“Better thou, hadst not been born than not to have pleased me better.”
(King Lear to his daughter)

“Daddy’s working boots have filled their obligation.”

(Dolly Parton about her fatherʼs shoes)

In the first scene of Shakespeareʼs “King Lear”, the old man tries to bequeath his kingdom in a grand gesture to his three daughters in the hope of thus securing an arrangement for his old-age – a plan that fails violently. This is not surprising, as of all the trade-offs we are involved in, the one between the generations is the most complicated and devious.

The value of something and its equivalent (like money and love) are in principle concealed and no one has ever officially agreed to their conditions of exchange. This applies to almost all agreements between the generations: they are foul. They have never taken place. They donʼt exist. The stables which need to be cleaned out, are filled to the rim with data and details, trinkets, genealogies, laws of descent and distribution, hereditary diseases, oaths of love, care plans in case of infirmity, gas receipts and feelings of guilt – all of them bargaining chips in this public confrontation of daughters and fathers.

For “Testament”, She She Pop will be inviting their own fathers to join them on stage. The theatre is the negotiating table for a utopian process: a compromise between generations.

She She Pop is a quite unique phenomenon on the world scene. First of all, it is a performance collective consisting of extraordinary women: artists, performers, playwrights, all of whom work with no hierarchy, without a director, probing teamwork possibilities on a daily basis, and negotiating democratic relations. Their work is a constant experiment, challenging stagnant structures of repertory theatres. Secondly, their talent, absolute consistency and uncompromising attitude have allowed them to develop over the years a particularly expressive artistic language, breaking conventions, opening a new way of thinking about the purpose and the audience that theatre is created for. Thirdly – it is certainly one of the most conspicuous performance collectives in the world, touring the best festivals in North America, Europe and Japan with “Testament”, “Schubladen” and “Le Sacre.”

The graduates of Giessen, the legendary school founded by Andrzej Wirth and recently directed by Heiner Goebbels, have created perhaps the most important in recent years spectacle on intergenerational relationships: painfully acute, entertaining, warm, ironic, poignant, narrated in a fascinating language of the new theatre. A no-holds-barred masterpiece.


Invited for Theatertreffen Berlin 2011.

Invited for nachtkritik Theatertreffen 2011.

Winner of the Friedrich-Luft-Preis 2011.

Winner of the Wild Card of Theaterfestival Favoriten 2010.

Winner of “Best Guest-Performance 2010” by “Göteborgs-Posten” (Schweden)

Winner of the Goethe-Institut-Preis at Festival Impulse 2011

Dora-Award (Toronto, Canada) as “Outstanding touring production” 2013

Best-Performance-Award of the “National Theater Association of Korea” 2012

She She Pop

She She Pop is a performance collective founded in the late 1990s 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. Elke Weber manages the company office at Mariannenplatz in Berlin.

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 to transgress them in a purposeful and artistic way in the protected theatrical space. She She Pop have a specific aesthetic and an overtly 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 of 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 is interpreted by some as autobiographical theater. However, references made by us to our own lives are actually a method and not the content of our work. We condense our personal material into a recognizable artistic strategy and stylized exemplary positions. What is familiar becomes foreign and 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 the 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 meet us among others 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 game of table tennis played 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 doesnʼt take on a concrete role in the show and is given a specific function. All pieces by She She Pop are in their own way experimental set-ups or a line of argumentation, which would be null and void without witnesses.