documentary theater project


In the middle of Europe, in Germany of all places, there is the rigid law §218 that has been criminalizing abortion in unplanned pregnancies for over 150 years. But what exactly does this criminalization mean for the generation of our grandmothers, our mothers – and still for us? What freedoms does §218 take away, what suffering is caused – and what exactly is being protected? In the documentary theater project § 218, werkgruppe2 tells the history and meaning of § 218 for women in Oberhausen. In on-site research, women were asked about their experiences, archives were searched and the political protest against the paragraph was investigated on site. What impact did § 218 have on women’s lives in Oberhausen, on family planning and sexuality? The research resulted in a documentary-musical production that combines biographies from 1945 to today in episodes full of conflicts and contradictions and repeatedly reflects what § 218 means in a concrete life. A co-production with the Theater Oberhausen “The cultural history of abortion in Oberhausen unfolds through stories and episodes, from the Nazi era, which begins at the courthouse, to the deprived post-war period, the upbeat 1960s and the liberated 1970s to the self-confident shared apartments of the 1980s (then the place rocks), and again and again stories of love, sex and what happens afterwards, when pregnancy unexpectedly breaks into the biographies. Anna Polke changes from the bitter angel maker in front of the Nazi court to the cool FRG emancipation, Ronja Oppelt effortlessly changes from the frightened defendant of the 1940s to the snotty roommate of the 1980s, Regina Leenders is great as an outspoken East German who struggles with grief despite more liberal abortion rights, and Susanne Burkhard is captivating as the rejected daughter of a Catholic family in the final scene – all strong roles.(…) It is an intense evening full of sincerity, concern and sadness, and at times the atmosphere in the hall is so dense, as if our own stories were being told, as if all of us, men included, had already had an abortion, a truly “collective biography”. If it were up to us, the annoying § 218 would be removed from the Criminal Code today. Standing applause at the end. Go!” Karin Yeşilada on  
Regie: Julia Roesler Komposition und Musikalische Leitung: Insa Rudolph Kostüme und Bühne: Julia Schiller Dramaturgie: Silke Merzhäuser, Laura Mangels Recherche & Text: Julia Roesler, Silke Merzhäuser Mit: Susanne Burkhard, Regina Leenders, Anna Polke, Ronja Oppelt; Anne Hartkamp, Insa Rudolph, Ulla Oster (Musik) Fotos: Jochen Quast In der Inszenierung wird der Song “battered wives” der FLYING LESBIANS gespielt – wir danken für die Unterstützung.
Premiere: 24. März 2023 Großes Haus, Theater Oberhausen weitere Vorstellungen: 25.3., 26.3., 26.4., 28.4., 30.4., 3.5., 5.5., 6.5.2023 Tickets hier.

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