PLAY/ground Interview: Roland Schimmelpfennig

We asked each of our PLAY/ground playwrights to answer one question pertaining to their play. Here’s what they had to say…

Roland Schimmelpfennig author of The Golden Dragon:

Q. How did the ideas for the play come into being?

A. There were two moments which together formed the beginnings the play. The first was a visit from a dramaturg from Sweden. He asked me to write a play, one far away from naturalism. It was to be playful, anti-naturalism. The second was a conversation with a lawyer, who approached me during a time when he was covering illegal immigrants in Germany. He said to me, ‘Why not write a play about it?’. But it is difficult to write about immigration because of the necessity to write in two different languages. I thought, how can ‘we’ i.e. WHITE WESTERNERS impersonate Asian illegal immigrants. We cannot pretend to be Chinese, and there are no or very few Chinese actors in Germany. Therefore you need the actors just to SAY who they are. ‘I am Chinese’. This method then becomes linked to all types of otherness: age and sex become twisted.  There are fifteen characters in this play, performed by five actors. And Forty-eight scenes.  They are short.  Episodic.

PLAY/ground is free and open to the public.  Click here for more information.

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