Noah und der große Regen & War of the Worlds
stage design model for Landestheater Linz, Linz (AT), 2018
Nele Neitzke, art director of "Junges Theater" of the "Landestheater Linz" came up with the idea of playing two plays just on one versatile stage design.
"Noah und der große Regen", the story about noah's ark and "War of the Worlds" an adaptation of Steven Spielberg's movie are both meant for children of different ages.
"Noah und der große Regen": playful and fantasy stimulating environment, height differences, water, seeking shelter;
"War of the Worlds": closed environment in which media has a monopol like position on news, height differences, seeking shelter, Videoprojection;
The stage describes a common street of the austrian suburbs or small towns. There is the ground floor of a not to well looked after house, a bench, a junction box and a part of a play street to be seen.
For "Noah und der große Regen" the setting is used as followed: The childern's room is being extended through the window to the outside until finally the toys are being completely relocated to the street, for the reenactment of the story of Noah's ark. Junction box, stairs and bench serve as save places against the water. The actors can paint on the walls with chalk or play with water on the street coming from the gutter. The play street is the children's room and garden for all the small town apartment kids. There they reenact their fantasies and invent their stories.
In "War of the Worlds" the street has become a meeting point of two people. They are sitting on the bench, looking out of the window, or coming by with pushed bicycle. They take a seat and chatter. A typical small town scenery. The news of the disaster, spreading around the town by word-by-mouth, are told each other. The space above the bench could be used as projection surface for TV news broadcast. Discomfort is caused by the tame calmness underlying the town. Nobody knows for sure what is happening, only the media has the power of the truth. The exaggeration of news (which the play also thematizes) works in this town even more than anywhere else.
The main thought underlying the stage is that nothing should be rearranged. The street stays street and the house stays house. This place is an ambivalent space. It is what the inhabitants and the circumstances make of it.