by Ewald Palmetshofer • Based on Gerhart Hauptmann
Premiere: December 2, 2022
1889 was Gerhart Hauptmann’s debut as a playwright and the year of one of his biggest scandals. BEFORE SUNRISE, the work of a young, 27-year-old playwright, incited deep dispute in the audience and became – both despite this and because of it – a tremendous success. In BEFORE SUNRISE, the author, totally unknown at the time, stages a peasant family who unexpectedly strike it rich and the damage that ensues to their characters and practical affairs. This drama clearly follows in the footsteps of Ibsen’s GHOSTS and signified the breakthrough of naturalism in German-language theater.
Austrian playwright Ewald Palmetshofer, in his version for Theater Basel, adheres in essence to Nobel laureate Gerhart Hauptmann’s plot and dramatis personae. But he places his characters in an urban present tangible to a contemporary audience. It is populated by people whose clashing ideologies and arguments cannot hide the fact that their personal failures neither causally nor morally get the better of them. Palmetshofer manages a compelling portrait of an inward-looking, competitive, neoliberal society which has lost all vision.
Director Mortz Sostmann’s take on BEFORE SUNRISE can be experienced in Schauspiel Köln’s Depot 2. He recently directed THE REGRESSION by Dennis Kelly.