Das Gewicht der Ameisen
Das Gewicht der Ameisen
© Anna-Maria Löffelberger

THE WEIGHT OF ANTS

David Paquet

Ages 12 and up

Austrian premiere: 28 April 2023 / Kammerspiele

Synopsis

And the Oscar for the worst educational institution goes to: Jeanne’s and Olivier’s school! No money, no quality and definitely no place anybody would like to spend time in. The solution: advertising! Talking shampoo ads, to be precise. Now, even the restroom is restless. Wherever the students go, models with flawless skin, full heads of shiny hair and perfect bodies are incessantly reminding them of their own shortcomings.

Jeanne has had enough: “#nofilterneeded”! Determined to fight back against these daily body-shaming attacks, she becomes an activist. Meanwhile, Olivier is plagued by great worries: the climate crisis, corruption, nuclear threats – anything at all that can make one scared. In his dreams he sees teenagers being roasted like marshmallows over an open fire. When the headmaster proclaims a “Week of the Future”, both Olivier and Jeanne decide to run for the post of student president.

Fuelled by enthusiastic speeches, conspiracies, ninja expeditions and the love of unicorns, the campaign asks loudly and clearly whether optimism and activism are still legitimate, viable strategies for the future. Or is “Pizza for everybody!” really all we need?

With “The Weight of Ants” (“Le poids des fourmis”), Canadian author David Paquet (*1978) has written an angry comedy unfolding at a furious pace. He presents a chaotic adult world from which teenagers get no guidance and in which they have no say. Paquet is one of the most influential contemporary Canadian dramatists. He received a Governor General’s Award in 2010.

Christina Gegenbauer has staged theatrical productions at the Vienna Burgtheater, the Staatstheater Nürnberg and in Regensburg, Münster and Bielefeld. Her projects for children, teenagers and adults discuss topics that are relevant to society. The 2022/2023 season sees her making her debut at the Salzburg State Theatre with “The Weight of Ants”, a play for young audiences.