object-theater for everyone aged 6 and up

Early in the morning, huge garbage trucks rumble through the streets and swallow our waste. Elsewhere, they spit it out again. Elsewhere, completely different rules apply, different beings live, and different things happen. Elsewhere, cleaning sponges dance the tango, witches brew magical slime in garbage cans, and a mountain of plastic spins pirouettes. Elsewhere is magical and colorful, but also a bit dirty, smelly, and eerie. The stage comes to life with all kinds of small and large garbage creatures and a curious vacuum cleaner. This colorful object-theater tells of another exciting dimension – without words but with lots of music.

With ELSEWHERE, we inspire our audience with creativity, anarchy, and getting their hands dirty. We provide a small insight into the possibilities of DIY recycling. We offer space for fun and entertainment but also contemplation and concentration. Key players on stage include a self-driving vacuum cleaner, an electric toothbrush as a magic wand, a whimsical garbage can, an oversized dish sponge, a wayward garbage bag and a good dose of magical slime. This associative dream journey constantly questions unwritten rules and thus provides an occasion for subsequent discussions.

FITZ, Stuttgart
Sat 11.5. | 3 PM | Premiere
Sun 12.5. | 3 PM
Tue 14.5. | Wed 15.5. | Thu 16.5. | 10 AM

HochX, Munich
Thu 6.6. | Fri 7.6. | 10 AM
Sat 8.6. | 4 PM

FITZ, Stuttgart (Figure it out – showcase)
Wed 26.6. | Thu 27.6. | 10 AM
Sun 30.6. | 11 AM

Directors + Set Design: Nina Malotta, Samuel Hof
Performance + Objects: Antje Töpfer, Nina Malotta
Music: Christoph Mäcki Hamann
Lighting + Technology: Samuel Hof
Dramaturgy: Antonia Beermann
Production: Lisa Ticar
Vacuum Cleaner Construction: Christoph Paper Blattmacher
Graphics + Photos: Markus Niessner
Press: Kathrin Stärk
Video documentation: Josef Mayerhofer

Elsewhere is a production by O-Team in cooperation with FITZ, Stuttgart, and HochX, Munich. Supported by the state capital Stuttgart, the Fonds Darstellende Künste from funds of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media, and the Landesverband freier Tanz- und Theaterschaffender Baden-Württemberg e.V. from funds of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the state of Baden-Württemberg. With the kind support of the Kunstverein Wagenhalle e.V.

As a child, I dreamed of driving a garbage truck. Before I wanted to be an astronaut, I wanted to be a waste collector […] I remember wandering around the grounds of the space center in Huntsville, Alabama, in utter ecstasy. But when I was very young, I would stare out the window for hours at the approaching dump truck, amazed by its size and capabilities, fascinated by its slow and free movements, driving up and down every block, and then disappearing to an unknown place. Where everything the truck had devoured was spat out again and carefully hidden in a remote part of the earth. Space and landfills fascinated me equally as a kind of mysterious “elsewhere.” – Brian Thill

From our experience, the topic of waste is not only relevant but also extremely fascinating for children. How much waste do I produce? What happens to it in this hidden second reality? And who actually decides what is waste and dirt – and what can still be played with? The process of growing up reflects in throwing things away: The former favorite toy is no longer interesting, but can it be thrown away yet?

The landfill appears in some respects as alien as outer space. Both are imaginary spaces that appear as an outside and a counterpoint to the familiar world. In the non-human world, there is no waste, only cycles, balances, and imbalances. “Human” does not come from “homo” but from “humus,” says Donna Haraway. We are compost, not posthuman. “We are beings from the mud, not from the sky.” Engaging with and analyzing the world is a messy affair that undermines any fantasy of purity, completeness, and self-identity. We believe that culturally ingrained thinking in terms of opposites, separations, and purity is not helpful and should be replaced by images and thought patterns of cycles, balances, entanglements, cooperation, and symbiosis.

After over 30 productions for grown-ups, we, O-Team wanted to take on a new challenge with ELSEWHERE and produce our first piece for a young audience. While working on our previous pieces, we repeatedly thought that certain elements, particularly because of their playful and sensory nature, could also be very interesting for children. Some of these objects and ideas have been adapted for a young audience and further developed in ELSEWHERE. We had similar thoughts regarding the themes: If we care about finding ways out of the ecological crisis and consumer capitalism and changing ways of thinking, it would make sense to playfully involve a younger audience in this discourse as well.