Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends
no apocalypse not now

Performance / Commissioned work



Production specifics
A coproduction of Ariel Efraim Ashbel, FFT Düsseldorf, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Kampnagel Hamburg, and steirischer herbst ’19
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Berlin)

Nothing less than the end of civilization is the subject of the new performance by Ariel Efraim Ashbel and friends. In a synthesis of theater, visual art, and live music, they revisit Judeo-Christian eschatology, connecting it to the recurring collapse of so-called “civilization” into brutality throughout colonial history and ultimately to the collapse of the universal humanist project at large. Setting the scene in a tropical estate inspired by Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 film Apocalypse Now and Joseph Conrad’s 1902 novella Heart of Darkness, Ashbel and friends immerse the audience in a world of doomsday cults, conspiracy theories, prepper cultures, and messianic settler movements. The utopian futures of destruction, punishment, and restitution they project reveal the ongoing crisis of universalizing Western humanism, for which theater has long since served as a laboratory. Ashbel and friends illuminate the demise of universalism, in a performative response both to the West’s visions of physical annihilation and moral degradation, and to the second chances and new beginnings such visions reveal.

Director: Ariel Efraim Ashbel
Research and concept: Romm Lewkowicz
By and with: Jessica Gadani, Cassie Augusta Jørgensen, Tatiana Saphir, and Sarah Thom
Music: Hacklander / Hatam
Choir: Singschul’ der Oper Graz (Singing School of the Opera Graz)
Stage: Eli Petel
Costumes: Sandra Fink
Light: Joseph Wegmann
Dramaturgy: Petra Poelzl
Assistant director: Katharina Joy Book
Design assistant: Klara Mand
Press: Wayra Scheubel
Production: björn & björn