Incredibly loud and extremely close 13+
by Jonathan Safran Foer
German by Henning Ahrens
Oskar Schell is nine years old and lives in New York. According to his business card he is an inventor, pacifist, vegan, jewellery designer, and tambourine player. And he is lots more: for example, a French fan, daddy’s child, and keeper of secrets. He has been keeping a lot of secrets since the “worst day”, the day on which his father died in the World Trade Center attacks: Nobody knows how lonely he is. Nobody knows about the five messages his father left on the answering machine after the planes crashed into the towers, and obviously nobody knows that Oskar stood beside the phone and just couldn’t pick it up. Nobody knows about the key that he found in a vase in his father’s closet, which has the word “Black” written on it. There are so many secrets Oskar keeps. And yet there are thousands of questions running through his head. But answers are hard to find. So he starts with the easiest one. Into which lock does the key with the name “Black” fit? Oskar has tried all the locks in his apartment, it isn’t one of them. That leaves about 162 million more locks in New York, which belong to about 9 million people. Thankfully only 472 of those are called Black. That seems doable to Oskar, so out he goes into the big city, where he hopes this answer will lead to more answers. His odyssey begins.
Jonathan Safran Foer takes Oskar on a journey through New York, on which he discovers the complicated history of his family, full of suffering and love, and with secrets that it has never helped anyone to keep. Its history enfolds him, sustains, and constrains him. Before, he was alone – now he is a Schell, part of a big bunch of people who are all interconnected. Foer revisits important political events and crises, for example the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima, 9/11, and reflects them through the family, through individuals. Effort, desire, success, failure – through Oskar, Foer very touchingly recreates and reimagines history as the history of a family and a society.
Directed by: Alexander Riemenschneider Costume Design: Lilli Wanner Stage Design: David Hohmann Composition: Jan Beyer Lightning: Jonathan Biendarra Sound: Caroline Woelke, Benjamin Owusu-Sekyere Dramaturgy: Volker Bürger