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Peter Stein's Schaubühne

Lontano – is an appreciation of the multifaceted artistic work of West Germany's first autonomous theatre group which, between 1970 and 1985, under the direction of Peter Stein, made theatre history.

The film traces the formation of the Schaubühne as a theatre experiment in the spirit of '68, describes how grassroots democracy was practised within the group and addresses the premises, the errors and the mentality which swiftly elevated the Schaubühne to the position of the most important German theatre in the second half of the 20th Century. What mad self-governed theatre work possible?

This documentary intends to cut a swathe through the thicket formed by theatrical myths and euphemisms to afford a clear view of the theatre's historical development and its achievements which today have been forgotten and have not spawned a tradition or artistic legacy.

Peter Stein reviews recordings of selected productions including Torquato Tasso, The Mother, Peer Gynt, Summerfolk, Shakespeare’s Memory, Big and Small and Aeschylus's Oresteia. Historic venues are revisited in the company of former ensemble members, reconstructing aspects of the theatre work of the time. Lontano does not attempt a chronological history or definitive interpretation of the Schaubühne's work. Instead, it provides a fragmentary, almost archaeological approximation of performance moments, spaces, costumes, designs, texts, plays, bodies, and not least an overdue reminiscence of an ensemble achieving worldwide fame under Stein's guidance. Which are the memories that remain? What is lost? An intense retrospective view – „A reflective film“ (Peter Stein).

Lontano, translated from the Italian, means distant, from afar, far away, or aside. In music, lontano denotes performing off-stage, creating sounds which can be clearly distinguished from those produced on the stage itself.

DVD Case and Booklet



Montage: Mirja Gerle

Peter Stein's Schaubühne

A film by Andreas Lewin
with Peter Stein and Moidele Bickel, Volker Butzmann, Bruno Ganz, Corinna Kirchhoff, Michael König, Willem Menne, Elke Petri, Susanne Raschig, Werner Rehm, Libgart Schwarz, Peter Simonischek

90 min
Director of Photography Wojciech Szepel
Sound Arved von zur Mühlen
Editor Catrin Vogt (BFS)
Still Photography Ruth Walz, Abisag Tüllmann, Helga Kneidl
Music Brian Ledwidge Flynn
Camera Hire Camelot Broadcast Services GmbH, Berlin
Online Editing and Postproduction Howard Harrington, media total, Berlin
Compositing Gerhard Jensen-Nelson, Waveline, Berlin
Colour Correction Jedrzey Sablinski, DI Factory, Warschau
HD Transfer Cine Postproduktion, Berlin
Press and PR Anja Zenk
Film Insurance Caninenberg & Schouten GmbH
Legal advice Rechtsanwalt Horst Hummel, Berlin; Rechtsanwalt Christian Füllgraf, Hamburg
Produced by Andreas Lewin

Special thanks to Regine Herrmann for her contribution.

This film would not have been possible without the support of Deutsche Bank.

Special thanks to
Jutta Lampe, Hans Lampe, Isa März-Toppel, Hans Helmut Prinzler, Judit Ruster, Roswitha Schieb, Jürgen Schitthelm, Markus Stein, Christina Voigt, Ruth Walz, Regina Ziegler and
Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck

Thank you
Archiv der Akademie der Künste, Dr. Wolfgang Trautwein. Deutsches Theatermuseum. Goethe-Institut Rom, Carmen Hof, Kaspar Howald. HAU Hebbel am Ufer. Lido Kultur- & Veranstaltungs-GmbH. Olympiastadion Berlin. rbb Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, Rolf Bergmann, Peter Kolano, Claudia Nothelle, Maria Ossowski. Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz.

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