Daniel Schlusser Ensemble

Theatre & Performance

They Divided The Sky

A heart-wrenching romance set against the backdrop of the building of the Berlin Wall. Christa Wolf’s beloved novel is brought the stage by an extraordinary team of creative artists.

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East Germany is in generational turmoil: post-war trauma is in conflict with youthful optimism. Curious and passionate Rita is falling in love with hilariously pedantic Manfred. Together, they are fearless.

Utopias seem possible. Marxism! Socialism! Revolution! But the Cold War is already underway and when Manfred’s professional ambitions are thwarted, he looks to the west. The Soviets have put a man into space and a famous Wall is about the split the city. Will their love go the way of their beloved country, or will Rita’s idealism, and seemingly boundless capacity for sacrifice triumph?

Christa Wolf was one of the most famous German authors of her generation. Her first full-length novel They Divided The Sky was hailed at the time for its artistic achievement and excoriated for its “decadent” politics. This timely adaptation by Daniel Schlusser has been written for two of our finest performers, Nikki Shiels, and Stephen Phillips and features an extraordinary team of designers.

With the support of the terrific Belvoir 25A initiative, we are confident that They Divided The Sky will be a highlight of the Sydney theatre year, and we want your help to ensure its excellence and to give it every opportunity to take it further.

Your donation will certainly provide welcome assistance to this Melbourne/Sydney co-operative effort, but most importantly, we are seeking funds for the ambitious reason that we want the production to tour.

With your help, we can ensure that They Divided The Sky is comprehensively documented and that the work can be done both during the season and immediately afterward to attract the interest of producers and theatre companies who can take the show around Australia and overseas.

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Daniel Schlusser Ensemble (DSE) creates theatre that is “Confident, exuberant and utterly, utterly dazzling” (Chris Boyd, The Australian, Peer Gynt); “Beautiful, uncompromising, lacerating” Alison Croggon, ABC Arts, Menagerie); and which “detonate abiding notions of theatre and performance” (Rebecca Harkins-Cross, The Age, M+M).

DSE is a genre-defying, risk-inviting and highly influential ensemble that utilizes an exhilarating array of theatrical processes in the exploration of three key themes: power, reality and ritual. DSE makes work that is urgent and contemporary, and is characterized as both “post-dramatic” and “highly emotionally literate”. DSE is a space for the long-term development of the utopian ideal of ensemble-led practice. Based in Australia, the Ensemble has created nine productions over seven years in co-production with major and independent arts organisations and festivals. Over five eligible productions the Ensemble has earned twelve Victorian Green Room nominations winning, amongst others, Best Ensemble for M+M.

CH

Charles Purcell

VIC
EG

Edwina Guinness

NSW
DN

residential

New York
AS

Anna Schlusser

VIC
EW

Edwina Wren

VIC
NI

Nicole Beyer

VIC
NP

Natasha Phillips

VIC
MI

Michaela Coventry

VIC
DN

Daisy Noyes

VIC
GR

Gareth Reeves

NSW
RG

Rinske Ginsberg

VIC
DM

Dominic Mercer

NSW
VP

Vanessa Pigrum

VIC
MR

Melissa Reeves

VIC
CL

Christian Leavesley

VIC

Emilie Collyer

VIC
SA

Simon Abrahams

VIC
AD

Adena Jacobs

VIC
ZN

ZAHRA NEWMAN

VIC
AL

Alison Croggon

VIC
DE

Declan Greene

VIC
BC

Cardigan Comics

VIC
AE

Alex England

NSW
ES

EUGENE SCHLUSSER

VIC
SG

sue Giles

VIC
NI

Nicole Smith

VIC
LY

Lyn Wallis

Victoria
SL

Scott Leek

VIC
LH

Grit Theatre

VIC
JE

Jessica Darlow

WA
PE

Peter Paltos

VIC
RP

Rachel Perks

VIC
JO

Joshua Price

VIC
AL

Alice Hatton

NSW
AN

Alison Nadebaum

NSW