Meiningen Theatre, "Kabale und Liebe", Germany, 2009

Tour Dates: 9 Nov - 15 Nov, 2009

Director and stage design: Kerstin Jacobssen

Costume: Kathleen Röber
Dramaturgy: Gerda Binder

President Walter: Max Reimann
Ferdinand: Peer Roggendorf
Marshal Kalb: Matthias Herold
Lady Milford, Favorite of the Prince: N. N.
Secretary Wurm: Roman Weltzien/Benjamin Krüger
City Musician Miller: Reinhard Bock
Millerin: Rosemarie Blumenstein
Luise: Dagmar Geppert

The author Friedrich Schiller wrote "Kabale und Liebe" in 1783 in Bauerbach, a tiny village near Meiningen, where he lived incognito after fleeing from Stuttgart. The story of this play remained touching and thrilling through out the centuries and is learning material in German schools.

“Kabale und Liebe" was produced in 2006 by the director Kerstin Jacobssen.

Kerstin Jacobssen (director and stage design): Kerstin was born in Hamburg and studied art in Berlin before working at the Kammerspiele, a famous theatre in Munich as a painter for the stage settings. Later she studied acting and became a director’s assistant at several Theatres around Germany.

She also worked for exhibitions, museums and conventions. During these years she improved her paintings and designed whole series of posters, advertising the plays and operas at the Ulmer Theatre. That was also the place she started with her stage designs.

Since 2005 Kerstin Jacobssen is working for the Meininger Theater, starting with the stage design for the Three-Penny-Opera from Bertolt Brecht followed by several stage designs including the opening in the new built Kammerspiele, a modern house next to the historical Theatrebuilding in 2008. She created successfully a version of the Metamorphosen by Ovid.

The story:

The unhappy love between the aristocrat Ferdinand von Walter and the 16-year-old musician’s daughter, Luise Millerin, whose relationship is not accepted by the tradition of their forefathers, is the focal point of this play. Miller, the musician from a non-aristocratic background, realizes the possible danger associated with the court, as far as his daughter is concerned. Ferdinand’s father – President of the Privy Council and right-hand man of the reigning Prince – has got completely different plans for his son: Ferdinand should marry Lady Milford – the Prince’s mistress – in order to secure for his father the direct influence on his ruler. In order to carry out his intentions, the President and Secretary Wurm, who is likewise interested in the separation of the two lovers, devise a malicious intrigue ……

Schiller’s drama, which he completed in exile in 1783 – fleeing from Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg – bears unmistakably the trademark of the “Storm and Stress” epoch. Ferdinand’s revolt against princely authority, the demand for freedom and the pursuit of individuality lead to a fatal outcome.

Reviews:

"THE SPOKEN LANGUAGE AND THE SOUL"

Schiller’s “Cabal and Love” in Meiningen is to be recommended especially for young people.

That’s the seducing thing about those old theatrical pieces – that they still affect us. It doesn’t matter that they appear strange to us in ambience or disposition – in a peculiarly contrasting way, they throw a light on our present existence.

The production (Kerstin Jacobssen) devotes all attention to the young couple acting their parts – Dagmar Geppert and Peer Roggendorf are really young and are able to make the surging storm of unspent feelings credible. Here, the spoken language still possesses the function that becomes it – namely, to inform what is going on in people’s souls, to express how hope and disappointment raise people exultantly or depress them profoundly.

Without a doubt, the ensemble achieves showing that love can be more than just a “fleeting moment”.

- Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung, 16 October, 2006

CLASSIC, SOLID, FRESH"

“It could be said that the Meiningers had intended to play, as such, one of the classical great dramas that, not least because of its openly displayed conflict between bourgeoisie and aristocracy, is regularly worked through as scholastic compulsory reading. Kerstin Jacobssen produces the story about the love between the aristocrat, Ferdinand von Walter and the commoner, Luise Miller, in a classically stringent way with regard to the text as well as content. Thanks to a strict shortening of the contents, high “action” speed and lively performing actors, who are not brought to their knees by Schiller’s language, Jacobssen’s production is entertaining.

Together with Kathleen Röber, director Kerstin Jacobssen has created an almost empty stage setting: a table with three chairs and a violin against the pillar is the home of Miller, the musician. A purple coloured armchair, in which the well-nourished President von Walter sits, represents the aristocratic society, in front of which all commoners for the first time halt as if in front of an invisible threshold. In place of the violin, here hangs a Colt on the pillar, which already announces the threatening disaster.

Differently to Schiller, President von Walter does not recognize his mistake, even in face of his dying son. Secretary Wurm steps onto the forestage and, in front of the illuminated auditorium, is just about to call for public opinion, when Walter shoots him from behind. Even the death of two people has achieved nothing, the immorality of those in power has triumphed, one’s own flesh and blood sacrificed for a “superior” purpose.

- Main-Netz, 18 October, 2007

"LOVE WAS DOOMED TO FAILURE"

In her production, director Kerstin Jacobssen has chosen the path of reduction. No attention whatsoever is paid to trinkets or stage props – the drama concentrates wholly on the characters. With Dagmar Geppert as Luise and Peer Roggendorf as Ferdinand, the director is able to present two strongly expressive lovers, scintillating with passion, as the main protagonists.” 

- RHÖN und SAALEPOST, 9 October, 2006

 

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