British playwright Simon Stephens’ new drama, Maria, is an exploration of the present and a loose adaptation of the myths surrounding Mary, for the digital age: His Mary is searching for connection and warmth in the cold and rootless 21st century. She, the play’s young protagonist, 18 years old, just barely beyond childhood herself, is pregnant, while the father of her child is long gone, her own mother dead, her father rarely there, her brother vanished without a word. Only her grandmother is still by her side.
Maria, called Ria, being a soon-to-be single mother, she belongs to those that face the most hardship and could easily fall victim to social neglect – but despite this she defies everyone, venturing unswervingly on a journey to forge with selfassurance her own path through chaotic circumstances. Like every seeker, however, she must also wander: Strolling through the city and rushing through the drama in double time – birth, love and death –she experiences existential moments – from a lonely birth, through digital experiences of intimacy to endof- life care.
Simon Stephens is one of today’s most important dramatists. He’s famous for the social precision and empathy he uses to paint his characters. His Maria is a distant relative of Hebbel’s Maria Magdalena and Horváth’s Maria from Glaube Liebe Hoffnung, but also fully a part of her world, on the eve of the second decade of the third millennium.
Gorki resident director Nurkan Erpulat is focusing on another young protagonist on the edge of adulthood, investigating her youthful resistance as well as the zeitgeist of the world she’s been thrown into.
Premiere: February 15th, 2020
Trigger warning: The production uses stroboscopic light effects, fast and flickering image sequences.
Photo: Esra Rotthoff
Stage photos: Ute Langkafel