YERMA - Theater Basel - Schedule
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Premiere Schedule Ensemble


Premiere Schedule Ensemble


Premiere Schedule Ensemble


Play by Federico García Lorca

Recommended for ages: 16 and over

«Yerma» means «barren»: not a nice name for a young woman. Yet this is exactly how the title heroine of Federico García Lorca’s «tragic poem» feels – like a waste land. Although she has been married to her husband Juan for some time, she is not becoming pregnant. Her impatience grows from month to month, her sorrow becomes immeasurable.  The silent and industrious Juan, who looks forward to a prosperous later life for the two of them, seems insensitive to his wife’s need. Childlessness or, to put it another way: an unconditional wish for motherhood drives her to the depths of isolation and despair that culminate in a deed of bloodshed. 

Federico García Lorca, the most successful and controversial Spanish author of his generation, wrote «Yerma» during the Civil War, in which he himself would fall victim. Against the background of his impoverished, ruptured and, in the truest sense of the word, barren homeland Lorca uses unadorned yet highly poetic language to create the moving portrait of a young woman who is increasingly alienated from herself and from the world and who can only sense happiness in the unattainable contained in an impossible future. Whether this follows her own deepest wish or strict social convention is a question Lorca leaves open.

Both then and now the causes of our deepest longings lie in the dark, but the causes of our failure appear to be obvious: these have to lie in ourselves! More than eighty years after the world premiere of Lorca’s tragic poem, we have all become captives of the self improvement industry. This operates by producing the illusion of a completely fulfilled life and offers us the supposed cure – ultimately one should spare no cost or effort for a happiness whose author is none other than ourselves.

The play is directed by the celebrated Slovenian director Mateja Koležnik, who is regarded as an expert at omitting and hiding details. Her concentrated and strictly formal works have made her a considerable presence in German-speaking countries in recent years. With her interpretation of «Yerma» she will make her debut in Switzerland.

Preisstufe III Kleine Bühne (von 30.– bis 46.–)