News from the Past

A Ukrainian-German devised play

Stas Zhyrkov / Martín Valdés-Stauber

The stage glows in green neon light. In the background the number 1939 in the foreground a long table: one person speaks into a table microphone, one climbs a ladder and one person pushes down the face of another person on the table.

News from the Past © Judith Buss

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

Artists’ Talk “Globalised Exile II”
Saturday, 24 June 2023, 22:30

Four actors meet to record a radio feature and ask themselves: How can extreme violence be narrated? How do you evoke suffering – without repeating it? The Ukrainian-German devised play “News from the Past” looks back at the 1930s and 1940s and embarks on a search for our shared history with our distant neighbour of Ukraine. The piece combines personal memories with a text-collage of historical news items, like the Soviet genocide Holodomor, the Stalinist annihilation of Ukrainian elites, the National Socialist reign of force, Hitler’s warmongering, and the 1941 mass murder of Jews in Babyn Yar near Kiev. The examination of the past also awakens memories of individual experiences, for example, when actress Vitalina Bibliv talks about her experiences in Butsha, Ukraine, in 2022. This moving show illustrates that war is always a fight for future narratives of the past, too, and explores how looking back can lead to a better understanding of the present.

A project by Martín Valdés-Stauber and Stas Zhyrkov


Vitalina Bibliv, Dmytro Oliynyk, Leoni Schulz, Edmund Telgenkämper

Stas ZhyrkovDirector
Felicitas FriedrichDramaturgy
Pavlo Arie, Maryna SmilianetsText collaboration
Katrin LangnerLighting
Amon RitzVideo
Yue YingSet and costumes
Bohdan LysenkoMusic
Simon RädeTechnical assistance
Angelika KochArtistic administration
Sebastian AntonTranslation of the text
Yevgen BondarskyyTranslation of rehearsals and subtitles
Stefanie RendtorffStage management

A production of Münchner Kammerspiele 2022. In cooperation with the Dachau Memorial Site and with the friendly support of the Minister of State for Culture and the Media (BKM).An event by the Berliner Festspiele as part of the festival “Performing Exiles” presented in co-operation with Heimathafen Neukölln.