Der kaukasische Kreidekreis
by Bertolt Brecht
Music by Paul Dessau
Direction: Peter Kleinert
Who is entitled to the world? Brecht’s parable about whether »things should belong to those who do well by them« uses epic theatre to tell a story of responsibility, humanity and an utopian, rational approach to ownership. Rebellion in Georgia: the princes organise a coup against the Grand Duke and his governors. Powerful and rich Governor A. is executed, but his widow manages to escape. In her haste to gather her belongings, she forgets her newborn son – upon whose head there is already a bounty. The maid Grusha feels pity for the baby and, making out it is her own, flees with him to the mountains, hounded by pursuing soldiers. Grusha defends little boy Michel, delivering him from the dangers and turmoil of war and protecting him from all adversities. She even marries a terminally ill peasant to give the child legitimacy. She has long since adopted Michel, cared for him and raised him as her own son. But then, suddenly, the war is over. The peasant rises from his deathbed in the peak of health, the Grand Duke returns and the Governor’s widow along with him. She now demands her son back because he is the heir to her fortune. To whom does the child belong? Does biological parenthood take precedence over the social one? The habitually drunk village scribe Azdak, whose heart belongs to the poor and who, in this time of anarchy and chaos, has risen to the position of judge, must now pass the verdict: in the chalk circle, the identity of the true mother will be decided.
Peter Kleinert regularly directs plays at the Schaubühne with students from the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch (Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts) and has already playfully explored the contemporary relevance of plays such as »Saint Joan of the Stockyards«, »The Mother« and »The Good Person of Szechwan«. Working with third year drama students, in the coming season he is tackling this play written by Brecht in 1944/45 during his exile from Germany.
Duration: ca. 130 minutes
Premiered on 12 December 2019 at the Studio