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DIE RÄUBER (THE ROBBERS)

Play by Friedrich Schiller

Recommended for ages: 14 and over

Two brothers are both working to change their circumstances: while the student Karl von Moor is campaigning for a German republic in the bars of Leipzig and keeping the city in suspense with his antics, his younger brother Franz is at home in the family castle hatching a plan for revenge against his father the Count’s beloved heir.  While Karl wishes to burn down the entire feudalistic system, Franz is busy scheming to secure a position of power within it. One thing they both agree on is that their father should be deprived of the power he has not only over his sons but also his country, and in this way Schiller welds together a family quarrel and the political situation barely a decade before the French revolution:  «Personal bitterness against an unkind father expands into a universal hatred of the whole human race», wrote Schiller in a review he published anonymously after the world premiere in 1782. But the brothers are not only competing for the love of their father: Franz also wishes to replace Karl, who is presumed dead, in the affections of his fiancée Amalia, while Karl imagines he has been cut off by the family and treks through the Bohemian forests as the leader of a band of robbers. In order to see his lover one last time Karl returns – disguised as a Count from Mecklenburg – to the castle where all the lies come to light in a huge showdown.

With Franz Moor a third famous schemer can be seen on the Schauspielhaus stage this season after Tartuffe and Iago. In his production Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson will question the seemingly obvious division of sympathies between the ugly Franz and the idealistic Karl – in their conflict he sees a reflection of our current situation of radical change. The Icelandic director first encountered the writer Schiller – barely known in his homeland – while studying directing in Berlin. He sympathizes with his yearning for the new, a cry for utopia on the part of the 23 year old Schiller, but also wonders whether these assessments and ideals will change in the course of his life – now as they did then.

Preisstufe IV Schauspielhaus (von 30.– bis 60.–)

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