en / de

claudia bosse / theatercombinat

11.4. - 22.06.2008 p-bar – werkstatt für europäische theorieteppiche und kunstpraxis, im rahmen der produktion «die perser» | 11.6.2008 create your state auf dem vorplatz des staatstheaters braunschweig, festival theaterformen (d)

die perser, braunschweig

die perser in 3 städten

perser review
die perser, wien
les perses, genf


«p-bar», part of the international theatre workshops at festival theaterformen, accompanied the three months rehearsal process of THE PERSIANS directed by claudia bosse with the participation of 340 citizens of braunschweig as chorus of the persians.

lectures, interventions, films, debates and installations reflected the process in public and invited the audience and the citizens of braunschweig to look into the subjects of aeschylus' text and the staging as well as the importance of tragedy and chorus as means, ritual and possibility for reviewing our concepts of democracy.


p-bar team
claudia bosse, anke dyes, caroline farke, andreas gölles and anselm lenz

supported by niedersächsische lottostiftung
and bundeszentrale für polititsche bildung, bonn


29. february first assembly of the chorus of 500

14. march «perser-oke»

28. march von kriegen berichten (reporting of wars)

11. april open p-bar

18. april hajo kurzenberger (hildesheim):the chorical body as scenic procedure. images of body and society.

25. april c.a. scheier (braunschweig): greek tragedy - critical memory of democracy

09. may jonas grethlein (heidelberg): «the persians» - time, narration and memorisation

16. may florian vaßen (hannover): a question of attitude - bertolt brecht's learning play and the language of heiner müller

23. may sophie klimis (brussels): the citizens' breath - the tragic chorus as invention of a democratic community

30. may edith hall (london): the death and the people - mourning of military catastrophies from greek antiquity to today

first p-bar first assembly of all participants after the open call from december 2008. after one month rehearsals with chorus-leaders and protagonists, the scores are handed over to the chorus, chorus-groups are arranged and the rehearsing-process is taken over by the chorus-leaders.

perser-oke live-synchronisation of jean prat's staging of «the persians» from 1961 with the translation by heiner müller/peter witzmann. masks and monument meet the voices of the visitors and the 'dark passages' of this translation, the violenceof the image meets the presence of the voice.

the open p-bar aks the experts of the chorus after their knowledge, experiences, stories, songs, pictures and anecdotes related to the project and what they are doing elsewhere – to exchange what they know, ask what not, initiate what is missing.

hajo kurzenberger professor of theatre science and praxis in the course of scenic arts at the foundation of the university of hildesheim and director of the institute of media and theatre. his research focuses the dramatic chorus. he also works as production-dramaturg in basel, zurich and hamburg.


chorus-body as scenic method. images of body and society
the greek tragedy was intrinsically linked to the political daily life and the rhetoric-argumentative modes of representation of a society which needed theatre as central means to reflect the internal and external political crisis of a developing global power. origin and spatial centre of this theatre is the chorus. the lecture examines historical examples of different concepts of the chorus during the last 100 years and their respective images of body and society.

greek tragedy– critical memory of democracy
the classical tragedies were no theatre-pieces in the modern sense of cultural industry, but deeply embedded in the cultural-political context of the autonomous city-state. they are part of the young democracy's public debate about its legitimation. the danger of 'anything-goes', which emerges here and is immediately radically reflected, turns tragedy into a memorial of origin and reflection of the limits of freedom – the critical potential of tragedy until today.


claus-artur scheier is professor of philosophy at the carolo-wilhelmina university at braunschweig with research focus on classical philosophy and the philosophy of art.

jonas grethlein is professor of classical philology at the university of heidelberg. his last publication dealt with the 'historical image of the iliad', an examination from a phenomenological and narratological perspective.


„the persians” – time, narration and memory

aeschylus' «the persians» are the only preserved greek tragedy with a contemporary subject – at the moment of its first staging, the ruins of the persian onslaught are still visible in the city of athens. the lecture - a close reading of the tragedy - debates the structures of time and narration and undertakes an interpretation of the inscribed reflection of memorization.

florian vaßen
professor of german literature at the univerity of hannover and director of the performing arts program, deals with theory and praxis of brecht's learning plays and heiner müller's synthetic theatre fragments.


a question of attitude: brecht's learning play and the language of heiner müller

bertolt brecht's concept of the learning play with its political and aesthetic examination of attitudes and heiner müller's antagonistic and provocative conception of theatre are starting point of this lecture. both dramatists demand a political attitude towards text and theatre and challenge its potency and impact. on the occasion of «the persians» in braunschweig, the relevance of these ideas is questioned, based on heiner müller's version of the text and brecht's theory of the learning play.

the citizen's breath: tragic chorus as the invention of a democratic community

even if the protagonists were professional actors, the corus consisted of citizens. those citizens, designed to become choreutae, were released of all other political and military assignments. singing and dancing in the tragic chorus was actual political conduct, acting-as-citizen, not only a representation of the political by mimetic distancing. sophie klimis analyzes in her lecture the aspect of the creating of society. she defines the chorus as performative instrument for the constitution of athenian identity, which - visibly and experienceably - produces ritual and pedagogic effects in collective performance.


prof. sophie klimis
lectures on ancient philosophy at the facultés universitaires saint louis de bruxelles. she pursuits an interdisciplinary approach in the research of reception history and methods of interpretation concerning ancient mythology and tragedies. last publication: „archéologie du sujet tragique“.

edith hall
professor of classics & drama, royal holloway, university of london. in 1996, she newly translated «the persians» into english. last publication: «cultural responses to the persian wars: antiquity to the third millennium».


death and people – the mourning of military catastrophies from antiquity to today
this lecture examines ayschylus' tragedy in its ancient context - the consequences of a horrible international war - and explores the persisting power of the piece in modern stagings, which can be understood because of the value given to emotions like pain, loss, fear and vengeance, which are universally caused by military and civic losses.

11. juni create your state in front of the national theatre at braunschweig with all chorus members, the experts florian vaßen, edith hall, sophie klimis et al. and the whole production team. a people`s conference as closure of the project and highlight of the accompanying «p-bar»-series. the experts deliver short statements concerning the last presentation of «the persians» and interrogate the chorus members about the process, about perceptions of the text and its treatment and their experiences with the chorus as oldest politico-aesthetic praxis of our western european culture. tragedy as poeto-political experiment and aesthetic-social laboratory.
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