Artist Talks Brandhaarden: Elsa-Sophie Jach

Brandhaarden 2023

Artist Talks Brandhaarden: Elsa-Sophie Jach

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam


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Artist Talks Brandhaarden: Elsa-Sophie Jach
Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

A look behind the scenes and conversations with the makers make the performance visit even more interesting. That is why ITA Academy organises a series of Artist Talks during Brandhaardens: in-depth discussions with inspiring makers about their work and working methods, motives, sources of inspiration and fascinations. Artist Talks take place after a performance by the artist in question and offer a deeper look at the work in a broader context.

Duration 45 minutes, after the performance
Location Pleinfoyer
Language English

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‘ The feminist topics and questions are already there to be picked up, the strong female characters are there, but they need to be set into center, they need to tell their stories and especially their backstories, the stories of their mothers and daughters and sisters.’

In this Artist Talk during festival Brandhaarden, moderator Carolien Borgers talks to Elsa-Sophie Jach, after the performance Die Unerhörten.

‘What I find exciting about theatre is the confrontation between different worlds, languages and perspectives. And that there's always a secret just beyond your reach’, says Elsa-Sophie Jach (1991), director and writer. She works like a choreographer: she likes to begin with the mise-enscène, with the encounters and the confrontations.

She took ballet lessons as a child and she did an internship at the local theatre as a teenager. She studied directing at the Hamburg Theatre Academy, and Creative Writing for the Stage at the Berlin University for the Arts. In 2018, she was named Young Director of the Year. Since then, she has staged a large number of productions at the Thalia Theater Hamburg, the Wiener Schauspielhaus and the Theater Bamberg. Jach has been resident director at the Residenztheater in Munich since September 2022, where she staged Die Unerhörten (2021).-|-In terms of content, she alternates work by contemporaries like Thomas Köck (in particular) with classical authors like Achternbusch, Kleist or Goethe. She digs into the past like an archaeologist and unearths the forgotten or silenced voices of women. She brings them – back – to life.

In a 2022 production, she combined Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers with moving texts by his contemporary Karoline von Günderrode. While Goethe's Lotte, so beloved of Werther, is no more than a blank screen on to which the young hero projects his grand feelings; in Werther, the beloved Lotte herself gets a voice.

In Die Unerhörten she brings the love poetry of Sappho back to life, accompanied by the techno live band SLATEC from Munich. She has undertaken archaeological detective work to confront historical female characters such as Medea with texts by her favourite writers including Ingeborg Bachmann, Friederike Mayröcker, Heiner
Müller and Christa Wolf: the voices of women previously unheard (‘unerhört’).