Letzte Wohnungen (Last apartments)

The theater project “Letzte Wohnungen” (Last apartments) is a theatrical and discursive journey with very old and very young people in a home for senior-citizens: the Wohnstift Freiburg in south west Germany. A group of children and adolescents imagined a possible future in about 100 years’ time, when all problems regarding optimization of the human condition will have been solved: failed organs can be regrown instantly, life can be extended infinitely, sleep is abolished, natural birth no longer necessary. Realizing that something is missing in this world, they decide to travel back in time, to the year of 2016, where they will meet “old people”, something that no longer exists. The future’s “replicants” are all very old themselves, but since aging has been overcome as well, they all live in the everlasting bodies of youth. Back in time, our present, they engage with the elderly in their retirement home, where they meet and learn from a historical form of life: a life where experiences are made through the fundamental processes of growing, ageing and finally death.

The project was realised in a long-term commitment of about two years, during which weekly rehearsals with the inhabitants of the home – that averaged about 87 years of lifetime – took place. The performance itself was a course through several apartments where intimate scenes between the old and the young performers were presented in form of installation-style audio drama scenes. As a result, the spectators were able to not only be part of a theatrical performance, but could also experience a very private world of a generation with rather little contact to younger ones.