by Falk Richter
Director: Falk Richter
German World Premiere
For his autofictional play »The Silence«, the playwright and theatre director Falk Richter delves into his own family history. His father died before he and his son, the author, had a reconciliatory conversation. In a dialogue with his mother, Richter focuses on truths that have remained unspoken for decades alongside suppressed secrets and unresolved traumas that continue to haunt him to this day. How did the horrors experienced by his father during the war and the trauma of his mother’s expulsion and flight from West Prussia inscribe themselves into his family history and his parents’ marriage? What has been kept secret in the family for years? How did the playwright and his sister grow up in the provinces of post-war West Germany, how did the family develop? How was Richter’s gay identity, already emerging in his teenage years, suppressed and attacked by his parents? How did everyone react to the homophobic hostility he experienced? How do trauma, silence and violent oppression continue to have an impact on the playwright’s own relationships today? This confrontation between mother and son becomes a journey into the chasms of West German bourgeois society from the post -war period to the present. But how reliable is Richter’s own memory? How credible the narrative of his mother? And could it all possibly have been completely different? Soon, the autobiographical mixes with the fictional, memories contradict one another and the possibilities of other realities emerge. But in playing with autobiography and fiction, and in the contradictions of his own history, an opportunity for hope presents itself: What alternative models of masculinity, and thus other types of fatherhood and parenthood, are possible? What kind of relationships exist beyond patriarchal oppression and violence? What form could a completely different life take?
Falk Richter was born in Hamburg in 1969 and worked for many years as a playwright and theatre maker at the Schaubühne. He subsequently directed productions at numerous German-speaking and international theatres and was voted Director of the Year (Theater heute) in 2018 for his production »Am Königsweg«. From the 2023/24 season, he will again be working regularly at the Schaubühne.
Music: Daniel Freitag
Video: Lion Bischof
Dramaturgy: Nils Haarmann / Jens Hillje
Lighting Design: Carsten Sander
Premiered on 19 November 2023