by Hermann Hesse / Repertoire
"My story is that of a person – not a fictitious, a possible, an ideal, or otherwise nonexistent person, but a real, unique, and living human being." This unique person is called Emil Sinclair and he begins his memoirs with the moment in which he realises that the world consists of two parts: a healing, mild, and bright part, and a dark one, which is home to the forbidden and the violent. Emil, whose home does not appear to know the dark part, is fascinated by this discovery. He is pulled into the dark world by the street boy Kromer and – naive and inexperienced as he is – he is about to become its victim when Max Demian appears and frees him from Kromer's grip. Demian is different from anyone else Sinclair has ever met. The two are connected by a secret band, a mark which can be seen only by those who wear it. Demian knows both the dark and the bright world and makes Sinclair see that neither of the two is preferable to the other. He speaks of free will and explains that everyone can decide for themselves what is permitted and what ought to be forbidden, that times change and thereby also the rules. As a consequence the Absolute can only be found within oneself. Demian is one step ahead of Emil. He seems to understand Emil's dilemma: his awakening sexuality, his inclination to mysticism, and his dissatisfaction with the conformity of bourgeois existence – but at the same time he appears to have already overcome it. Against the background of Europe's decline, their paths separate and unite.
Hermann Hesse published "Demian" shortly after the end of the First World War. Europe's morals and values went down with it in its fall. A new world could now arise. But who is ready to build it? Hesse traces Sinclair's path of individuation. What makes us a person? How flexible and seducible are we? Is there a mystical dimension that determines our existence? How willing are we to adjust to society and not even try to find out who we really are? And when we try to find out, where does this path lead us? Sinclair faces the questions of growing up and the struggles to be a human being.
"The hatchling struggles out of the egg. The egg is the world. Whoever wants to be born must destroy a world."
Moritz Beichl, graduate of the directing class of the Theatre Academy in 2017, will bring »Demian« to the stage