The Devil's Kitchen consists of a multitude of interconnected tableaus, in other words, a rich collage of different kinds of texts and text fragments: social and traditional media and scientific texts, literary and poetic texts, conversations and reflections, whispers, rumours and provocations - of mono-logues, dialogues and polylogues.
Many of these texts/fragments already exist. We just have to collect, possibly edit and organize them.
Our sources for this endeavour are the social and traditional media, books, magazines and pamphlets. Then of course there are also the 'texts' in the minds of our target groups, our audience. In order to gain access to these texts, we have to take to the streets, talk to and interview people, both on and offline. And finally there are our own creative texts and thoughts, the texts/thoughts of our author(s), as well as the texts generated collaboratively during rehearsals by our actors.
The extent to which we concentrate on German-language texts (and German translations), and what other languages we may decide to include, will depend on the composition and capabilities of our ensemble. Our starting point is to aim for a multilingual production.
Whether a text in the end finds its way into our production depends not least on four factors: it must correspond to the zeitgeist and be fully compatible with at least one of our core themes. At the same time, it has to fit meaningfully into the narrative and be assignable to one of our actors. Since not all of the texts we collect will meet all four criteria, there will certainly be some texts that, in spite of their high quality and thematic relevance, we will not be able to include in the production.
We are therefore planning to publish a magazine of high aesthetic and literary value alongside this production. This allows us to share with our audience all the texts and text fragments that are important to us. In order to be able to fully exploit the potential of such a publication, we are developing the magazine as a standalone element (an artifact in its own right), rather than just reproducing the content and structure of the production.
As an integral part of the overall concept, the magazine has three equally important functions: (a) it introduces Mephisto and our protagonists to our audience, (b) it documents and comments on the collaborative development of the spoken opera, a complex, multi-dimensional process spanning many months and (c) it acts as a bibliophile literature archive and index for the project as a whole.