Tiara Partsch, Cindy Bloes and Lina Peller take a break from a rehearsal of BGT’s production of “David’s Redhaired Death” on 22 July 2020.
Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne
Two actors and a promising director are the driving force behind BGT’s latest summer project to encourage young trainee performers.
Following the success of the initial BGT summer project, last year’s “Wolves are coming for you”, theatre director, teacher and head of the Berlin Grundtheater Tony Kingston is now fully engaged with a follow-up.
This time he has picked two actors of great promise to star in Sherry Kramer’s “David’s Redhaired Death”. Cindy Bloes and Lina Peller star as Jean and Marilyn, the eponymous redheads who use the mythical power associated with their hair colour to pretty much get what they want. Then they meet and fall in love.
Kingston is directing the play, but has been joined, if not actually usurped, by Tiara Partsch an 18-year old who is serving as assistant director before starting her bachelor’s degree in theatre at the University of Michigan.
Kingston is clearly impressed with all three emerging talents, who were chosen for the project because they are considering a career in theatre. And, importantly, they share his passion for the medium. Even Tiara, who started theatre class at school when the arts class she had chosen was already full, seems to have stumbled upon her true calling. “I stepped into the theatre class room and I think I never left. Anytime I had a break or at lunch, I would spend all my hours there. I love the fact that it gave me a voice as a really young person to say what I wanted to say and create what I wanted to create and to spread a message.”
Cindy says her love of the stage began with a fascination for a musical she saw performed at the Lycée Michel Rodange when she was just ten. “I just watched it and thought, ‘I want to do that.’” Starting off in musicals, Cindy soon discovered she wanted to focus more on acting, so she was “super happy” when Kingston came along as her drama teacher. Even when studying literature in Munich, Cindy still managed to tread the boards, doing as many as three shows a year. She was even due to direct a production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” earlier this year, before covid-19 put the kybosh on those plans.
Lina also started acting at Michel Rodange, but then went on to take diction and acting courses at the Luxembourg City Conservatoire, and eventually studied drama and sociology at university. But she has since become involved in other aspects of theatre, including costume design. “Now I’m back on stage, and really excited.”
“David’s Redhaired Death”, which Kingston came across by chance while reading a number of plays for female actors, is described as a moving mix of absurd comedy and heart-breaking tragedy and takes a poignant and sensitive look at the way bereavement can change everything. “It’s one of those plays that initially you struggle to figure out what it’s really about, and then something opens up and its suddenly really clear,” the director says. “They're really real characters. You can definitely see similarities with at least someone you know in your life,” says Lina.
Because it is a two-hander, Cindy and Lina are on stage for the entire length of the performance. “There's an amazing dynamic between the two characters that shifts and changes, and from an acting point of view that's really interesting to experiment with,” Cindy explains.
“It’s really powerful,” Tiara adds. She loves communicating with the actors and finding out what they're doing, to discover their perspective on the characters. "I think that process is really, really beautiful as a director…and that's exactly what we're doing here.”
As for the future, the covid-19 crisis has taken its toll on immediate plans. Tiara is preparing to start her degree in Michigan. She had first heard of the reputation of the school while taking a summer programme in Boston. “I love their approach to theatre making. Even though I'm studying directing, I get to study every part of theatre--designing costume designing, lighting, stage management, acting--and I will get a really well-rounded education.”
Cindy is finishing her masters’ thesis and will also be looking for an internship as a “dramaturge” in a German theatre. Lina’s ambition is to explore the world of voice acting and translating and dubbing. She is also considering going to the UK--indeed, she enjoys theatre that concentrates more on the characters rather than looking at the language. Audiences will be able to judge for themselves how that has worked out in early September.
The BGT production of Sherry Kramer’s"David’s Redhaired Death” is scheduled to play at KINOLER, 38 rue Principale, L-8376 Kahleron Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September at 7.30pm, with an additional matinée performance on the 12th at 2.30pm. Ticket info here.
Please note that the venue and time of the evening shows has changed since this article was first published.