PLASMA theater company

    2,181 views 8 years ago
    The Swiss drama group PLASMA sees itself as a laboratory in which is searched for theatrical forms of expression. Since 2001 projects have thereby come into being, which distinguish themselves by an own mark and by their professional translation into action.
    Plasma the group around the director and author Lukas Bangerter explores the borders between theatre, music and fine arts, and in this manner creates performances with a unique signature: densely layered and yet clear and reduced in its means.
    The group has realised twelve projects to date since being founded by Lukas Bangerter and the actor Wowo Habdank in 2000. Zurich acts as the base for the creation of their work, from where they perform at performance venues and festivals in Switzerland and Europe.
    From the start, a focus of PLASMA's work has been the attempt to free language from its sole function of transporting meaning, and to extend the comprehension thereof as an acoustic and musical phenomenon. The pieces of Lukas Bangerter are never linear treatises. They can be read both as living instillations or as scenic concerts, and always bear witness to the attempt to transform form into content, and content into form. Show less
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  • PLASMA-Projekt 14: CREDO

    In their latest project PLASMA- the group formed around director Lukas Bangerter- tries to find the final proof for God's existence at the borders of the here and now and afterlife.
    Fascinated by the thousand varieties of gods, heaven and hell, angels and demons, prophets, martyrs, supporters, saints, paradise and miracles, that ought to save us from the frustrating insight that things are how the are and life is not infinite, PLASMA builds a revelation-generator which bears a Deus Ex Machina and transcends us to a hereafter no one has ever seen so far. As a byproduct of this deification a genre-breaking musical theatre evening arises, something between a spiritual conference and American televangelism, which throws up the question of why people believe.
    At a time when Danish illustrators are threatened with death for portraying a founder of religion and an American provincial pastor announces the burning of a book, both of which claim international political consequences, CREDO reflects on the absurdity and the beauty which lies within the human craving for a higher existence.
    PLASMA is famous for it's eccentric, musical theatre workings which are always play, concert and installation combined into one. The group is now renowned for being specialists in linking the borders of science with art. This time though the musicians and actors dare to step into a non-explicable field and are about to touch a delicate subject: religion.
    With Maurice de Martin and Antonio Palesano, PLASMA steps into unknown territory oscillating between Free Jazz and Choral to knock on heaven's door. Whilst Bangerter's stage characters take on the phenomena of believing, they surf so virtuously through the Catechism, Koran and intellectual history that the subject matter takes possession of them and with the holy spirit dwelling around all sense is lost and language dissolves into music.
    • PLASMA : CREDO - Duration: 14 minutes.

      • 7 years ago
      ‎(!watch it in HD!)


      Playwright, Stagedesign, Director: Lukas Bangerter

      In their latest project PLASMA- the group formed around director Lukas Bangerter- tries to find...
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  • PLASMA-Project 13: ID

    PLASMA subjects its audience to an identification process

    Wittingly or unwittingly, we keep leaving tracks of data and are permanently being identified by electronic systems whose technical equipment is becoming increasingly smarter. Facial recognition software, fingerprinting, iris and body scanners record distinguishing features and data in order to verify for the control system that we really are who we are and what we appear to be.

    In ID the audience is subjected to an identification process: data is collected, booking numbers are compared, forms stamped and passes issued. The machinery of a bureaucratic ghost train ride past friendly hostesses and busy receptionists is set in motion. The audience members, however, cannot meet the systems demands as they never present the right form or appropriate identification number and the crucial lists do not contain their names.

    We are experiencing a dream-like walk through an automated facility; its as if we had left the world and were ushered through the registration system of the gates of heaven. And as the system registers and files us, it evokes the question: Why do I think that I am me and not someone else, and if I lost my ID card and forgot my access code, address, name and biography, would I still be me or would I already - or again - be someone else?

    With this new PLASMA Project 13, Lukas Bangerter attempts a formal superposition of installation/environment and proscenium theater. Using a new type of video technology that interacts with the players and receives and processes impulses from the audience in real-time, PLASMA accedes to a new plane of its work, all the while remaining consistent in its choice of topics: in place of the tragicomical characters of previous projects with their recurring and hopeless struggle for identity on various levels, there are now stewards and hostesses guiding the audience through a hyperaesthetic world located between the social poles of politically necessary data transparency and the inherent secrecy required for the preservation of national security.

    Does the identification apparatus actually still have a clear view of what it is supposed to identify? Or do structural errors create new identities? Or is this part of the systems unintentional collateral effect that produces new identities through dissociation and differentiation? Is there an underlying dramaturgical process? one asks oneself and begins suspecting that God might be a dramaturg.

    ID is a walk-around theater project. A three-dimensional concert. A scenic sculpture.

    ID is a coproduction with the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee in Zurich and is produced with a group program subsidy of the Theaterkommission der Stadt Zürich (theater commission of the city of Zurich) awarded to PLASMA.

    Written and directed by Lukas Bangerter With Helene Høm, Lilian Fritz, Wowo Habdank, Jesko Stubbe Music Jan Ratschko, Martin Wigger, Video: Michel Weber, Silvan Kappeler, Dramaturgy Peter v. Salis Stage design Lukas Bangerter Decor and costumes Petra Kenneth Lighting Patrik Rimann Set construction WALTERSTAHL Production management Walter Delazer
    • PLASMA-Project 13 : ID - Duration: 87 seconds.

      • 9 years ago
      Part of the new Theater-Project from PLASMA. Text and actors: PLASMA:
      In cooperation with the Institut für Bildverarbeitung (BIWI), Dept. Informationstechnologie und Elektrotech...
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  • PLASMA-Project 12 : LIVE Play all

    How do you tell the difference between a dead fly and a live one? What does a living entity have that a dead one does not have? Is it tangible nature that differentiates the two, or is it a condition? And why is the condition of the dead fly irreversible? Why is it not possible to bring back what has been left behind: life? Director and author Lukas Bangerter transforms the stage into a Petri dish and the current status of robotics and biotechnology into a carrier substance for dreamlike theatre images on the border between subject and object. Bangerters laboratory assistants hope to achieve immortality whereby they overlook the fact that they make themselves superfluous. Shocked, they realise that they are inferior to the devices they have created and that they must appear as faulty designs when seen from the machines perspective.

    "Wenn man wüsste, wo das Leben steckt, könnte man es einer toten Fliege einfach wieder reintun und sie lebte weiter. Aber was genau ist das überhaupt, das Leben? Die grossmehrheitlich immer überzeugende Gruppe «Plasma» um Regisseur und Dramatiker Lukas Bangartner führt ihre Theaterrecherche seit dem ersten Projekt «Der Tanz der Honigbiene» im Jahre 2001 konsequent weiter und wächst trotz gruppenspezifischer Theatersprache immer wieder über sich hinaus… …Über allem thront der Techniker, aus der Übersetzermaschine wird bald mal ein irrwitziger Musikmechanismus, der an die Orgel des grössenwahnsinnigen James Mason als Kapitän Nemo im Filmklassiker «20 000 Meilen unter dem Meer» erinnert. Die Assoziationsbilder in «Live» sind zahlreich. Die Angst vor der Zukunft paart sich mit der behaupteten Übermacht von zwei Roböterchen, selbst wenn die finale Wendung eine fast schon zur zynischen Behauptung der letztlichen Hoffnung vom siegenden Guten wird. Dazwischen werden babylonische Türme gebaut, auf denen vier Männer waghalsige Kletterpartien bestreiten. Immer auf der Suche nach dem Ort, wo das Leben hockt. Nach der Fliege kommt der Mensch (ein medinizisches Modell) und live dargestellt von den drei Schauspielern und Jan Ratschko (Orgelspieler) und zahlreichen Puppen. Eine wird bis aufs Stahl-Skelett (Puppenbauten: Walter Kenneth!) seziert, um sich dann mit zwei Schraubbewegungen in eine weibliche Gestalt zu verwandeln. Dann spriesst der Frühling selbst in Lenden von ernstlichen Forschern an der ultimativen Frage, und dieser lästige Sexualtrieb übertölpelt sämtliches Forscherinteresse. Daneben aber gilt das Hauptaugenmerk schon der Entschlüsselung des «Programmes Leben» – und diese Recherche kommt derart aberwitzig komisch daher und natürlich technikverliebt, wie immer bei Plasma, dass der Begriff DADA gefährlich nahe ins Blickfeld rückt. «Live» ist wie immer exakt ausgeführt, überrascht mit Regieideen und zählt auf die Bühnenpräsenz der Darsteller. Kurzum: Wer Lust auf lustvoll präsentierte, ziemlich verquere Spurensuche nach dem alles bestimmen- den menschlichen Programm hat, ist gut beraten, da hinzugehen. Es sind formal wie inhaltlich konzise, aber auch belustigende wie verstörende neunzig Minuten Theater. Gratulation."
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  • PLASMA-Project 11 : WALK DONT WALK Play all

    There are computers and desks now, where previously maybe a heron circled around a few times a year. Now, phones are answered and transactions are being closed, but there used to be nothing here."
    The starting point for the project WALK DONT WALK is the city as a system. The rapid urbanisation of humanity serves as one of the mega-trends of the 21st century. According to a report of the United Nations, the majority of people will live in cities for the first time in history in 2007. PLASMA takes a poetic look at this phenomenon and mentally carries the trend to its extreme: the borders of the mega-cities have started overlapping. The world is a city. Global City

    For WALK DONT WALK, Lukas Bangerter floods the theatre in a sea of buildings. He builds a cityscape that extends across the entire stage, sends his actors and musicians into a labyrinth of urban canyons and invites the audience to a nightly sightseeing flight around the metropolis, the mother of all cities. Like scientists studying ants, we start off by scrutinizing the system from the outside, and are then gradually drawn into and absorbed into it more and more.
    The swiss performancegroup PLASMA interprets the city as a social sculpture, as a collective memory, which is an expression of the needs and desires of the human beings who had planned, built and populated it. The city that man lives in is malleable, just like the human brain. It constantly changes, remembers and forgets. Both the brain and the city are highly complex systems and the result of a process of development, which fundamentally bases on the principle of self-organisation. Both are organised de-centrally and exist of a number of components that are closely interlinked with one another, and which interact with one another in a highly dynamic manner. We have structured the world around us to correspond to the world inside of us. PLASMA shows the city as the image of its creator, as the expression of the relationships between the inhabitants turned to stone..
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  • PLASMA-Project 10 : OBDUKTION Play all

    We cant decide if what we call truth, truly is true, or if it just seems to be so."
    In OBDUKTION (autopsy), the universe of PLASMA full of time loops and dislocated reality - devotes itself to the figure and thoughts of Heinrich von Kleist.
    Kleists despair about our inability to know if the world which we describe really is as we see it, combined with the stumbling and discarding attempt to couch it in words nevertheless is perfect material for the comic tragedians who populate the Plasma universe.
    These characters dont physically portray Kleist on stage, but are scenically driven by the tension between the hypertonic super-ego and reality. The excessive demands that Kleist makes on himself and others, that effectively implicate failure, interlinks the tragic-comic chain on stage.
    A score of actions, images and sentences start in a room, which could be a brain or a typing machine that fills the entire room. The naked, un-theatrical reading with uniform speakers develops into complex scenic events with emancipated characters. PLASMA shows Kleists writing as an attempt to nail down the unknown in order to find foothold in a bewildering world.
    Through the amalgamation of the instillation and the performers, a scenic portrait of a sensitive, sentimental character emerges that has great difficulties in expressing his emotions directly. Kleist clings to reason almost to an adjuratory extent, he constructs Lebensentwürfe (concepts of life) and tries to force happiness by means of intellect.Yet all ideas of life are without substance, nothing really affords hold. There is no solid ground to be found.
    OBDUKTION is co-produced with Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zurich and Schlachthaus Theater Bern. 5 actors, 2 musicians and 3 technicians form part of the project.
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  • PLASMA-Project 9 : RANDOM Play all

    PLASMA-Project 9

    Theatre about the question why something is something, and not nothing

    ... Even the fact that the world exists lies outside the realm of probability. It lies outside the realm of probability that Mosquitoes, people, automobiles and theatre performances exist. Just one tiny shift in temperature during the evolution of the cosmos, and we wouldn't have existed, life on earth would never have come into being"

    The swiss performance group PLASMA, after examining the deterministic worldview of modern brain surgery in its previous production, Project 8 TIP OF THE TONGUE, now turns to the phenomena of coincidence as final chance to escape this predetermination.
    RANDOM life as a casino, as a lottery of possibilities, and the ambitious attempt of the trickster to give fate a slap in the face. Who will blow the bank? Which chink contains the last spark of freedom?
    PLASMA thereby transforms the stage into a Petri dish, in which the nutrient solution that feeds coincidences is bred. A coincidence generator, in whose finely spun web of musical and performance events a handful of fortune seekers get caught. While they try to understand why something happens, or why not, they get caught up in longings, hurt themselves/each other and break through the sound barrier of the understandable. The result is a musical-action transformer that, with the passage of time, spins more and more out of control.
    The ensemble around director Lukas Bangerter throw themselves into the arms of predestination uncompromisingly and with great relish, only to withdraw themselves again - always fluctuating between ironic distance and melancholic desire.
    It can't be denied that our biographies are influenced to an astounding degree by a phenomenon, which we have no control over: that of coincidence. This phenomenon, the fact that we are forced to accept ambiguities despite all attempts to describe both the world and ourselves accurately, is the subject of PLASMA's latest project.
    Just like DELIRIUM, RANDOM will also feed off the friction energy that is created when Martin Wiggerr's digital tones encounters the analogue music of Jan Ratschko. Five actors/actresses and three technicians partake in the project.
    A co-production with Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zürich and Schlachthaus Theater Bern.
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  • PLASMA-Project 8 : TIP OF THE TONGUE Play all

    PLASMA-Project 8

    Playwright, Stagedesign, Director: Lukas Bangerter

    The Swiss Performance Group PLASMA reflects on (neuro-) scientific world views with the resources of theatre. Taking as its starting point the Manifest of renowned neuroscientists which appeared in Fall 2004, which gives information about the state of future possibilities of brain research, PLASMA addresses the question of how our brains can be described using the resources of the brain. This tragic-comical attempt to describe the indescribable, is the subject of the project TIP OF THE TONGUE PLASMA thereby transforms the stage space into the darkroom of the brain, and condenses a neural network of sounds, words, actions and images into a multimedia stage instillation. The laboratory assistants become the test animals, get caught up in déjà-vus, stumble over memory gaps, are rattled by association cascades, force themselves to remember and yet forget what they are there for. For centuries humans have tried to understand their brains as 'thinking organs', and the mapping of the functions of this grey substance, which was previously assigned to our immaterial soul, seems suddenly anatomically describable. But, as Gagarin - the first man in space ascertained that he hadn't seen God on his space trip, we have had to discover that even after the lid of our skulls has been lifted, we haven't been able to see 'the I' up to now. The project came into being as a collaboration between the Festival Science et Cité + BrainFair. TIP OF THE TONGUE is a theatre performance with four actors and one musicians, a co-production with Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zürich.

    The Tip-of-the-tongue phenomena describes the condition in which a person knows exactly that they know the word they are trying to say, but they can't find, or rather activate, the word at that moment. This condition of temporary loss of speech is of great interest to Neurophysiologists, since information about the organisation of the brain can be gathered in the time-lapse between stumbling over the word and finding it.

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  • PLASMA -Project 6 : DELIRIUM Play all

    PLASMA -Project 6

    Playwright, Stagedesign, Director: Lukas Bangerter

    An evening along the gravitational field of an endless bar.
    If the measurement of time is reduced to specific motion and changes of being, then the measure of time is only defined for the position of that specific clock.
    DELIRIUM, a theatrical machine somewhere between digital dataflow and tangible melancholy, is inspired by the troupes own experiences of the Finnish winter during their tour to Helsinki. People at a bar: The endless night shifts perception, slowly dissolving the borders between the fantasized, the remembered and the experienced. We find ourselves in regions the other side of consciousness, on the continent between last orders and locking up; that moment when, having had a glass or more, we sit quietly in the corner of the bar and watch the room bend, and wait for the taxi or the next drink.
    In DELIRIUM Lukas Bangerters lyrics collide with scientific treatises. A contrast reflected tonally by the combination of Jan Ratschkos Hammond organ and Martin Wiggerrs electronic sound.
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  • PLASMA-Project 5 : BLUE MOON Play all

    PLASMA-Project 5

    An experiment to prove the existence of soul.
    An international neuro-linguistic congress loses focus of its topic as its participants are flooded with information. In the emerging collective storm of neurons, forbidden things start to surface: passions, desires, melancholy, lust and violence are revealed.
    The Swiss Performance Group PLASMA with their director Lukas Bangerter deals in its projects critically with scientific themes. Thereby scientific knowledge and theses from the topics as communication and brain research are reflected by methods of art and so the discourse is continued on an esthetic level.
    Plasma understands art and science as two different pictures of one reality and analyses at the same time both views in their validity. This analyses also takes place in PLASMA-Project 5: BLUE MOON an experiment to prove the existence of soul".
    An international neuro-linguistic congress loses focus of its topic as its participants are flooded with information. In the emerging collective storm of neurons, forbidden things start to surface: passions, desires, melancholy, lust and violence are revealed. The PLASMA performance is a live installation, a play on words, a multi-facetted score of actions, texts, sound and images.
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