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Theater in Zittau produces commissioned work by Rietzschel

Author Lukas Rietzschel stands in Görlitz / Photo: Paul Glaser/dpa
Author Lukas Rietzschel stands in Görlitz / Photo: Paul Glaser/dpa

The rise, views and fictional life of a populist politician are the focus of a new stage play that will premiere in Zittau on January 20. The Görlitz writer Lukas Rietzschel has written the commissioned work entitled "The Exemplary Life of Samuel W.", the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater announced on Thursday. The play, consisting of interview sequences, traces the life of a man who was born in the GDR and joins an apparently radical party.

"The topic is highly topical," says theater director Ingo Putz, who is also directing the production. Rietzschel is one of the most important contemporary writers in Germany, "who deals with issues of the region and the entire country as if in a burning glass". "That's why we asked him two years ago to write us a play and gave him a completely free hand in terms of content," reports Putz. Between January and September 2022, the author conducted around 100 interviews with people in eastern Saxony for his work.

The generally applicable play tells a lot about the world, even if it is set in Saxony. The theater hopes that the production will invite people to discuss and reflect. "Questions about fears and opportunities in a very complex world are forcing themselves on us all, so it's very easy to want to find simple answers when differentiation would be better," says Putz.

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