The Good Person of Szechwan
by Bertolt Brecht
Music by Paul Dessau
Direction: Peter Kleinert
Can the aspiration »to be a good person and to live well« ever be achieved? Is it possible to have an upright, moral life in a society ruled by egotism, corruption, exploitation and greed? And is wanting to be a good person even a legitimate goal in a world where, rather than there being equal rights for all, some individuals enjoy their possessions, rights and privileges and have access to education, prosperity, work and resources whilst others live in exclusion, oppression, discrimination and slavery. In his parable-play Bertolt Brecht sends three gods on a quest to find good people in a bad world to the Chinese province of Sichuan. The young prostitute Shen Te offers them shelter for the night without expecting anything in return and they reward her with money. This allows her to escape prostitution and, promising the gods that she will remain a good person, she opens a tobacconist. But soon, the bills are piling up and poorer people are asking Shen Te for help, support and refuge. The costs escalate and the shop is threatened with bankruptcy. Shen Te is forced to create an alter ego, disappearing and returning in the guise of her cousin Shui Ta who prefers hard-headed entrepreneurship to charity, sets the beggars to work in the tobacconist and thus prevents the shop from going broke. Shen Te soon falls in love with the pilot Sun who also needs money and she becomes pregnant with his child. But the suspicions of the others are aroused and her double-dealing as a good but penniless woman and a bad but economically successful man is threatened to be blown wide open. Peter Kleinert regularly mounts productions at the Schaubühne in coproduction with the »Ernst Busch« Academy of Dramatic Art Berlin. On the search for a contemporary political consciousness, he and ten drama students sound out Brecht’s parable for a world in which the need for good people appears to be more pressing than ever.
Co-production with the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst »Ernst Busch« Berlin.
Direction: Peter Kleinert
Set Design: Céline Demars
Costume Design: Susanne Uhl
Music: Hans-Jürgen Osmers
Dramaturgy: Nils Haarmann
Shen Te / Shui Ta: Laura Balzer
Yang Sun, ein stellungsloser Flieger / Bruder Wung: Jan Meeno Jürgens
Erster Gott / Die Witwe Shin / Nichte: Mayla Häuser
Wang, ein Wasserverkäufer / Schwangere Schwägerin: Lukas Walcher
Zweiter Gott / Hausbesitzerin Mi Tzü / Kind: Tiffany Köberich
Barbier Shu Fu / Neffe: Jan Eric Meier
Dritter Gott / Frau Yang, die Mutter des Fliegers / Mutter: Lea Ostrovskiy
Schreiner Lin To / Bonze / Großvater: Frederik Rauscher
Arbeitsloser / Polizist: Leander Senghas
Erzähler / Kellner / Vater: Lukas Walcher
Duration: ca. 135 minutes
Premieres on 15 November 2017 in the Studio
Caution: Strobe lights will be used during this performance.