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Strawberries and Orphans / Erdbeerwaisen

By: Werkgruppe2,

Directed by: Julia Roesler

Duration: 90 min.

Set Design: Adrian Damian

Music: Kim Efert

Artistic Direction: Julia Roesler

Documentation: Julia Roesler, Silke Merzhäuser, Gina Călinoiu

Music original: Kim Efert

Scenography and costumes: Adrian Damian

Costume Assistant: Veronika Kaleja

Text: Silke Merzhäuser, Axel Preuß

Translator: Alexandru Sterescu

Genre of the show: drama

Translation: Alexandru Sterescu

Decoration: Adrian Damian

Costumes: Adrian Damian

Assistant Director: Max Hanisch

Scenography Assistant: Veronika Kaleja

Technical direction: George Dulămea, Mircea Vărzaru

Assistant Director: Max Hanisch

Trainee assistants: Florian Berghöfer, Merle Kirchberger, Hanna Puder

Technical Direction:: George Dulămea, Mircea Vărzaru

Technical direction: Ralf Wrobel

Light coordinator: Frank Kaster

Light equipment: Jörg Schmidt

Sound director: Burkhard Brunner

Costume director: Ernst Herlitzius

Director of masks: Nicolaus Guth

Director of workshops: Petra Röder

Production engineer: Stephan Busemann

locksmiths: Armin Zühlke

Coordinator protocol: Sonja Bähr

Joinery: Peter Kranzmann

Decorations and furniture directory: Axel Schneider

Machinists: Cristi Petec, Stan Alin

Sound: George Udrea

Lights: Dodu Ispas

Props: Nina Răducanu

Cabins: Lavinia Petec Mariana Săceanu

Makeup: Minela Popa

O călătorie spre o generație abandonată, realizată de werkgruppe2
Un proiect în colaboare dintre Teatrul Național „Marin Sorescu”, Teatrul de Stat Braunschweig și werkgruppe2

»The Art of Aging« is a participant in the Cultural Programs of the European Commission.

»The Art of Aging« is an international project of ETC in collaboration with Braunschweig State Theater and National Theater »Marin Sorescu« Craiova, Romania.

Absolute premiere


With: Gabriela Baciu, Gina Călinoiu, Sven Hönig, Oliver Simon and Kim Efert (musician)

Premiere Craiova 28.09.2014, 19.00 - "Ion D. Sîrbu" studio room

Premiera Braunschweig 23.10.2014 Hausbar, Großes Haus

Duration of the performance approx. 90 minutes, no intermission



Save the Children – Romania; World Vision – Romania; Goethe-Institut Bucharest.



Julia Roesler (Art Direction & Documentation) studied cultural sciences and aesthetics in Hildesheim. Since graduating, he has been working as an independent artistic director and theater pedagogue, regularly giving lectures at the Braunschweig Faculty of Arts. He is a founding member of werkgruppe2.
Kim Efert (Music) studied jazz guitar and instrument pedagogy at the Faculty of Music in Cologne. He works as a freelance musician and lecturer at the Faculty of Music in Detmold. He collaborated on several theater performances with werkgruppe2 ("Me and the Donkey«), Tom Kühnel ("Parsifal«) and Thomas Ostermeier ("Measure for Measure").
Adrian Damian (Scenography), a graduate of U.N.A.T.C.- Bucharest, continues his studies as a doctoral student with the research topic »Special effects, scenographic applications and intelligent objects in the theater performance«. He signed more than 30 set designs, the last collaboration being with Robert Wilson at the National Craiove.
Gabriela Baciu (actress) studied at U.N.A.T.C. - Bucharest. Since 1989, he has been part of the artistic collective of the National Theater »Marin
Sorescu" from Craiova. She performed several roles in films and collaborated on TV and Radio productions for which she was awarded several prizes. Since 2009 he obtained the title of Doctor in the field of Theatre.
Gina Călinoiu (actress) since 2001 is part of the artistic collective of the "Marin Sorescu" National Theater in Craiova. He has worked with important theater creators such as Anatoly Vassiliev, Eugenio Barba and Thomas Richards, and is currently also a university lecturer. PhD at the University of Craiova.
Sven Hönig (actor) studied at the »Ernst-Busch« Theater Arts Faculty Berlin. He is a member of the international theater company »fliegende fische« and since 2010 he has been employed at the Braunschweig State Theater. Apart from this it can often be seen on the small and big screen.
Oliver Simon (actor) studied at the »Ernst-Busch« Theater Arts Faculty Berlin. Since 2004, he has been a member of the international theater company »fliegende fische«, with which he made an eight-month tour in India and Nepal. Since 2010 he has been part of the permanent troupe of the State Theater in Braunschweig.


Image credit:

Photos: Volker Beinhorn
Julia Roesler, Isabel Winarsch, Kim Efert, Eva Philippi, Sven Hönig, Oliver Simon, Nina Stiller, Gina Călinoiu, Lyubov Weidner, Gabriela Baciu, Florin Chirea, Adrian Damian, Adi Bulboacă

About us:

National Theater »Marin Sorescu« Craiova, Strada Alexandru Ioan Cuza, no. 11, 200585, Craiova, Dolj, Romania, Director General: Mircea Cornișteanu & Staatstheater Braunschweig, Am Theater, 38100 Braunschweig, Germany, Director General: Joachim Klement

In 2060, the average age in the EU will be around 48 years. Under the title »The Art of Aging«, eight member theaters of the European Theater Convention (ETC) are organizing long-term partnerships to discuss this issue - one such partnership is the one between the »Marin Sorescu« National Theater in Craiova and the of Braunschweig State. At the request of the two theaters, the artistic collective of werkgruppe2 realized the bilingual theater project Strawberries and Orphans / Erdbeerwaisen. CTE is the most important network of theaters in Europe, which connected more than 40 public theaters in 25 countries. The purpose of this network is to achieve intercultural exchanges and cultural education, as well as the initiation of transnational projects and the defense of theater interests in dialogue with the EU institutions. »The Art of Aging« is financially supported by the EU Culture Program 2007-2013.


The "Marin Sorescu" National Theater in Craiova has a special place in the history of Romanian theater. Founded in 1850, it has withstood all the difficulties and turbulences that Romania had to go through. In 1956, a whole class of actors, graduates of the Bucharest Theater Institute, together with their teacher, Vlad Mugur, were employed in Craiova. Over the years, they became the Golden Generation of the Romanian theater. The period 1989-2012 represented a special artistic moment, marked by the collaboration with the director Silviu Purcărete whose shows were presented in over 120 international festivals and rewarded with multiple awards. The "Marin Sorescu" National Theater Craiova is the first theater in Eastern Europe to become a member of the European Theater Convention (CTE).


Fondat în 1690, Teatrul de Stat Braunschweig este unul dintre primele teatre publice din Germania. »Emilia Galotti« a lui Lessing și »Faust – tragedia primei părți« a lui Goethe au avut premiera pe această scenă. Teatrul de stat este o instituție modernă cu cinci secții artistice și aproape 500 de angajați. Anual au loc 30 de premiere de teatru, teatru muzical, dans, teatrul pentru copii și tineret și concerte ale Orchestrei de Stat. Din 2010 Festivalul »Fast Forward« s-a consacrat ca o platformă
unică pentru regizorii europeni tineri. Din același an, Teatrul de Stat este membru al CTE.


werkgruppe2 is an independent theater company whose performances take place in the Luisenhall Saltworks in Göttingen, a unique saltworks in Europe. werkgruppe2 creates theater-documentary pieces based on interviews. Performed musical-theatre shows, which are always in search of new forms of expression in dialogue with various artistic fields. The performances are performed by groups of actors and musicians, renowned in the German theater space.


The title »Strawberries and Orphans« (in German »Erdbeerwaisen«) defines a generation of children from Romania, whose parents left the country to work in countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece or Germany. Parents are called "strawberries", regardless of whether they work as carers for the elderly or do seasonal work, whether they are workers in construction, shipyards or butchers. It is estimated that 5,000,000 Romanians work abroad, including those employed illegally, representing a fifth of the active Romanian workforce. When the parents are abroad, their children stay at home in the country. The "Strawberries and Orphans" project debates the "price" of parental absence: How are families reorganized? Who takes care of absent parents? Who can replace them? Where is their lack felt most acutely? What long-term emotional impact does this have on the children and the entire family? The »Strawberries and Orphans« project is based on a long documentary. In 2013, in September and November, the team of artists from werkgruppe2 collaborated with several NGOs and got to know a series of social cases from Craiova and Dolj county. The interviews revealed the daily life of some families in difficult situations. The dramatic text is the exclusive result of discussions with children, grandparents and their relatives.

The interviews were conducted with the help of a translator and took place in the homes or yards of these families. Most of the time children and grandparents were separated during these discussions. The questions for the children focused on topics such as: life without parents, school, future plans and living with grandparents. On the other hand, the dialogues with grandparents were about retirement (which is often difficult), responsibility for children and family, social assistance as well as their own goals in life. The results were translated into a dramatic scenario that reveals emotional aspects of everyday life, but also aspects related to the issue of Romania's entry into the EU and its consequences. Thus, it revealed a generation of grandparents who do not know the conditions of a secure life with retirement, as well as the fact that many families live in precarious situations from a financial point of view. All interviews were recorded anonymously, transcribed and translated into a dramatic script. The stories of the interviewed persons are performed on stage by four actors, two from the permanent troupe of the Braunschweig State Theater and two from the National Theater »Marin Sorescu« Craiova.


Photography, filming, audio and video recordings, as well as the use of mobile communication devices are strictly prohibited during the performance. Please turn off cell phones during the performance.



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