Police sirens wail, the neighbor's doorbell rings, and residents gape out of their windows: But what has happened in the high-rise building? In their new video project, actors from the Steinfußtheater have created an exciting crime thriller set in the milieu of a high-rise building.
In the summer semester 2021, nine actors from the Steinfußtheater worked on improving the skills they acquired in the previous winter semester. "This time, the students were not supposed to actively create their role in their heads, but let it find them," explains director Nicole Schütte. "To do this, they engaged in a variety of intense movement exercises, usually to music." Through movement, the physicality and patterns of movement for the role began to take shape. From rehearsal to rehearsal, the characters began to take on more shape and character. The students immersed themselves in their roles, strengthening the characters’ biographies with dreams and fears. Interview situations, meditations and improvisation exercises gave these outlines a clearer definition.
Chat windows became windows in a high-rise building
The students met online to act; but the stories that emerged dissolved the spatial distance. The chat windows became windows in a high-rise building and the characters became a household. This resulted not only in smaller, but also in larger and more complex storylines. The common denominator that emerged was the loneliness of the residents. Tender friendships and love-hate relationships emerged. Secrecy and rumors began to spread. The characters began to reveal their innermost desires and longings. Each chat window opened into a small space and entire worlds were created. In the end, the group developed a play purely through improvisation over a period of many weeks. This was then given the title "Räumlichkeiten" (rooms).
Video project "Räumlichkeiten"
From the vast amount of video footage, assistant director Laura Birkenfelder created a video that presents a few of the storylines and offers a glimpse into the project. Due to technical challenges, Birkenfelder was not able to cut all the good sequences into the video, such as a funny and expressive scene involving the property manager. Nevertheless, the video provides suspense with its thriller character and a deliberately open ending. "By actively participating in the rehearsals, I was able to experience the intense character development and how professionally the students internalized their roles," says Daiva Sell. She oversees student groups and study groups at the Center for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning (zlw), which includes the Steifußtheater.