stehende gewässer – standing water
(don’t lose your heart to things johnny stick to people)
By Markus Bauer (Constance, Germany)
Being like “standing water” is the feeling all the characters in this play share. The beauty of where they live, the house, the lake, the vitality of nature are all present in inverse proportion to the emotional dimensions of these people: father, mother, daughter Cora, son Martin and his girlfriend Lotte. They feel increasingly lifeless, ultimately extinct and alienated from their original lifeplan. The lake becomes a metaphor for the family’s emotional inertia. No-one can step out of their own skin, but these people can’t even leave home.
Markus Bauer’s story jumps forward through time from 1982 to 2003. This technique makes the characters’ apparent lack of development remarkably vivid. The question keeps recurring: when would be the right moment to change, to leave the family behind and to preserve one’s liveliness, one’s capacity for love, and also one’s ability to feel pain. In the end no-one in the family still has a hope of the life they desire. Only Lotte seems to be able to achieve her aim of leaving with her daughter at the end of the play. She plans to leave them all; Martin, the child’s father, his family, the lake.
The author’s great achievement lies in creating what appear to be simple and familiar conflicts and characters, whose language nevertheless takes the reader deep into the faultlines of their personalities. Markus Bauer has a brilliantly individual language and a very special form of storytelling – and he uses these to release an intense poetic and dramatic power.
Markus Bauer, writer and director, was born in 1973 in Heilbronn. He studied German and Theatre Studies, Political Sciences and Philosophy in Würzburg, Leipzig and Vienna. He was an intern at Schauspiel Stuttgart and assistant director at Theater Rampe Stuttgart and the Stadttheater Konstanz. His play “stehende gewässer” (standing water) was highly commended in the 2008 Baden-Württemberg Youth Theatre Prize and is published by S. Fischer Theater und Medien Verlag. He took part in the workshop days in 2008 at the Vienna Burgtheater. Markus Bauer is currently directing Odile Cornuz’s play “Einbruch” (Break In) as part of the “Lost Paradises” festival at the Stadttheater in Berne. He lives in Konstanz.
Scenic Arrangement by Nuran David Calis
Dramaturgy Beret Evensen
Leslie Malton, Katharina Schmalenberg, Bernd Stempel, Lavinia Wilson and Jirka Zett