5 actors, 3 from Germany and 2 from the United States, 2 Austrian video artists and the GTA team are going cross-country in a tricked out bus, playing Johnny Appleseed with the play Start Up, written especially for ROAD THEATER USA by Roland Schimmelpfennig, Germany’s most produced contemporary German playwright. With a combination of the filmed “reality” of the tour and the theatrical “fiction” of the play, the audience is treated to an ever-changing performance event.Start Up is an intelligent comedy which deals playfully with US and German stereotypes, pioneer romanticism and cinematic myths. The play paints a portrait of an absurd, comic clash of cultures in a US small town. Young Germans, Rob and Micha, try to find their fortunes as they journey to the west. They have a business idea: selling cultural imports from Old Europe. Real theater. The concept is pretty shaky for a business plan and the negotiations with the pragmatic real estate owner Ike are just as shaky, since Ike has his own agenda. The two women of the quintet, however, Rob’s girlfriend Kati and Ike’s daughter Liz, both get what they want: one settles down and one moves on.
The theater company German Theater Abroad (GTA) has been traveling between both sides of the Atlantic for the last 11 years and is the “most important organ of German-US theatrical exchange” (American Theatre Magazine, 2006). Contemporary plays form the core of the work with artists from different countries. GTA turned heads in Manhattan with the festival STADTTHEATER NEW YORK in 2006, now the company is setting off on its biggest trip ever. The journey will take the troupe from New York through 16 states over 7 weeks. They will cover 6,000 miles and perform in 24 cities until they reach Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean.
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