Feb 3, 2017 - Maja Hinrichs for SoGerman
What happens if your life changes from one second to the next? When your world is suddenly upside down? When your daily routine is completely missing?
Inspired by these questions, Canadian playwright Stéphanie Turple wrote her new play “Un-Countried“, which is part of the UNDERCURRENTS Festival and celebrates its world premiere on February 10 in Ottawa’s Arts Court Theatre.
Two border guards begin their shift on November 9th 1989 at the border crossing Invalidenstrasse in East-Berlin. Their situations couldn’t be more different from each others. Young Thomas, who grew up in East Germany, “has his first night on the job“, whereas the 40-year-older Max has been guarding the wall for a while, describes Turple her main characters.
What both of them don´t know in this moment: it´s their first and last night together. This special night will change everything. The Berlin Wall will fall.
While on a trip to Germany’s capital in May 2014, Stéphanie Turple walked around the city centre with a German tour-guide. She saw the Brandenburg Gate, visited the Holocaust Memorial and at the end of the tour, learned about one of the most important events of Berlin’s history: the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This wall separated East and West Germany almost thirty years from each other. Two absolutely different German countries existed for this time: the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The GDR was influenced by the Soviet socialism; meanwhile, the FRG became part of the Western capitalistic world. And in 1989, they were reunified overnight.
“Even though communist countries started to open their boarders, this was not supposed to happen at that time,” explains Turple. “It happened because of a mistake by Günter Schabowski and the news spread like a wild fire.”
In her play, the author presents the generational gap of two characters and the aftermaths of a great historical event. Remembering Germany’s past, Turple wishes to inspire people to reflect on politics regarding the past as well as today’s situation.
Turple’s “Un-Countried” is directed by Kevin Orr and performed by Michael Hanrahan and Jon Dickey. You can find more information here.
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