BANGALORE: Lutz Hubner believes that theatre can bring about a change. But at the same time, he is realistic. “It can just start a discussion, can help people ask the right questions. My theatre aims to stimulate a thought. And that’s a start,” he says.
Hubner is known for heralding a revolution in the German theatre scene with his hard-hitting plays that have, over the years, sparked a debate. For instance, his much-acclaimed play Respect threw light on sexual attitudes and inter-cultural confusion, based on a true story of honour killings that shook Germany in 2005. Talking about the story, he adds, “There was a clash between two Turkish youths and two girls- one Turkish and the other a German. The boys attacked the girls because they were not ‘fit’ for them, and only one of the girls survived.” Then there is his other famous play Creeps, which reflects on the perversions of the television world which stimulates the hope of fame among young people.
As is evident, all his plays focus on political issues and other societal concerns that trouble the youth. As a pioneer of this new wave of theatre called Youth Theatre, he says, “Every change that takes place in a society – pressure, the economic situation or the rise of nationalistic tendencies – has an impact on the daily life of young people. Youth Theatre can give them a forum to talk about their fears and hopes.” While his plays take note of the dissatisfactions, he says, “I always try to find stories that have to do with the conditions of the society we are living in. Theatre isn’t the place for a dramatised diary of the playwright.”
Hubner, one of the most performed living playwrights in Germany, had recently visited Bangalore to take part in the rehearsals of the Kannada adaptation of Respect called Maryade Prashne at Goethe-Institut. Having interacted with young playwrights, actors and directors from the city, he considers Bangalore an ideal place to establish the genre of Youth Theatre. “Bangaloreans have a refreshing approach to theatre. It was interesting to talk to them about the possible issues that could be written about and staged in Bangalore. And the city has many art spaces, like Ranga Shankara, where Youth Theatre can be established,” he says.
Hubner had received the Young Playwright Award in 1998 and according to the German Theatre Association, he was one of the most popular playwrights to grace the German stage. Looking ahead, this 50-something playwright, director and actor says, “I have a project with young people in the Banlieues of Paris, a play about gypsies and the cinema release of my first movie next winter.”
Maryade Prashne will be staged at Ranga Shankara on June 27 at 7.30 pm.