The Philosophy of Freedom as a Play

At the Theater Festival taking place at the Goetheanum from July 10 to 14, 2024, speech formation artist Volker Frankfurt will be performing Rudolf Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom as a modern-day play. An interview.

What is the performance about?

I aim to open up The Philosophy of Freedom as a work of speech art and allow it to develop through free expression and the encounter with the listener as an inner dialogue partner. Thereby, we can gain a new point of access that promotes and deepens the conceptual-artistic understanding of the text. To this end, interactive elements also play a role.

What themes and questions are you exploring in your work?

Steiner himself felt the need to present the question of freedom graphically, but refrained from doing so because humanity is too conditioned to need language. So, he recorded it exclusively in written form, giving it an artistic form despite the strictest scientific accuracy. This artistic character of the Philosophy of Freedom became an experience for me thirty years ago. That is why I have been interested for years in researching different artistic forms of presentation such as eurythmy, speech and dramatic art.

What influence does Rudolf Steiner’s Drama Course [Dramatischen Kurses] have on your work?

Of course, I had to learn the selected chapters by heart in order to become free in language and gesture. In doing so, I repeatedly made myself aware of the basic dramatic gestures of certain passages while practicing. The vocal nuances associated with the basic dramatic gestures came almost automatically. I had to consider the inner conversational relationship to the audience from the outset so that the drama didn’t come to nothing. Then, I had to keep forgetting the entire thing so that the immediacy and spontaneity were not stifled. In the end, the artistic medium must become second nature, an artistic instinct.

More Goetheanum Theater-Festttage

Translation Charles Cross
Image Volker Frankfurt, Photo: Jerun Vahle

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