative commentary involving local volunteers, a core theater company along with the active participation of the audience. The viewers’ gaze animates every performance and infuses it with meaning.
A highly imaginative and preternaturally creative spirit is present in the troupe’s every breath and every movement. From the second the large, old space at the West Park Presbyterian Church goes dark and Bread and Puppet’s chilling performance begins, the audience is transported, all to their own cold, dark places. Whatever agonies each person has experienced–or fears–is projected onto the performance piece as well as reflected back onto each individual.