The 10 Selected Productions
NAME HER. Eine Suche nach den Frauen+
by Marie Schleef
Premiere 25 September 2020 (Ballhaus Ost, Berlin)
Austrian premiere 2 October 2020 (Kosmos Theater, Vienna)
In a marathon-length lecture performance, Marie Schleef, Anne Tismer and Jule Saworski present women whose achievements are neglected by history books.
- 6 h
- In German with English subtitles
- Sunday, 23 May 2021
- Recording from Ballhaus Ost (Berlin)
There are not enough female role models? Director Marie Schleef would disagree vehemently. For her long durational performance “NAME HER. Eine Suche nach den Frauen+ (NAME HER. In Search of Women+)”, she and her creative team have unearthed countless inspiring female biographies with meticulous archaeological care. In front of a gameshow triptych designed by Jule Saworski, the tireless expert and entertainer Anne Tismer guides us through the A to Z of great destinies and small anecdotes of women from several centuries – so versatile, impressive and inspiring that seven hours just fly by.
Theatertreffen-juror Petra Paterno about the production
Does the name Francesca Caccini ring a bell? Nearly all the works of this Early Baroque Italian composer are believed to have been lost. Who was the French-Peruvian socialist Flora Tristan, who is at least known to have sometimes met up with writer Victor Hugo? And how about Rosalind Franklin? The British researcher’s work was a major contribution to the decoding of the structure of DNA. Watson and Crick are well-known, Franklin’s name has been forgotten.
We could continue this list at will. And that is why for more than seven hours, the lecture performance “NAME HER. Eine Suche nach den Frauen+ (NAME HER. In Search of Women+)” itemises an alphabet of forgotten women’s names. In four units of 90 minutes each, performer Anne Tismer resurrects an impressive series of artists, scientists, philosophers and politicians who have vanished into the underworld of a male dominated society and history. A phenomenal feat, which Tismer accomplishes largely single-handedly. Centre-stage, there is a triptych whose screen serves as a projection surface for video inserts. In front of this image board, Tismer narrates, dances and mimes the miniature biographies like a kind of confériencière.
“NAME HER. In Search of Women+” stands in the tradition of feminist women’s history, which aims to reinterpret a narrative that has been historically shaped by men. Tismer proves to be a charismatic performer and the performance series is brought to life by her equally empathetic and authentic portrayals. In a kind of ping-pong-game, she gives flashlight-like impressions of very different female lives, jumping between eras and continents; the delightful and the deeply sad are separated only by the sound of a gong. Monumental events are given the equal standing as wonderfully absurd irrelevancies. “NAME HER. In Search of Women+” is an unparalleled endeavour, with Tismer, director Marie Schleef and set designer Jule Saworski erecting an extraordinary theatrical memorial to women.
Marie Schleef Concept, text, surtitles and staging
Anne Tismer Performance and text
Jule Saworski Set and costume design, video and image installation
Laura Andreß Dramaturgy, text and surtitles
Wiebke Jahns Communication and network
Ruben Müller Video operator, sound design and stage management
Michiko Günther Creative collaboration
Fabian Eichner Lighting design