Görlitzer Park, Berlin, Germany
August 2012

Book, Concept & Direction:

What might it mean to take up a notepad and begin to think, to dream, to design – from scratch – a new world, a better world in which we were to institute one principle above all others: ABOLISH ALL THINGS PRIVATE? What might it mean, then, to pitch that idea, to sell it, market it, run it through the meat grinder of political reality? What would the Pope say? What would the King do? How might a nation react? 500 years ago, Thomas More – English humanist and trusted adviser to Henry VIII – dared to pose such questions.

More’s fictional Utopia (1516) quickly emerged as the most important pieces of political literature of its time. Twenty years later, in the midst of Europe’s Reformation, More’s relations with the VIIIth soured, and he was executed as an ingratious traitor – and most “visionary” Catholic martyr. Seventy years after that, William Shakespeare (and a few of collaborators) looked back on More, on Henry, on Catherine of Aragon, on the (in)famous Cardinal Wolsey and composed two collaboratively-written plays from the perspective of Elizabeth’s new world order: Sir Thomas More & All is True. In summer 2012, SHAKESPEARE IM PARK BERLIN took these three classic texts as the inspiration for Utopia™, our bi-lingual, site-specific romp through Görlitzer Park, in which all is possible and most certainly true: execution dirges, PowerPoint presentations, synth-pop fight songs, public gardens, fashion shows, itching-and-scratching pleasure oaeses, golden latrines, hibatchi grills, renaissance dancing, tire-swing torture, Dada literature lessons, deus ex machinas, and jazz hands. More than 5000 fearless spectator-participants intervened in Henry and Catherine’s dicey divorce proceedings, watched Wolsey wildly misappropriate the public coffers, shared in St. Thomas’s bliss as he exposed and eliminated those pesky Protestants for the good of his new world, and, finally, saw it all go up in the flames of a new Golden Age.

Spectators experience a theater-parkour through Görlitzer Park, surrounded by barbecue fumes, late evening sun, Turkish families, and dealers, all of whom watch the spectacle with interest. This is an exciting and action-packed production.

Stefan Strauss, Berliner Zeitung

It was all simply wonderful.

The London Guardian

A rousing romp through the eastern end of Görli, the new production from the folks at Shakespeare im Park is exactly what a free, open-air version of classic theatre in bohemian Berlin should be: a political, comical and lovingly-made dual-language theatrical experience.

Summer Banks, Exberliner

Music Demos

Ensemble: Maxwell Flaum, Cordula Hanns, Dina-Maureen Hellwig, Paul Marino, Ana Mena, Maren Menzel, Peter Priegann, Sebastian Rein, Claudia Schwartz, Gianni von Weitershausen, Sebastian Witt, Brandon Woolf, Sarah Zastrau

Stage Design: Alberto Di Gennaro
Music Composition: stew
Music & Live Musical Performance: Trike
Costume Design: Arianne Vitale Cardoso

Assistant Direction & Production Management: Marianne Cebulla
Assistant Stage & Costume Design: Tamar Ginati
Press & Public Relations: Sarah Rosenau
Photography: Lisa Merk & Mark von Wardenburg