THE STRONGER

 

Premiere: 02.05.2020 at Brotfabrik 

Postponed until further notice

a play by August Strindberg

directed by Rebecca Scott

1 Text. 2 Women. 4 Versions. 

performers:

Lucie Aron, Judith Shoemaker

and Anton Pohle

stage design: Nina Kay

sound design: Alberto Sanchez Nue

choreography: Manuel Meza

Strindberg originally wrote ‘The Stronger’ in 1888, a play where two women meet in a Ladies Cafe. Only one women has dialogue and the other is silent for the duration. The narrative centres around the relationship between married Mrs X and single Miss Y, who once seemingly had a very close relationship but something happened causing them to drift apart, which they have never spoken about until the play begins. Throughout Mrs X’s dialogue she convinces herself that Miss Y has had an affair with her husband and eventually makes her exit.  

 

At the time Strindberg was writing about the way people trap themselves in cycles of thought and patterns of behaviour which are difficult to escape from. How do people with very different lifestyles understand one another? He was predicting a mental health epidemic, which he thought was a consequence of the population moving away from societal structures; royalty to governance, religion, tradition and (more pressing for Strindberg) the domestic hierarchy; the rise of the emancipated woman threatening the male dominance of society. If we don't have any structure imposed upon us then are we just humans beings acting on emotions, on the whim of the moment? Is that dangerous? What does that mean for our relationships and the dynamics we have become accustomed to?

 

Today these questions are still just as relevant to ask, both on an everyday psychological human level and on a much larger scale, in relation to how we want our systems to change once the world rebuilds itself after this crisis. It is also an interesting challenge for 3 women to analyse a text and essentially attempt to dissect this misogynist viewpoint from within it but at the same time maintain what resonates within Strinbergs' observations about the human psyche. 

 

Since the beginning of 2020, citizens all over the world are living through unprecedented times, altogether facing the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on our lives. A crisis breeds concern and naturally urges us to reach out to others; to our loved ones and to relationships that got lost in the past, starting all kinds of conversations and is some cases confrontations. The physical and social isolation also provides space for personal reflection. Every issue and problem in a relationship AMPLIFIED and EXAMINED under a microscope. Is it possible to have too much time to think? Or is it the way we think and process information that can be a problem?

 

Director Rebecca Scott is interested in how we can replicate this psychological process of confrontation and reflection on the stage. She is fascinated by the idea of working on a text where we are only given one persons perspective and is interpreting this as an invitation from Strindberg to invent the secret life of the silent character. 

 

When we know it is important to have a difficult conversation (whether it be at work, with a family member or a friend) we think about what we might say, how, where or when we might say it: and based on those decisions we imagine a possible reaction from the other person. In our production we want to play out 4 possible versions of this confrontation. What could be happening outside of Mrs X’s monologue? Our goal is for the audience to feel as if they are sitting in the mind of Mrs X and watching her kopfkino, her stream of consciousness. 

 

The concept then hinges on the link between perception and reality: how well do we really know the people closest to us? How well do we really know ourselves?

You can still visit our Indiegogo page to learn the story behind "The Stronger. Psychological Porn"

D A R K F I E L D

 

Currently in research and development

2nd draft is being written. 

‘Dark Field’ is a theater production, which will follow the story of non-offending pedophile ‘Adam’ (as featured on ‘This American Life’), and is intended to raise awareness of the existence of pedophiles who successfully manage their attractions and do not commit crimes against minors.

 

The play will raise questions about how we as a society should respond to such people, and whether child abuse could be better prevented through the use of treatment programmes and general de-stigmatization of non-offending pedophiles.  

 

A collaboration between director Rebecca Scott and playwright Charlie Dupré, the piece will be researched and written and planned to be premiered in Berlin in 2022 and subsequently toured both throughout Germany and internationally.

Directress Rebecca Scott

Author Charlie Dupré

Dramaturgy Fiona Klassen

Producer Judith Shoemaker 

With the support of Fonds Darstellende Künste 

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W H Y  D O N 'T  Y O U  S A Y  S O M E T H I N G?

A mid-length film inspired by Strindberg’s ‘The Stronger

Status: Currently in Post Production. Expected Summer 2021 Release.

A

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A woman in crisis. Pregnant with her third child, feeling distanced from her husband and hasn’t spoken to her best friend in a year. But why? Why are they acting so strangely? A film about the journey of the mind leading up to a confrontation.

Monstress Mess, actually a theatre collective, shot a film. Exclusively with women in creative leader positions and with the support of the queer bar Tipsy Bear in Prenzlauer Berg.

'The Stronger' would have been the debut production of our newly founded theatre collective Monstress Mess. The premiere was confirmed for May 2020 at Brotfabrik Berlin. The premiere had to be cancelled and could not take place. In order to remain active, we have rewritten our theatre concept into a medium-length film. 
The film is meant to document our work and make us visible to the public. The pandemic encourages us performing artists to explore and embrace other media. For us, the balancing act from theatre to film is a great challenge that we face with courage and curiosity - we cannot and will not sit still. It is important for us to remain pro-active, because our theatre collective has a voice that should be heard.
The film was financed with money from the crowdfunding campaign: 'The Stronger: Psychological Porn', which we launched in February 2020. Filming took place in mid-April 2021 under strict corona measures. The film is now in post-production and is scheduled for completion in June. 

Directress and Concept Rebecca Scott

Cast: Lucie Aron, Judith Shoemaker and Anton Pohle

DoP Julia Patey

Producer Lucie Aron

Production Manager Judith Shoemaker

Line Producer Carolin Ott

Sound Aude Langlois

Set Design Marjan Boukes

Costumes Laure Tinette

Gaffer and 1st AD Florian Bartholomai

AD/PA Armin Moallem

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U N S I C H T B A R E   A R M U T

Currently in the research phase.

This project deals with poverty that is not visible at first glance. People in the middle of society, here in Germany. People without health insurance. People who regularly have their electricity and telephone cut off. People who find themselves in a vicious circle of debt.

Idea and Concept Judith Shoemaker 

With the support of Fonds Darstellende Künste 

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