Albert Ostermaier: A pound of flesh – Venice – the invisible

Italian version

This is a theatre project searching for the invisible and aiming at making the tracks and stories of refugees in Venetian history tangible. Venice is the city of change, of transformation and metamorphosis. It is the city of dreams and the dreamed-of city, one where all times are present at once. Venice is what those who have come here and those who have set off from here, headed out to sea and into the world, have made of it. Venice is a city of exchange and deceit, of tactics of exchange and tactics of deceit. Venice is the Shakespearean world as a stage, a set where we are its characters and all the characters of its literary history, but also and most importantly those who nobody sees or wants to see, those who have to flee, who are exiled, those who have to hide and live in the shadow of beauty, behind the facades, in the blind spots between the lines.

The play that should result from the project will show this – it will be reportage and documentary, but also fiction. The pièce will give the invisible their story, and it will show them as part of the history and of the stories of this city. This is a kind of political drama which can take place everywhere and does, but the same can happen also on the stage, as is our case: there will finally be staged as a play experiences, conversations, research, scenes. This performance is a form of play to us, but it is also a utopia where the world can be changed, and us in it.

Venice is the city built on our sea. When human beings drown in it, the city sinks.

This will be a play to develop from research and reportage, from conversations, interviews and analysis of plays, from improvisation and performance. As the city is a collective entity, so will the play be developed and performed in it, together with it, and collectively.

Albert Ostermaier,

December 2018


(translation from the original German by Teamwork Waterlines)


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