The 10 Selected Productions

Die Geschichte von Kaspar Hauser (The story of Kaspar Hauser)

Text version by Carola Dürr and the company, based on original documents and quotes by Kaspar Hauser, Georg Friedrich Daumer, Jakob Wassermann, Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach, Werner Herzog et al.
Schauspielhaus Zürich

Premiere 16 February 2013

Die Geschichte von Kaspar Hauser

Die Geschichte von Kaspar Hauser. f.l. Audrey Haenni, Lorena Schwerzmann, Linus von Seth, David Fischer, Jirka Zett

© Tanja Dorendorf

  • 1h 45, no interval

Past Dates

Public discussion 18 May 2014, following the performance
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Bar
with the ensemble and Barbara Burckhardt (jury)
Moderation Vasco Boenischc

A foundling’s speechlessness, his arrival in civilisation – hardly any other historical character has fascinated scientists, criminal investigators and artists in equal measure. Alvis Hermanis’ treatment of the story starts at zero point and reveals the domestication of human nature through pedagogic practices. Hermanis responds to this true crime story with a nightmarish reinvention of puppetry. The production’s outstanding feature: The protagonists appear as a Biedermeier society in miniature, played by children who are in turn steered by shadowy actors. In the midst of this doll’s house, Kaspar appears like an ungainly foreign element. Is it worth his while to become part of this artificiality, to become “human”, the man-child wonders, while the children, dolled up as old people, force their notions of morality and culture upon him. When Hermanis assembles the children to form a string orchestra that scratches out a Viennese waltz, this makes for a superb final scene: Here is refined society - a pitifully screeching cacophony.

Directed by / stage design Alvis Hermanis
Costume design Eva Dessecker
Music Jekabs Nimanis
Lighting design Ginster Eheberg
Dramaturgy Andrea Schwieter

Kaspar Hauser Jirka Zett
Prof Georg Friedrich Daumer Patrick Güldenberg and David Fischer
Anna, his wife Isabelle Menke and Mira Szokody
Dr Johann Osterhausen Milian Zerzawy and Sinan Blum
Elsa, his wife Friederike Wagner (17.5.) / Franziska Machens (18.5.) and Charlotte Zimmermann
Mayor Jakob Binder Ludwig Boettger and Linus von Seth
Frieda, his wife Chantal Le Moign and Lorena Schwerzmann
The Stranger Roland Hofer