Boris Nikitin
Sei nicht du selbst

Aus der Reihe: „How to Win Friends and Influence People“, Teil 2

Theater / Premiere


In deutscher Sprache
Talk im Anschluss an die 2. Vorstellung


Production specifics

Koproduktion steirischer herbst, Schauspielhaus Graz, Kaserne Basel & Ringlokschuppen Mülheim

Gefördert aus den Mitteln des Fachausschuss Theater und Tanz beider Basel

Five actors reveal their lives on stage. They present themselves, exhibit themselves, open up their private lives, and share their selves with the community. They talk about their origins, their biographies and their motivation to become actors. They show how they call up different emotional states, how they enter into processes, and what it means to be someone else. As actors, they play themselves and not themselves on stage. Arriving at this point of absolute self-probing, their authenticity is imperceptibly revealed as a principle of covering up: credibility gives way to a potential fiction that is inherent in every reality. When are we credible? What do we know about ourselves? Who do we want to be?

“The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.” This aphorism of the American philosopher John Dewey forms the basis for Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (1936), a classic of motivational literature. Carnegie observes that communication and community can only succeed by satisfying this need. By honestly being interested in others, listening carefully, and occasionally favouring them with a smile. Based upon this principle are various forms of communities, that are becoming increasingly important the faster traditional patterns of collective meaning dissolve into nothing.

“Be yourself” was the battle-cry of the nineties and noughties. The autonomous self was the goal and paradigm of a society craving individuality. Art and commerce alike based their role models for freedom and emancipation on the authentic human being. Meanwhile, a morning-after feeling is beginning to spread. Philosophers such as Robert Pfaller and Byung-Chul Han are again calling for a right to fiction: away from the compulsion of authenticity, more play, more covering up, more illusion. Don’t be yourself!

In “Bartleby oder Sicherheit ist ein Gefühl” at the Schauspielhaus in Graz, Swiss theatre-maker Boris Nikitin recently examined the resistance of the individual, and set out in search of God with the Mormon community at Theater Freiburg. His latest piece, a work commissioned by Schauspielhaus Graz and steirischer herbst, focuses on communal radicalisation in view of the paradigm shift. How can we become able to act? How can we make ourselves capable of making real decisions again?

Regie: Boris Nikitin
Konzept / Idee: Boris Nikitin
Konzept / Idee: Matthias Meppelink
Musik: Matthias Meppelink
Bühnenbild, Ausstattung, Raumgestaltung: Boris Nikitin
Bühnenbild, Ausstattung, Raumgestaltung: Katharina Trajceski
Dramaturgie: Flori Gugger
Schauspielerin / Schauspieler: Thomas Frank
Schauspielerin / Schauspieler: Adrian Gillott
Schauspielerin / Schauspieler: Lorenz Kabas
Schauspielerin / Schauspieler: Katharina Klar
Schauspielerin / Schauspieler: Julian Meding