On the Way to a Theater of Darknesses

"The theater has to bury the dead" (Heiner Müller)

31 Jul 1995
News & Stories
Heiner Müller
Heiner Müller


The conversation begins on the topic of Müller’s plans for new plays. Müller tells us that he has promised to write a libretto for Boulez, and that he wishes to use the myth of Heracles as material for a stage play. Consequently Kluge und Müller probe the cultural traces left by this myth: in the work of Seneca, in the GDR and the Soviet Union. The interview then turns to different modes of dramatic production: Roman theatre in comparison to the Greek, Elizabethan theatre, Victor Hugo, Pushkin, and Müller's preference for short dramatic pieces. This is followed by a reflection on the meaning of the temporal dimension in theatre: plays that are very short or that go on all night; the moment of intermission as a stylistic element and how this affects the perception of theatre. These aspects are discussed in connection with a play by [Einar] Schleef and the staging of "Hamlet" in real time. These reflections on the shifting boundaries in theatre continue with a discussion of the play "Capital" by Luigi Nono, and finally come back to the myth of Heracles. The conversation then moves from an analogy between Heracles and Stalin to the differences between Stalin and Hitler. The discussion concludes with a consideration of individual text fragments by Heiner Müller: "Goebbels tritt als Medea auf" und "Die drei Witwen."