Alexander's Idea - Fikra-T-Iskander
by Christof Wackernagel

Location: Theatre Sabrata, Libya.

On each of the three floors in the background, four scenes surrounded by pillars tower up, beneath lies the narrow stage, in front the orchestra in a semicircle.

Prologue on stage, spoken in Arabic, (for instance by Mouna Wasif):

"More than two thousand years ago, about the time this theatre has been built, a man named Alexander lived. He is widely known as "The Great", the conqueror and warrior. But this man had a dream that is almost forgotten today:

He wanted to conciliate various religions to one, a religion of tolerance and love. He wanted to combine the different kinds of culture to one tremendous variety of science, arts and the joy of living. He wanted to turn different nations into one united mankind. Until today, his dream has not been realized."

In seven of the twelve scenes, actors appear one after another. Each of them speaks, sings, prays an elegy (text on application).

On stage an African dancer appears, performing a classical African dance that shall banish the bad spirits and destroy the mourners. In the orchestra, an African drum orchestra starts to drum.
The actors leave their scenes.
A French dancer, an Italian dancer and a German performer join the African dancer - a new dance will arise, that combines classical elements and new forms showing a positive future.
In the orchestra, other musicians from different countries (Embryo Band) will join the rhythm of the African drum orchestra.
From different entrances next to the audience and from the stage aside, the seven actors appear again - shouting, laughing, singing, exulting in different languages of the world:

"We are one World-We are one mankind-We are one."

One by one they reach the stage and accompany the dancers. They come by to sing, to hum, to pray the concert-pitch "A", related to "OM". The dancers join into this Bordun, the musicians improvise on the concert-pitch (sitar, flute, bagpipes, violin, lyra, piano, etc) until everything merges into a tremendous crescendo.

Christof Wackernagel - February 2001



Everyman, the story of the rich man's death. Today Hugo von Hoffmansthal's version of this most famous and successful play is celebrated every year by a big international audience at the Salzburger Festspiele.

From the middle ages to the 17th century, Everyman was part of the universal literature. Many authors interpreted this subject:

"Hecastus" by Macropedius (1539), "Homulus" by Jaspar von Gennep (1540), "Hecastus" by Hans Sachs (1549), "Le Marchand Converti" by Jean Crespin, 1558 etc. Performanced at alleys, squares and many courts, Everyman became Europe's favorite play.
After a longer break, Everyman was re-discovered by Hoffmansthal, Poel and others at the beginning of the 20th century. When in Sri Lanka the Goethe Institute - in cooperation with a German and a Singhalese producer - organized an Everyman performance with local actors, the buddhist participants found that it was their play "Sakelejana". Researches resulted in the conclusion, that "Sakelejana" is referring to Prince Gautama's fourth voyage. Evidently, the Everyman story goes back to this 2.500 years old Indian legend.

Called "The Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat", Everyman passed through Persia and came to the Near East. In the early middle ages the play was re-interpreted by Christian monks who integrated the story in their religious conception and spread it. In their version, a heathen (buddhist) prince was converted. Comprising several cultures and religions, passing through huge regions of Asia and the western World, "Sakelejana", "Barlaam and Josaphat" or "Everyman" still and undisputably is of great importance today. This offers the opportunity to create a new intercultural version of the play. Disputes regarding differences and indifferences of the various cultural, historical and religious backgrounds will bring about exciting results. An experiment which will lead to communication and exchange within the Qafila-t-as-Salam on its way through the desert.

Ulrich Fischer - 2000