Rats Live On No Evil Star
Theatre im Pumpenhaus, Münster 2003
The title is Anne Sexton's favorite palindrome and at the same time her poetic program. Sexton was one of the confessional poets in the USA: the dark, bad, insane and destructive in herself, the 'rat', is transformed in the poem into something bright, luminous, clear and beautiful, into a 'star'.
Two actresses and a performer embody different Annes: reflective, creative, unbounded, flirtatious, calculating, schizophrenic... The three female faces construct a contradictory puzzle of daughter, mother, poet, performance artist, manic-depressive, wife and housewife, poetry professor, lover. An actor gives the outside view, slips into a variety of male roles: Doctor, friends, lovers, husband, critics.
The strong musicality of Anne Sexton's poems inspired us to set the poems to music and to emphasize the sonic level through choral, rhythmic and superimposing speaking. The transparent elements of the stage set are at the same time projection surfaces for pre-produced and live video sequences. In the course of the piece, the impossibility of the endeavor to form the image of a human being, a woman and artist from the 'persona' of a poem, from interviews, eyewitness accounts, letters becomes obvious. Nothing more and nothing less than a kaleidoscopic, shimmering and fascinating search image emerges ...
concept and script: Anna Stern/Manfred Kerklau
director: Manfred Kerklau
video: Stefan Hollekamp
music: Tara Bouman, Jan Klare, Stefan Froleyks
acting: Beate Reker, Gabriele Brüning, Andreas Ladwig
performance: Anna Stern