Medea's Nightmare 2.0

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With the artistic research project "Medea's Nightmare 2.0", master student Lukas Ladner (script/dramaturgy) systematically explored the question of how hypercomplex content and statements can be conveyed more clearly to an average audience. How and, above all, by what means exactly can one convey very abstract information without losing the attention of the audience nor the depth of the text?

The starting point of his research was the mythological character of Medea, which is superimposed on the template of Heiner Müller's “Hamletmachine”. Texts of this kind are a complex game of reference that is difficult to subordinate to a dramatic realization. While their reading already requires several attempts to grasp the inherent depth, in a theatrical context they oftentimes unintentionally cause an overload for the audience. Following Heiner Müller's use of language, Ladner developed a basic artistic method for the presentation of complex texts of this kind within the framework of this research project.

In several systematically organized and documented research steps, the project got closer to the final performance trying out different methods on the way. The starting point was the examination of the text from which the individual dramatic and thematic levels were extracted. Subsequently, the individual artistic levels were tested in several exemplary adaptations of the text. The effect of the different art forms on the source text was observed by adding them step by step. Through this use of several art forms (acting, film, music, physicality) the goal was to develop a multimedia, dramatic staging of the text. Its thinking processes should have been revealed to make the text readable for an audience without prior knowledge.

The stage performance at the end of this process was performed during the “Dramatiker-Festival Innsbruck” 2016 as well as at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF in December 2017. The piece was nominated for the Austrian Music Theater Award 2017.

Project lead: Lukas Ladner