On Conversion

What makes us believe? How do we pray, what do we pray for, what consoles us? What do we doubt and struggle with? Why does God leave us alone? What makes us lose our religion?

The musical research theatre piece searches for a subjective religious life here and now. Over the last few months, werkgruppe2 questioned people who have changed religion and today belong to Islam, Judaism, Christianity or live without religion at all. Central to the conversations were the personal justification for belief, the freedom of religion and the longing for religion’s magnetism. In reference to the interview texts, the three singers in the performance, each of whom respectively is of Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds, tell of childhood beliefs, rituals, solace and misgivings whilst creating their own kind of musical conversions.

For a long period, religion in Germany had been written off. Since the beginning of the new millennium, however, a new wave of thought was launched and the question as to whether “religion as a resource for meaning/ making sense of our democracy” was posed by the philosopher, Jürgen Habermas. Today, from a political vantage, there is no relationship more loaded and rich for discussion as that between religious and secular society. How can we live a more religiously tolerant life? Does more knowledge about the differences in belief systems lead to a better understanding? Even if our beliefs are quite different - or we have none - what is it that nevertheless binds us together?

"…there is nothing one can do when one loses one’s religion."


A variety of unpolished thoughts, doubts and convictions emerge, from which one can learn a lot about man‘s struggle with finding a foothold, comfort and orientation. Through the figures, life is discussed with a holy seriousness; no fanaticism, no esoteric blurb for a better way. ...They acknowledge and talk about it. And is such exchange not a chance for different religions to co-exist side by side on friendly terms?
Thomas Hahn, Süddeutsche Zeitung

photos: Volker Beinhorn

Premiere 18.3.2016

Kleines Haus
Staatstheater Braunschweig

directing Julia Roesler

music and composition
Insa Rudolph

research Roesler/ Merzhäuser

stage design Thomas Rump

costume design Julia Schiller

sound design Georg Werner

Silke Merzhäuser, Katrin Schmitz

20./30.03.; 3./8./15./21.04; 27.05.; 4./24.06.2016

Sven Hönig, Tilla Kratochwil, Franziska Roloff, Christophe Vetter

Efrat Alony, Esra Dalfidan, Insa Rudolph


photos: Volker Beinhorn

Co-produced by

funded by

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