All about She She Pop

She She Pop is a performance collective founded in the late 1990’s by graduates of the Applied Theater Studies program in Gießen.  Members are Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou and Berit Stumpf.

For She She Pop, the stage is a space, in which decisions are made, various forms of dialog and social systems tested, and grand gestures and social rituals learnt or discarded. She She Pop see it as their mission to explore the social boundaries of communication – and transgress them in a purposeful and artistic way in the protected theatrical space.

She She Pop have a specific aesthetic and ideological profile.
Our shows are developed as a collective. There is no director – but also no author and no actors. Texts and concepts are developed together. Our understanding of performance simultaneously emphasizes the artistic responsibility of every individual performer. For us, authorship is therefore less an individual achievement and more of an answer to the question: who is responsible for this text, this action taking place at this moment on stage. We hope that individual decisions made on stage, as well as the glory and failure of performance, are thereby, against this backdrop, more comprehensible and relevant for the audience. Aside from the individual shows – but also in the best parts of every performance – we define the artistic work as a collective to be our most fatal and greatest challenge.

We are not actors. Instead, we give ourselves and others interesting tasks to fulfill and solve them in public on stage. Every performer develops her own perspective on the material based on her personal horizon of experience. This interpreted by some as autobiographical theater. However, references made by us to our own lives are actually a method and not content of our work. We condense our personal material into a recognizable artistic strategy and stylized exemplary positions. What is familiar becomes foreign, monstrous. Lately, this also works the other way around: in some of our recent shows, we have adapted well-known monstrous texts from the literary canon using this same autobiographical method.

She She Pop is a female collective. The existence of male members and collaborators has but little influence on this fact. This may also be the reason why issues such as the capacity and incapacity to act, constellations of the gaze and structures of power are inseparably linked to our work. The act of presenting ourselves to an audience as a group of (mainly) women - of all things – is for us time and again something that we reflect on and observe both on and behind the stage.

Our form of theater is experimental. In other words, it explores the basic principles of theatrical communication. In every show, we make new agreements between the performers and the audience – and it is precisely this, which we consider to be our art. To achieve this, She She Pop often reconstruct familiar, everyday scenarios in which entertainment and enlightenment often alarmingly lie side by side. Our audiences encounter us e.g. in the brightly lit circle of an encounter group, in the ballroom, around a bonfire, at a candle-lit blind date, on the catwalk or in an improvised sports arena. The ping-pong between participation and withdrawal, control and escalation, non-compliance and devotion often shapes the dramaturgy of an evening with She She Pop. However, individualized interactions with members of the audience no longer play a role in recent She She Pop pieces, but this does not mean that the audience doesn’t take on a concrete role in the show and is given a specific function. All She She Pop pieces are in their own way experimental set-ups or a line of argumentation, which would be null and void without witnesses.

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