Never again – the children’s hospital in rothenburgsort, skycradle – music and theater

Musical by Dirk Schattner (book and texts) and Mario Stork (music)
Reading / Presentation: November 16, 2017 in the Thomaskirche, Rothenburgsort

World premiere: June 30, 2018 / pre-performance for students: June 29, 2018
St. Thomas Church, Rothenburgsort

November 26, 2019, district school Bergedorf

May 8, 2019, Alsterdorf Foundation, on the occasion of a commemoration for the day of liberation from National Socialism

a CD with the songs from the musical is planned to be released in early 2020.

Anna, student: Merle Hoch
(Disney’s Tarzan, Sugar, Hair)

Andreas, student: André Haedicke
(The Addams Family, The Full Monty, Spamalot, Der Schuh des Manitu)

Frieda: Michaela Schober
(Rebecca, Dance of the Vampires, Luther)

Herma, mother of Andreas: Annika Bruhns
(Elisabeth, Mamma Mia, I was never in New York)

Siegfried, father of Andrea: Georg Münzel
(Dortmund Theater, Nuremberg State Theater, Thalia Theater, etc.)

Eva, nurse: Laura Saleh
(Hair / Volkstheater Rostock)

Music and musical direction: Mario Stork
(A song of freedom, Friedelinds Wahnfried, Where love is)

Text: Dirk Schattner
(The Count of Gleichen, Friedelinds Wahnfried)

Directed by Agnes Oberauer
(Thalia Theater Hamburg, Theater Celle)

Set design and costumes: Julia Bührle-Nowikowa
(Elbphilharmonie, Kampnagel)

A production by Skycradle GbR, Wieckhorst & Schattner in collaboration with the St. Thomas Church. The project is supported with funds from the district fund Hamburg-Mitte and from district fund funds of the district assembly Hamburg-Mitte through the disposition fund of the district council Rothenburgsort. We thank for the kind and generous support of Cargill Texturizing Solutions Deutschland GmbH & Co.KG, the building cooperative of free trade unionists eG, the Elisabeth Kleber Foundation and HAMBURG WASSER | HAMBURG ENERGY.

Contribution to Hamburg Journal for the premiere on June 30, 2018

Photos from the dress rehearsal on June 29, 2018 – Photos: Felix Amsel

Photos from the presentation on November 16, 2018 in Hamburg, Rothemburgsort

The musical is based on real events, but people and concrete plot are fiction. It is about the murder of children in the Rothenburgsort hospital as part of the activities of the "Reich Committee for the Scientific Assessment of Hereditary and Genital-Related Serious Sufferings" under the rule of the National Socialists. With our music theater we tell of possibilities, we show fantasies about stories of those who have been killed, who have been stolen from us, we trace events from the realm between "that was not" and "could have been there".

The center of the story is a bunker in Rothenburgsort, where the children while the bombing night 27/28 July 1943. Station sister Eva is supported by seven-year-old Anna to calm the children down. Anna is not really sick, she is stuck in the hospital until the responsibilities in her adoption process have been clarified. The mother has given her up for adoption; she doesn’t want her foster parents back.
Eva tells the children a fairy tale about a little girl who, through the power of his imagination, turns his bed into a boat. This dream becomes reality in Anna’s imagination and she sees her life in the mirror of the river that carries the boat.

Based on the scenes in the bunker, several time travel through biographies after 1944 begins. Frieda, Anna’s mother, tries to find her daughter again after 1955, Andreas, the son of Herma and Siegfried, learns a little later about his sister Marie and her death. Both children are said to have died in the children’s hospital.
Andreas happens to meet the student Anna, the two fall in love and Anna helps Andreas to improve the broken relationship with his parents, whom he accuses of the death of his sister. She finds a topic for herself in the stories about the child murders, for which she is passionately committed.

Anna and Frieda meet for the first time through their dedicated research on euthanasia. Eva tries to talk to Frieda almost at the same time and tries to apologize for the actions she has permitted in Rothenburgsort. Only a child named Anna saved her. With Frieda (and the viewer) the thought settles: Anna could be the lost daughter.

Frieda storms the podium at Anna’s lecture and shouts her guilty conscience out into the world. The theater stops. The actors of the invented story commemorate the real background on which it is based.

All protagonists meet in the lecture hall. Anna has to deprive Frieda of the deceptive hope for the happy ending she dreams of in her. She is not the lost daughter. Life does not write such Happy Ends. What remains is the hope for a world in which people treat each other in such a way that something like a happy ending is no longer necessary.


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Christina Cherry
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