Theatre A Parte

Theatre A Parte

  • “Men in white” of Theater Horizont from Cologne

    “Men in white” of Theater Horizont from Cologne

    ...Theatre is like a magnet, it's like a Gourmet food, or like a narcotic (of course, figuratively speaking). In the sense, that a true theatregoer develops some kind of profound dependency on Melpomene. On the adrenaline of the stage and of the odeum. On the whole Thespian medium. I’ve got addicted to it. And this supposition of mine got the practical confirmation. I have some letters to write and to prepare some documents, I have to do many other things... but instead I start typing and recording my spectators echo about the play “Das Herz eines Boxers” – “The heart of the Boxer” performed by the Theater Horizont from Cologne. This theatrical soiree was realized under the auspices of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber fein” at the Theatre A Parte in Witten. (Address: Annenstrasse 20A, 58453 Witten).

    And writing these lines I find my placating equilibrium, abstracting from the mundane hustle and bustle. Theatre – this is what really matters! Theatre – this is The Nirvana and the light in the end of the tunnel. Although the main theme of this dramatization might be described as melancholy and depression.

    I watched the staging of “Das Herz eines Boxers” on July 10th, 2022. It was Sunday.

    ...I would like to say, that the brief questions and answers session, mini “press conference”, which took place after the play, did help me quite a lot to propitiate my sombre agitated moods. As I, probably, felt like after having watched Alfred Hitchcock's movie. With the only difference, that “Das Herz eines Boxers” is not a thriller, but a very truthfully narrated sad story. Of the former boxing champion, who appeared in much unexpected, very long lasting life circumstances. The dolors and grieves of every day being, of uncertainty of tomorrow are being very pronouncedly parleyed in the thorough acting manner by Waldemar Hooge, who portrayed the Boxer. Marc Alexander, acting out as the Youth, was also instrumental in unrolling the subject line of this performance and aggravating the tensions of the drama.

    Yes, for me “Das Herz des Boxers” was the staging, first of all, with the dramatic, tragic context. The suspension of the dawning doom was very clearly sensed in this work of the drama art. Although, I must admit, that its dramatization at times sensed even as the comedy, they were there several humorous episodes...

    But for me the most memorable scene of the “Das Herz des Boxers” was the one, when the Boxer and the Youth as if time transported themselves into the times of glory of the Red Leo.

    When Leo (Waldemar Hooge) really was “fluttering like a butterfly”... luckily, for the Youngster – The Youth (Mark Alexander) and for the spectators in the odeum he didn't “sting like a bee” on stage. And I would allow myself to smile at that...

    In our lives, sometimes (or even often) we feel like being boxed down into the corner, or even knocked out. But seeing the implied – assumed liberation of the Boxer from the societal and self-inflicted dogmatic confines in “Das Herz eines Boxers” would lead many of the viewers into the reviving and asserting the sense of new beginning that after morose rain and dark clouds, there would come the brighter sunnier hours. This play is a psychological drama, but verbatim a lyrical touching story too. With a glimpse of hope. With the beams of Sol at the Horizon.

    The chamber theatre format of this staging also helped the spectators, including my own self, to feel even more close to the life peripeteia of the two characters, of Leo and of the Youth (I deliberately, omit the nickname “Yoyo”) and empathize with their aspirations, trials and tribulations of their life paths.

    At the concluding press conference / questions and answers session the actors put on the white shirts. And it felt like the thrilling suspense doom of the play was bleached out and diluted. The fiction of play script was smoothed out by the reality of the play’s storytelling.

    I would like to express my gratitude to the Horizont Theater from Cologne, to the actors Waldemar Hooge, Mark Alexander and to the stage director Volker Hein for this boxing with my inner self theatrical experience.

    And the Theatre A Parte from Witten for hosting the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”. Thank You very much!

    Theatrically Yours,

    Pinkhas - Peter Friesen

    P.S.
    ...I’ve also read that being a professional boxer is not only dangerous, but also a quite unrewarding profession. That, through some reason, in many countries boxers don’t receive the pension... If this is really the case, then it should be changed. Don’t You think so?.. Watching the play "”Das Herz des Boxers” I kept on wondering: What was the financial situation of the Red Leo?..

  • “Pirosmanic memoirs about the unshod flea” Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre from Tbilisi

    “Pirosmanic memoirs about the unshod flea”
    Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre from Tbilisi

    Yesterday, under the auspicious welcome of Theatre A Parte and within the cultural framework of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein Aber Fein” I watched the sparkling performance by the Youth Theatre named after Nodar Dumbadze. This theatrical team is from Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. And now I am narrating in the present tense.

    The name of the play is “Der Floh und die Ameise” (in English language: “The flea and the ant”). Thespian moorage locus: Theatre A Parte, Annenstrasse 20A, 58453 Witten. Date: 09.07.2022. Number of actors, creating the play: four.

    And I would like to thank all the four servants of Melpomene, one actress and three actors, from Tbilisi for this warming, sweetly nostalgic, humorous and creative matinee in Witten. Many positive epithets can be used to describe this performance.

    “Innovative and inventive” might be just the two of them. For example, I liked very much the episode with the cow’s udder. How it was created, inflated and “milked” from the white resinous glove. And the whole acting tempo of this scene was very involving. The children and the adults alike in the audience laughed and were giving appreciating beholding applause. I wasn’t the exception!

    The whole play did consist from seven, or eight mise-en-scènes. Actually, I was so carried away by the performance, that I stopped counting the alternating episodes. Also, the indication of the fact, that the acting on stage, its lyrics, does compel You forgetting about mundane matters.

    The language of the “Der Floh und die Ameise” is Georgian. And in the dialogues, unrolling on stage, I was able to comprehend only two words “Gomarjoba” and “Batono” (“Hello!” and “my friend”, if I am correct). But not withstanding all these linguistical vicissitudes, of not being able to understand Georgian language, most of the spectators, undoubtedly, would be able to feel the atmosphere of this puppet, drama, chamber staging. To understand its intrinsic Georgian, quintessentially Pirosmanic aura. Observing the lights and the mild, soothing colours of several mise-en-scènes in “Der Floh und die Ameise” I recollected the paintings by Niko Pirosmani. The ones I saw in the Fine Arts Museum of Tbilisi and at the Sighnaghi National museum in Alazan valley. If You are in Georgia – Gruzia visiting these cultural establishments is the absolute MUST!

    ...And, again, attending this play, I reassertingly came to the conclusion, that the language of the staging is not necessary the key element of the dramatis medium. Although, of course, I like many other spectators was quite curious, what the actors were talking about....But.. the gestures, the mimics, the voice chords, sometimes comedian, sometimes even, probably, satirical did construct the crystally clear bridge of understanding between the odeum and the stage. These seventy plus minutes, marvellously directed by the theatrical maestros from Tbilisi, Dimitri Khvitisiashvili and Gia Margania, did establish the unmistakably mutually respectful understanding between the performance troop and the public in the chamber box. And I would not be afraid, probably, repeating myself: the warm, humorous, expressive aura of this play was truly amazing! And it was also very musical and very dancing!

    I didn't enquire, but it quite might be, that part of this troop, probably are, or could have been, the professional dancers. The foot posture on stage and the professional foot wear of this Thespian ensemble did prompt me to think so.

    By the way, I also liked quite a lot the eyes play by the actors.

    And at this given moment of time I would allow myself to say several words about the music and the costumes of the “Der Floh and die Ameise” play.

    I was so pleased to hear the tunes of Chardosh, also the melodies, which, probably, date themselves back to the times of Gruzia Film (“Грузия Фильм”) of the 1970s and 1980s. The times, when all of our Family, did wait with the great excitement and attention for the evening presentments of the Gruzia Film’s lovely, sweetly witty short films – featurettes. Comedies by Gruzia Film – these were very important and beloved televised events for the whole of our Family!

    I hope, that the readers of this epistle of mine would allow me this lyrical digression. As the “Der Floh und die Ameise” personally for me were the transiently harmonious moments of nostalgic recollections about my Family in the 1970s and 1980s... When my Liebe Mutti and all my Grandmas and Grandpas were in this world, side by side with me. And for those minutes and seconds I also would like to express my indebtedness to this play and the whole theatrical team from Tbilisi! Thank You very much!

    As I’ve mentioned already the theme of gestures, mimics, plasticity and dancing in this staging, I decided it would be appropriate to bring into the spotlight one more gesticulating detail of this performance. Namely, in one of the episodes the hand of one of the actors started purportedly and slightly shaking... And this Theatre came from Tbilisi, the birthplace of Georgij Aleksandrovich Tovstonogov. The city, where He commenced His theatrical way. And observing this slightly shaking hand in the “Der Floh und die Ameise” I started thinking about the very well-known play, called “Energetic People”, staged around the year 1984 at BDT, Большой Драматический Театр in Leningrad (nowadays Saint Petersburg). Georgij Tovstonogov was the Artistic Director of BDT at those times. “Was He ever creatively cooperating with the Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre from Tbilisi?” – I was pondering after observing about three seconds of this shaking hand. In the “Energetic People” Yevgeny Lebedev brilliantly and very humorously acted in this monologue in 1984. I remembered this scene very well; it became one of the most emblematic symbols of the Melpomene Art for me.

    ...My Dear Mama in the 1980s, when I was still at school gave me to read “thick” magazine with the story by Nodar Dumbadze. I read it really quickly and afterwards read several more works by this Author. Very warm, human, empathy filled literary creations, full of Sun and the wisdoms of everyday human relationships. Nodar Dumbadze lived in Tbilisi and created his works in Tbilisi. And this “sparkling performance” of this eponymous theatre, as I had characterized it in the aforementioned lines, is as sparkling and refreshing as the bubbles of Borjomi water, as the Logidze waters and Tarhun’s effervescent fizzing.

    For Her Jubilee my Liebe Mutti wanted to make a trip to Tbilisi. These sweet memoirs of several years ago are still very fresh in my recollections. We together strolled the streets, went to museums, made some sightseeing trips, visited theatrical performances... It was a very lively and lovely journey. It was our last trip together...

    Let The Soul of my Dear Mama be in Garden of Eden!

    The root word “Tbeli” in Georgian language, if to translate it into the other tongues of the world, would mean “warm”. And the acting team from Tbilisi, Youth Theatre named after Nodar Dumbadze, indeed, made this slightly, cloudy, a little bit rainy time of the day welcoming and very warm for me. Not only theatrically, but, first of all, humanly warm! “Tbeli” means “warm” in Georgian language.

    Highly Esteemed International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”, thank You very much for accommodating me as Your guest. Your welcome is very gladdening and very warm too! I would like to express my big gratitude personally to Katja Beil and Boris Schwarzmann, who are the creative brain and engine of the Theatre A Parte in Witten in Annenstrasse 20A.

    And, of course, to the stage directors of the “Der Floh and die Ameise”, Dimitri Khvtisiashvili and Gia Margania. It would be quite interesting to follow the stage oeuvre of these two regisseurs. Also from the view point that, probably, in the future scenic transfigurations of this play the flea might get shod. Id est get the horseshoe on its leg. As we all very well know, it was done by Cross-eyed Lefty arms craftsman from Tula! And, as for me, a Tulovite, it would be quite interesting to learn, when it can be done in Tbilisi?!

    Yours Intrepid Thespian correspondent,

    Pinkhas-Peter Friesen

    Highly Esteemed Readers of this essay:

    As I mentioned earlier, the performance “Der Floh und die Ameise” by Nodar  Dumbadze Youth Theater from Tbilisi did invoke numerous recollections about the artwork of Nico Pirosmani. And I have decided to bring to Your attention the Poem "Niko", written by Boris Abramovich Sluzkij. Quite many years ago I translated it into English language. 

    Sincerely Yours, Peter Friesen 

     

    “Niko”. Boris Abramovitch Sluzkij
          
    translated by Pinkhas Friesen

     He didn’t have to forget.

    The gossips and conjectures were enough – “all right”.

    But nails, the nails should have their heads pinned set,

    So that the signs on taverns would be holding tight.

     

    Unworried… shouldn’t be thought, that the sundown – afterglow

    Like by Monnet, the famed sunsetter.

    But order must be done, then “dough”…

    And afterwards from client to receive the money.

    (Being go – getter…)

     

    For this wee money 

                     ate and drank 

    Partook a little, drank in plenty.

    The flabbiness in art was not his rank.

    (Akin of being choosey dainty…)

    Good Georgian was Pirosmani.

     

  • „Klein aber sehr fein!“ – Thespian Gazette News

    On the evening of July 7th, 2022 I had the pleasure to witness a very elegant, very peculiar and very fascinating cultural event. Namely, the festive opening of the Second International Theater Festival “Klein aber fein” organized by the Theatre A Parte in Witten. And being conducted at the very cozy and cute premises of the aforementioned Theatre. Yes, with the capital letter “T”.

    First of all, I would like to thank wholeheartedly the Theatre A Parte for this invitation. And, please, let me describe, in the chronological time line order the sequence of that evening. It was a very benevolent weather, thus, the welcoming words of Boris Schwarzmann, in German and Russian languages, were complemented by the pleasing Zephyr breeze of the Gulfstream. I sensed its soothing air born vibrations. In the hindsight I am asserting myself in this impression. And also would like to thank the interpreter. The words of the Theatre A Parte scenic director Boris Schwarzmann were parlayed with precision and in timbre, dignifying the aura of the stage.

    After the greeting word by Boris Schwarzmann there took place the musical piano performance by Noah. I think that one of the scores in these sky-scraping jazz improvisations sequences did belong to George Gershwin. Next time I go to the performance or Festival at Theatre A Parte I would like to confirm my musical guess. Possibly, my theatrical moods and expectations were tuned to the rhapsody, oceanic rhapsody sentiments (Dortmund is a very big inland port connected with the ocean).

    The musical part of the opening ceremony was lead into the drama stage performance, acted by two actresses Katya Beil and Jessica. With Katya Beil I had the chance to talk before the performance and during the play too! As she “appointed” me the guardian of her character's luggage! Two huge checkered bags! And for me, especially, during the performance, this was quite an involving dramatic task. Which fulfilled even more my sense of appreciation for being the spectator at this Thespian event.

    ...The story of two women, heading for the chef's competition from the two different parts of United Germany is very touching and very humorous. And the psychological portraits of the two major heroines of this story, painted on stage with the bright, humorous and refined acting colours, were idiosyncratic for the society dramatis personae from Germany of the 1990s and the migration fusion between United Germany and former USSR, experiencing agonizing pangs of disintegration. I think. And they were intrinsically connected with those turbulent times, humorously, brilliantly comedically enlivened on stage.

    There were, indeed, the moments of stark laughter, of reminiscing not so far-fetched past, of warm nostalgia... and of the sadness too. Many moments to award actresses with the claps of ovations and vivant, recuperating thoughts!

    These were the moments projected at the audience from the stage on the evening of July 7th, 2022 in Theatre A Parte in Witten.

    It was also very nice to converse briefly with Katya Beil, Jessica and Noah during the après staging party. And express my gratitude for their acting, dramatic, musical contribution for the “Klein aber fein” of Theatre Festival. And, especially, to Katya Beil, who gregariously granted me the right to be the actor too. Even if just for the duration of several, very fleeting eloping instances. Yes, I am in love with the Theatre!

    Special Thanks to the hostess of this Chamber Gala, to Julia Joswig who is daughter of Katya and Boris. The hospitable ambience and very nice treats were the integral congenial part of this convivial theatrical fête.

    I would dare to think and guess that Melpomene would have been very pleased with the debut soiree of this elegantly boutique Theatre Festival. I did sense the Thespian spirit there. And do believe, that the standing ovations and exclamations “Encore - encore!” und “Bravo!” are to be resonating through the space of the Theatre a Parte, (through its invisible arching vaults of Theater history), many more times in the upcoming days and evenings of the Festival!

    Klein aber sehr fein! Very much fine!

    I hope to be asserting more and more in those first impressions of mine. Theatre A Parte in Witten has opened its doors for the audience. This July does promise to be quite dramatic in Witten and in North Rhine-Westphalia! In the Thespian sense, I mean.

    Theatrically Yours,

    Pinkhas – Peter Friesen

    (in Israeli passport: Petr Frizen)

    German Version of the Article:
    http://afz-ethnos.org/index.php/aktuelles/268-klein-aber-sehr-fein-nachrichten-der-thespian-gazette

  • As hot as it gets!

    As hot as it gets! My cup of tea!
    North Rhine-Westphalian passions from Saint Petersburg incarnate!

    „Afrikanische Leidenschaft“
    Theater Za Tshernoj Retshkoj. St. Petersburg. Russland.
    “African Passions”. Theater Za Tshernoj Retshkoj. Saint Petersburg. Russia.

    This week I had the happiness to witness the exuberant performance by the Theatre from Saint Petersburg. It was especially pleasant premonition, as the actors did come from Russia. And I was very eager to reunite myself with the aura of the Russian Theatre. The long awaited meeting, finally, materialized in the evening of July 23rd, 2022 in Witten. At the Theatre A Parte (Annenstraße 20A, 58453 Witten), under the auspices of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein Aber Fein”.

    This performance was the most wide format dramatic event of the festival. Four actors performing on stage the comedy, which also does boarder the drama scenario at times. The problematic and dilemmas full and prone relationships between the generations, the eternal perplexing question mark in the dialogues between the children and the parents. Albeit, in this staging such dialogues are behind the scenes.The Thespian ensemble on stage

    - Alen (actor Anatoli Zhuravin)
    - Annet – his wife (actress Alla Danishevsky)
    - Veronika (actress Julia Kaim)
    - Michelle (actor Sergey Gvozdev)
    exponentially reflected the process of doubts, concerns, alliances and confrontations going through the minds and hearts of the two families. How to find the just, appeasing, mutually acceptable solution for the occurred conflict? When the two progeny offsprings did quarrel and the blood (from the dental cavity) was spilled.

    And to the honour of the performing team I must say, that comedy agitation and suspense were kept at the very high artistic level on stage! And, of course, the Japanese tea ceremony and the herbal infusions from Maghreb were the great creative solutions for edifying in front of the public this humorous and exotic milieu. This set of very unexpected circumstances. With the pinch of contemplating introspection and sadness about the uncompromising fierceness of the adolescent behaviour and attitudes.

    ...Broken teeth, probably, false accusations – recriminations in public. In front of the coevals. What really happened between the children of these two couples? The play does not decipher this riddle. And does leave the room for the spectators to think... And in this way, it is somewhat intriguing. As every theatre goer has his own denouement of the play.

    I also would like to dedicate several words of gratitude to the plasticity of the actresses, playing Veronika (actress Julia Kaim) and Annet (actress Alla Danishevsky). The dancing, pas, flexibility of these heroines of the staging were truly remarkable. And made the whole performance even more lively and sparkling! The passionate dancing was very well felt in the African Passions.

    As it was the comedy about the family relationships, the masterpiece of the French work of the literary art, and the activities did take place in France, of course, I recollected the “Le Jouet” movie, which my Dear Mama and I watched so long time before today in the end of 1970s. At the small township of Velegozh on the banks of the Oka river not far away from our native Tula...
    I was thinking, how Francois Perrin (unforgettably performed by Pierre Richards) would be behaving himself in the situation, in which the major characters of the movie did appear. What might be his educational approach to reconcile the quarrel of two children, almost teenagers? I am certain, that Francois Perrin, undoubtedly, at least, would make the boisterous boys write something on paper about the incident and would make the attacker and the victim read their thoughts to each other.
    Personally for me, the character of Francois Perrin is the personification of the educator and the teacher. And I would like to wish all of us, artists, spectators, to be trying to achieve the wisdom and kindness of this writer from Paris!

    “The African Passions” were really as hot, as it could only be in Africa. And this staging is really my cup of tea!
    The dialogues of this play do also give room and space to contemplate the realities of nowadays.

    I would like most wholeheartedly thank the Thespian quartet from Saint Petersburg for their revitalizing, truly passionate performance! Your dancing was full of improvising fervour and amorous ardour. North Rhine-Westphalian passions from Saint Petersburg incarnate!

    Dear Theatre A Parte, thank You very much for allowing me to be Your guest!

    Yours Truly,

    Pinkhas-Peter Friesen

  • Clown-Workshop with Lena Binski. Sunday. Juli 17, 2022

    Crown Your inner Clown!

    I would like to thank wholeheartedly Lena Binski and Theater A Parte for this experience. For the possibility to feel myself in the circus again. On its arena. To be in the midst of the Big Top!
    It was a very interesting experience in pantomime, mimicking, plasticity, scenic improvisations.
    This workshop is a very good opportunity to discover your own artistic potential and creative inclinations. And the Theatre and Circus goers of absolutely all the ages would find it very involving and fascinating. Discover the hidden Clown within Yourself!

    Thank You very much Lena Binski!
    Thank You very much Theatre A Parte!
    Thank You very much “Klein aber Fein” International Theatre Festival!

    Participant of this workshop,

    Pinkhas - Peter Friesen

  • IINTEGRATION – Russian Döner with the Potato Salad

    INTEGRATION – russischer Döner mit Kartoffelsalat

    Sonorous and acoustic! Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko
    Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”
    Comedy, Cabaret and Music!
    INTEGRATION – Russian Döner with the potato salad
    With the Sweet Rakhat Lukum Taste

    On Sunday 24, 2022 at 19:00 this remarkable performance took place. But I would like to commence my narration in the reverse chronological order of these 120 plus minutes. It was very interesting and knowledgeable to communicate with Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko at their après le spectacle press conference. To learn their life stories, integration experiences. The biographies, with which many people in the audience, I suppose, could connect to. Liza told about the dialogues with her son, Vladimir narrated stories of his family tree, when it was blooming in the former USSR. Spanning the wide geography of the Soviet Union, this duet of the artistic personalities made the distances between North Rhine-Westphalia, Moscow and Kazakhstan melt on Witten stage. It was a very humorous, friendly, nostalgic composition. One, of course, can call it “the stand-up” comedy, or the sitcom. But personally for me it was more, than simply that. These were touching stories of two people, with whom I shared a little bit of the common past. A little bit of common geography.

    The guitar lyrics and melodies played by Liza were very humorous, embroidered with the good taste and excellent rhymes.

    Vladimir’s monologues evoked the best possible associations conceivable in the comedy genre. Turkish styled monologues by Liza Kos also gave a very special Anatolian flavourful aura to the whole performance.

    And applying Vladimir’s tag line I would like to say, that Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko were much more, than simply “akustisch gehört” – acoustically heard. They were hearkened to through their performance! And heard with the heart, with understanding, with smiles and ovations!

    And, Liza, thank You very much for Your prompting in the joke about the sandwich (das belegtes Brötchen). Your mimics helped me to realize the difference “geleckt – gelegt”....Highly Esteemed Theatre Goers, if You are learning German language, the performance by Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko would be also a very useful educational experience for You! Make sure You don’t miss it!!!

    It was a lovely and humorous chord in concluding the Second International Theater Festival "Klein Aber Fein", which took place at the Teater A Parte at Witten. At the Annenstrasse 20 A (58453 Witten).

    I would like to express my wholehearted sincere gratitude to the organizers and participants of this charmingly wonderful Thespian extravaganza in Witten, in North Rhine-Westphalia.

    I was very glad to be Your guest. And do sincerely hope to see Your performances many more times again in the future!

    Thank You very much!

    Sincerely Thespianly Yours,

    Pinkhas-Petr Friesen

  • O! My Bear! O! Panda Mia!

    “O! My Bear! O! Panda Mia!”

    „Why not the Bear?“ by and with Lena Binski (Berlin)

    Participative Installation and Performance

    ...Before this extraordinary cultural event I was pondering and brooding over it. The word “bear” - what do I know about it? How many, if any, synonyms and associations these three letters, if in German and Hebrew languages: “Bär”, “דוב”. Or seven letters, if in Russian language: “медведь” [medved’]. Or four letters, if in English language: “bear”. OK... These pixels of modern world’s Etymology – what do they mean for me??? I was contemplating and speculating on this issue.

    And it transpired that this word does evoke quite many associations!

    The mascot of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Bern – the capital of Switzerland, also the Bear. Symbolic for many cities around the Globe, for Berlin, for instance. And also on the flag of the State of California. Panda epitomizes many events in South East Asia and, in my opinion, is being absolutely irretrievable from the spirit of the Orient. As well as from the folklore culture of the Occident. Plenty of Russian fairy tales are being connected with this ursine character! How many idioms in so many languages are being connected with the bearish theme! And last, but not the least, they said, that in Mother Russia the bears pawed the streets in some cities, including the space of The Red Square. Till today I wonder, where they always hid themselves, as I was not able to glimpse them even once... But, personally for me the most significant Etymology of the ursine letters was quite different. At school I devoted quite a lot of my time to the freestyle wrestling. And Alexander Medved is the three times Olympic champion in this sport. This outstanding athlete’s achievements and performances on the international wrestling carpet, undoubtedly, were the guiding specimen of sportsmanship and human achieving. I felt and sensed so too.

    But what kind of a bear I would encounter at the Theatre A Parte at Annenstrasse 20 A (in Witten 58453)? That was the intriguing part of that Theatre going evening. What kind of creature would be promulgating performance at the International Theatre Festival “Klein Aber Fein”? I was very eager to realize this!

    ...Dear and Highly Esteemed Readers! Have you ever entered the cage with the bear in your life? Most likely you would reply in the negative. But I did so this evening! I was in the confines of this kennel. But what a Bear it was! Friendly! Courteous! Amicable! The one I would love to share the bear hug with!

    This ursine creature even treated me with the bottle of the most delectable lemonade! And the bars of this cage were made of some hawser ropes. I would say it was the most inmates’ friendly incarceration in the world. Free to enter! Free to leave! Free to go to freedom any time!

    And here I would refer to the feeling and thought, that being in this cage with this most charming Bear (actress Lena Binski) was very freeing and liberating experience for me. For the duration of this interactive performance I was able to free myself from the shackles and apprehensive fears of uncertainty, of unpredictability, of the unknown. In a nutshell and very simple vocabulary: with this Dear Bear everything was good, certain, pleasant and, most importantly, halcyon! How unconcerned and placid were these moments, albeit they were very fleeting too! Dear Lena Binski, I would love to prolong these minutes, seconds and instances of theatrical interaction! I am sure everyone from the odeum would hundred percent agree with me.

    Sounds unusual, doesn’t it?.. “Behind the bars” more latitude of liberty, than outside of them... But the participating installation “Warum nicht der Bär” performed by Lena Binski made such transfiguration the reality!

    This staging was also a kind of meditation for me. (And honestly speaking, this is why I had some thoughts about Buddhism, and Lena Binski's Bear for some minutes transformed itself into Himalayan bear and then into Panda).

    With the tranquilizing sounds of nature: chirping oscine chords, croaking of the frogs, oceanic breezes and billowing waves of the nightly forest silence. The Bear did know how to use the tape recorder! And soothing atmosphere of the natural reserve sanctuary was created on stage. Yes, within the quadratic space of the cage, delineated by its boarders.

    And, apparently, this Bear did like Beethoven's music too. No... it wasn't the tape recorder, but a radio set from the 1970s, or 1960s. When one could simply sip cocoa, or coffee at breakfast without bothering to check the messages on the smartphone. Those were the times...

    The performance “Warum nicht der Bär?” by and with Lena Binski is a very intelligent and invigorating experience for the viewers of all ages. Also an excellent opportunity for the family viewing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Lena Binski and to the Theatre A Parte in Witten for this opportunity to be a spectator and verbatim the stage performer. I hope, I was an appropriate acting participant of this theatrical installation.

    Thinking somewhat humorously about grim realities of the last several years I would like to exclaim with a sigh of relief: O! Panda Mia! O! My Bear! How “Pandamic”, so extensively Thespian were Your improvisations.

    I am giving to You the wholehearted, most sincere Bear Hug – die Bärenumarmung!

    Truly theatrically Yours,

    Pinkhas-Peter Friesen

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