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Before the Sky Falls

© Diana Pfammatter

After Macbeth by William Shakespeare using the translation by Angela Schanelec
Staging: Christiane Jatahy

*** Golden Lion for Christiane Jatahy ***

Macbeth is the story of an ambitious tyrant at the heart of a network of macho men who are corrupt, violent and misogynistic. As such, Macbeth would appear to be the literary prototype of toxic masculinity, and his leadership a mirror for current authoritarian regimes all over the world. In Brazil, for example, which is the native country of Christiane Jatahy. In Before the Sky Falls, the director takes on the classic Shakespeare play, presenting us with men who are drunk on power and inclined to devour anything that seems weak, feminine or fragile… until the spirits of the Amazon summon the forest and fight back. Guided by the philosophy of the Yanomami, an indigenous people from the north of Brazil, Jatahy has the witches’ oracle pervading Macbeth’s sleep and the rainforest crowding the stage.

Known for her judicious blending of theatre and film, and familiar to Zurich audiences for previous works of hers performed at the Theaterspektakel, Christiane Jatahy is now coming to the Schauspielhaus to pursue her political theatre work with the house ensemble.


"Quite intimately, the Yanomani text combines with "Macbeth", Kodder's snout everyday talk with Shakespeare, at times introduced with a source note: "You say that in Act 3, Scene 5". Everything mixes in this phenomenal evening: video and live performance, historical and contemporary drama." (Valeria Heintges, Nachtkritik, 10/27/2021)

"Thanks to the stunning acting performances, we get into it, stay with it. Will we, in the end, have gone along for nearly two hours, hung along with this Macbeth and his men; this ruthless examination of what whores, lies, steals and murders inside us." (Alexandra Kedves, Tages-Anzeiger, 10/28/2021)

"Far-fetched it is not: the prophecy that Macbeth will not perish until the forest is upon him, linked with passages from Davi Kopenawa's book "The Falling Sky" becomes very concrete. The shaman, spokesman for the Yanomami people, talks there about the importance of the rainforest and the consequences of its destruction by gold prospectors, cattle ranchers, loggers." (Alexandra Kedves, Tages-Anzeiger, 10/28/2021)

"Grandiosely, Jatahy succeeds in accessing the Brazilian present with Shakespeare. The director even takes the Macbeth fable one painful turn further. Namely, when the men's clique elects a successor for the boss who has been destroyed in madness and schizophrenia - Malcolm is that in the original - someone comes to power who no longer even pretends to think politically: instead, only as a criminal, murderous monster." (Michael Laages, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 10/27/2021)

Christiane Jatahy
Artistic Collaboration, Stage and Light Design
Thomas Walgrave
Paula Henrike Herrmann
Domenico Lancellotti
Director of Photography
Paulo Camacho
Julio Parente
Technical Development
Marcelo Lipiani
Light Master
Frank Bittermann
Production Management
Henrique Mariano
Bendix Fesefeldt
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Audience Development
Mathis Neuhaus
Theatre Pedagogy
Manuela Runge
Touring & International Relations
Björn Pätz
Production Assistance
Sultan Çoban
Stage Assistiance
Karl Dietrich
Costume Assistance
Anna Michaelis / Miriam Schliehe
Direction Intern
Kaja Schranz
Stage Intern
Valeria Ballek
Costume Intern
Michelle Wanzenried
Eva Willenegger
Rita von Horváth
Surtitle Setting
Anne Hirth PANTHEA
Surtitle Translation
Sinikka Weber
Surtitle Riders
Josephine Scheibe / Maya Scharf / Salome Bossard
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In cooperation with CULTURESCAPES 2021 Amazonas
♥ Affairs


Supported by Gesellschaft der Freunde des Schauspielhauses (gfs). In cooperation with Villa Patumbah. Christiane Jatahy is an associate artist of the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, Centquatre-Paris, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Arts Emerson Boston and Piccolo Teatro de Milano. The company Vertice is sponsored by Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d'Île-de-France and Ministère de la Culture France.

  • 1h50 (no interval)
  • Premiere: 27. October 2021
  • Also interesting for ages 16 and up
  • 🛈 Introduction 30 minutes before the performance on 12.12. and 4.1.
    In addition, all audio introductions can be found online on our Soundcloud account.
Introduction: Bendix Fesefeldt, Dramaturge

Image gallery & Videos

Bits on Pieces
More texts and contexts related to our stagings in the theatre’s journal.

Das Gespräch zwischen der Aktivistin Izabel Barros und Bendix Fesefeldt, dem Dramaturgen der Inszenierung Before the Sky Falls, wurde ursprünglich im Programmheft der Inszenierung veröffentlicht und wir publizieren es nun auch im Schauspielhaus Journal. Es behandelt sowohl die dezidiert akvistische Arbeit von Barros selbst, ist aber auch eine Einordnung in das grössere Ganze, indem das Gespräch den Blick öffnet für postkoloniale Diskurse in Mitteleuropa. 


Der Erfahrungsbericht zur Inszenierung Before the Sky Falls von Christiane Jatahy kommt von Davi Kopenawa und seinem Sohn Dário von den Yanomami, einer indigenen Gemeinschaft aus dem Norden Brasiliens. Im Oktober waren Davi und Dário Kopenawa für ihre politische Kampagnenarbeit in der Schweiz und, für ein Gespräch mit Christiane Jatahy, auch zu Gast im Schauspielhaus. Wir stellen die Videoaufnahme dieses Gesprächs hier in Gänze zur Verfügung und präsentieren ausserdem die Ausführungen der beiden als kondensierten Erfahrungsbericht des Premierenabends.