The show is build around the situation of a man holding a scientific lecture before an audience. The stage design and the audience situation are modelled after an academic auditorium. The back of the stage is set by a large projection screen that is divided in sections by wooden frames, like an oversized display cabinet. A large table is positioned in the middle of the stage. The man sits at the table and speaks to the audience. He illustrates his words with video- and overhead-projections on the screen behind him. The show begins as a scientific lecture on the theme of light and shadow, possibly touching on natural science, psychology, cultural history as well as the esoteric. Apparently the man is obsessed with the topic. He is not a scientist by profession but rather by inclination and fascination with his object. Possibly he is a charlatan. As the lecture proceeds the neutral and scientific tone gives way to a more emotional and subjective rhetoric.
It eventually becomes apparent that the man himself does not cast a shadow and that he tries to cope with being shadowless.
Towards the middle of the show the lecture is interrupted. The actor that plays the man is replaced by another actor, without there being a comment or explanation offered to the audience. A new actor now plays the part and at first it seems as if nothing else had changed. Only towards the end of the show it becomes apparent that two men are present on the scene and that one might be the shadow of the other.
Nie war der Schatten (Never Was A Shade)
by Alejandro Tantanian
Wolfgang Schade & Alejandro Tantanian
Set and costume
Musicalization and direction
Running time: 65 minutes.
Premiere: March 15th, 2012, Studio, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Germany.
Work commissioned by Nationaltheater Mannheim
Photos: Nationaltheater Mannheim & Ernesto Donegana