“Brachland” [Barren Land]
By Dmitrij Gawrisch (*1982, Kiev)
To begin with, Oleg’s story seems like a success. He and his elder brother have managed to enter Switzerland without papers, are living in a disused building site and get by somehow. Oleg gets to know Petra, who Ivan has stolen from. He falls in love with this doctor who is 15 years older than him. They marry, so that Oleg no longer has to hide. Ivan finds a place to sleep in the cellar of Petra’s detached house. But these hopes are deceptive. Even as a legal immigrant Oleg is unable to find work – and Ivan has to keep stealing to be able to send money home.
Just before the end, events become tangled. Petra has stopped taking the pill because she wants to have a baby. Oleg finds out that Ivan cheated on him with his previous lover and that they even have a child together. And Oleg himself, with whom we have sympathized so far, turns out to be an egocentric individualist who gambles with his family’s existence in an effort to improve his own chances.
Without moralizing the play asks what price people are prepared to pay to be able to hope for a better life. Gawrisch makes it clear how legal or illegal status creates an imbalance in people’s private lives which cultivates expectations and disappointments. In the tension between the individual and the family, between home and foreign countries, between desire and reality, the invisible but constant shifts of power are made apparent.
Dmitrij Gawrisch was born in Kiev in 1982, lived in Switzerland from the age of 12 and studied Economics at Berne University. He was awarded a bursary for the development of his novel ‘The Crane in the Snow’ by the Kanton of Berne. Gawrisch gained practical theatre experience as an assistant director for the new play spectacular Lost Paradises at Stadttheater Bern and as a dramaturgical collaborator on the Belarussian-Swiss theatre project ‘First Love’ at the Theater Marie in Aarau. During the 2009/2010 season he took part in the writer development programme Drama Processer at the Theater Winkelwiese in Zürich. This was where his play ‘Waste Land’ came about, with which he subsequently took part in the workshop Writing About Difference (led by Bernhard Glocksin, John von Düffel, Feridun Zaimoglu) at Neuköllner Oper in 2010. Dmitrij Gawrisch has lived in Berlin since the end of 2010.
Scenic Arrangement Stephan Kimmig
Dramaturgy Sonja Anders
Stage and Costume Design Kathrin Frosch und Nora Johanna Gromer
Read by Maren Eggert, Christoph Franken und Felix Goeser