Das Internat (The Boarding School)

By Ersan Mondtag
Text by Alexander Kerlin and Matthias Seier

Schauspiel Dortmund
World Premiere 9 February 2018

Ersan Mondtag’s first production at Schauspiel Dortmund is a dance of powerful images and nightmares which lead us from Romanticism to the war scenes of our present times – with sublime music by T.D. Finck von Finckenstein.

This production cannot be shown at the 2019 Theatertreffen.

Sat 4 May Awarding 3sat Prize to Ersan Mondtag & Theatertreffen Tribute for “Das Internat”

A boarding school at the end of space and time, with 17 uniformed wards whose lives are governed by rituals and whose hearts beat in time with terror. Who is a victim, who is a perpetrator? Who is this child whose voice we are hearing? “Das Internat” by Ersan Mondtag is a series of images that look painted, leading us from the Romantics to war-torn landscapes of our present times, accentuated with music by T.D. Finck von Finckenstein. An intense trip into the abysses of human coexistence and a story of trauma, war and time.

Jury Statement

From papier-mâché and naïve drawings, Ersan Mondtag has created a visually spectacular rapture-like Goth ghost-train at Schauspiel Dortmund: the kind of night-terrors we wouldn’t want to dream of in our worst nightmares. Ever new dark chambers open out onto a revolving stage, with 17 trained and uniformed wards skulking among them, executing mechanically rhythmical everyday routines, like eating, sleeping, torturing. The Internat (the boarding school) and its rich realm of associations in cultural history are presented as an eternal cycle of becoming the oppressor and the oppressed, of victimhood and perpetration, fear and paranoia. This archaic and artificial scenario provokes great philosophical questions: What is a just revolution? When does it tip over into fascism? From what point on is violence allowed? “Das Internat” describes a process of brainwashing where ideologies are continually reversed: a dark metaphor for the world.


Directed by / Stage and Costume Design by Ersan Mondtag
Composition T. D. Finck von Finckenstein
Lighting Design Rainer Casper
Realisation of the Costumes, Costume Painting Annika Lu Hermann
Video-Art Tobias Hoeft
Dramaturgy Alexander Kerlin

Massiamy Diaby, Klara Eham, Christian Freund, Frank Genser, Johannes Hoff, Bettina Lieder, Max Poerting, Philipp Joy Reinhardt, Jojo Rösler, Uwe Rohbeck, Alicja Rosinski, Ansgar Sauren, Vera Hannah Schmidtke, Uwe Schmieder, Nairi Sevinc, Philipp Steinheuser, Merle Wasmuth
Voice of the Child Alicja Rosinski