McCrae, Zaitev, Schönijahn & Piroschik

2023/24 SCHICHTEN Theater Performance Installation

Please note: Three-day strike in Dresden public transport from 29.02. to 02.03.2024. More information at

An old melody sounds in the debris.
Memory in ruins.
Stone by stone, pebble by pebble, gravel and rubble.
And this is where we dig now.

In THE GREAT GRAND OTHER four performers ask about the transmission of war experiences and traumas across generations. What did our parents and (great) grandparents not tell us? What could they no longer tell us? How reliable is what they told? And how do their war experiences continue to affect us? Between scenic concert, immersive installation and performance, a poetic-musical search takes place, whose starting point is a blank space. It shows itself where language falters, the voice fails and the narratives fall silent. THE GREAT GRAND OTHER tries to transfer the immaterial legacies of war into images, texts, sounds and movement. What traces has the war left in our families and in ourselves? What are we silent about and why? And how can we find our own voice? THE GREAT GRAND OTHER invites us to enter into this transformation process together, to trace the silence in our own family narratives and to search for words for the unspeakable. An audience discussion will take place afterwards on 25 May. Duration: 1 h 30 min. Safety note: It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes.

Duration: ca. 1 Std. 30 Min.
Language: German

Safety warning: We recommend wearing sturdy shoes for the performance. 

The performance deals with real war experiences and traumas, however no explicit images are shown. 

Michael Neil McCrae

Michael Neil McCrae is a freelance director, producer and performer with German-English roots. He is interested in the realization of fiction and the fictionalization of reality. His working center is Dresden and he is among others part of the artistic direction of the art and performance project theatrale subversion.

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Dina Zaitev

Dina Zaitev, born in Chişinău, Moldova, is a post-Soviet Jewish artist. Her works are based on transdisciplinary creation. It combines theater, narrative and text with installative and performative elements.

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Matthias Schönijahn

Matthias Schönijahn is an artist living in Berlin. He works in the fields of video and performative sound installation. His work is based on theories and practices of Deep Listening as an artistic strategy and political mode of action. One of his main interests is the voice as a more-than-human phenomenon.

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Melanka Piroschik

Melanka Piroschik is a German-Ukrainian musician, composer and artist. Her focus is on the contemporary reinterpretation of traditional music and the adaptation of musical rites that have their origins in Ukraine, among other places. She works, among others, as part of the duo Moloch & Nadiya.

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Idea: Michael McCrae
Artistic direction: Michael McCrae, Dina Zaitev & Matthias Schönijahn
Performance & Text: Michael McCrae & Dina Zaitev
Music & sound art: Melanka Piroschik & Matthias Schönijahn
Set: Dina Zaitev
Video: Matthias Schönijahn
Costume design: Nicolas Navarro Rueda
Technical direction & lighting: Kristin Feldmann
Dramaturgical assistance / Outside Eye: Constantin von Thun
Production management: Nicole Meier | art.revolution

Special thanks to Prof. Dr. Ruthard Stachowske, Efim Ciornii, Wolfram Streller, Robert Kirstan, Jan Kindler (Military History Museum Dresden)

In co-production with HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Supported by: KdFS – Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen, LHD – Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz , Fonds Darstellender Künste | #TakeHeart-Prozessförderung