VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin

Susanne Kennedy

Director Susanne Kennedy responds to the new balance of power between bodies, technical objects and machines with an aesthetic that is beyond the human. Distorted by masks, playback dialogue, doppelgängers and multimedia, the actors confront the audience with a post-humanistic subjectivity.

Born in Friedrichshafen, Germany in 1977, Susanne Kennedy studied direction at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam. She debuted on the Dutch stage with a series of productions of pieces by Enda Walsh, Sarah Kane and Elfriede Jelinek, as well as the experimental soap opera The Hideous (Wo)men (2013). In 2011 she invited Johan Simons to work with the ensemble at the Munich Kammerspiele. Productions of the film material They Shoot Horses, Don’t they? (2011) and Marieluise Fleißer’s first play Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt (Purgatory in Ingolstadt) (2013) ensue. The director sets Fleißer’s small-town life in a box on stage, in which the actors gradually atrophy into sculptures behind their masks, as in an installation, making the stereotypical and deformed quality of language tangible. It is a procedure that Susanne Kennedy taps into in Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? (Why Does Herr R. Run Amok?) (2014), based on the film by Rainer Werner Maria Fassbinder and Michael Fengler.

For her production of Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt Susanne Kennedy was named “young director of the year” by the magazine Theater heute, and awarded the 3sat prize. Fegefeuer von Ingolstadt and Warum läuft Herr R. Amok? were chosen to be staged for the Theatertreffen of the Berliner Festspiele in 2014 and 2015.

In collaboration with the Ruhrtriennale in 2015, the musical theatre parcours Orfeo and, in 2016 together with Markus Selg, the multimedia piece MEDEA.MATRIX were staged, with Birgit Minichmayr in the lead role. At the Munich Kammerspiele, she produced The Virgin Suicides, based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. The play is a co-production with the Volksbühne Berlin, where it will be included in the repertoire from spring 2018. Susanne Kennedy’s serial drama Women in Trouble is part of the Volksbühne’s opening programme in 2017.

Susanne Kennedy lives in Berlin and, with the launch of season 2017/2018, will become an associate director of the theatre.

Statement
> "Susanne Kennedy, what can this 2,500-year-old theatre ritual right now bring forth?"

Current productions

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