17 June 2002


The Praxis Group is performing an interpolation of Heiner Müller’s five-page script Hamletmachine in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on July 4, 2002 for 8-Hours [1] at the XIV World Congress of the Fédération Internationale pour le Recherche Théâtrale [2]   (International Federation for Theatre Research) at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.


Nathan Christopher   ==> Hamlet
Jonathan L. Ford       ==> Sound Designer
Scott Magelssen       ==> Academic
Vedrana Partalo        ==> Ophelia
John Troyer              ==> Academic

Preview and Performance Fundraiser:

The Circle of Discipline
1201 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Friday, June 21, 2002
$15 Suggested Donation
Proceeds assist European performance

Amsterdam performance location:
Turfdraagsterpad 17
1012 XT Amsterdam
Time: 14.30-22.30

For more information contact:

John Troyer
The Praxis Group.

Heiner Müller discussing Hamletmachine:

“When I wrote the text…I had no idea whatsoever how it could be realized on stage, not the slightest idea. There was a text, and there was no space in my imagination for the text, no stage, no actors, nothing. It was written in a kind of soundproof zone, and that has been happening with me increasingly. It was the same with Hamletmachine; there are those desperate stage directions that are impossible to realize, a symptom of my inability to imagine ways to realize them and see the space where these events could happen. That means these are at bottom plays or texts whose only place of action is my brain or head. They are performed here, within this skull. How do you do that on a theater stage? That is at the core of Artaud’s theater of provocation, which is hardly a theory and has simply become a method. A theater made of brain currents, of nerves in your skull. But, as I have said, this remains an open question for me, I don’t know where it will lead to. You can only discover the answers when you are grounding the work strictly in the text and insist on the text; then certain constraints will appear which may lead to new forms of theater or a new way to manipulate a theater space. – But without this step into an absolute darkness, the absolutely unfamiliar, the theater cannot continue.”

-- From Conversations in Brecht’s Tower (Gespräch in Brecht’s Turm) 16 October 1995.  Heiner Müller’s final interview before dying of stomach cancer on 30 December 1995.

[1] Praxis Group produced and performed an 8-hour production of Hamletmachine in August 2000 at Gus Lucky’s Art Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. The performance in Amsterdam is an entirely new realization of the text, correcting mistakes made in the 2000 production.  The Amsterdam performance begins with an essay “BLABLA the ruins of Europe in back of me: Translating Heiner Müller’s Hamletmachine into different Performative Spaces” (published in Summer 2002 by Performance Research, Routledge UK) co-authored by project Academics Scott Magelssen and John Troyer; mutating into Heiner Müller’s own fiercely enduring text over the course of 8-hours culminating in an ice age.

[2] The Fédération Internationale pour le Recherche Théâtrale was founded in 1957 and is one of the world’s largest and most significant gatherings in the discipline of theatre and performance studies. Every four years a World Congress is organized.