Emotional Roller Coaster: Borderline personality-related Theater Project “Achterbahn”
The borderline syndrome is surrounded by a host of myths: Some artist personalities are said to suffer from it, and in particular also eccentric figures from feature films or books are associated with it. In that respect, this psychological disorder is actually more widespread in the real world than people think – over 1.2 million people are affected by it in Germany alone. They experience their condition as an uncontrollable roller coaster ride: Impulsive responses and powerful mood fluctuations make it difficult to collaborate with other people, often leading to social isolation.
“Psychological illnesses are still a topic that is taboo in our society”, comments SAGST Project Manager Konrad Lampart with regret. “The Achterbahn-theater project of the Darmstadt initiative trialog deploys the means of art to zoom in on the environment of people who have a borderline personality. This enables a change of perspective, increasing mutual understanding.”
“Trialog” conversations have sprung up over the past few years, where those affected, as well as relatives and specialists, have the opportunity to see eye to eye with one another on the topic of a borderline personality. Such an initiative exists in Darmstadt as well. With the “Achterbahn” play (cf. “It feels like a roller coaster at times”), the Theater Educator and Director Kai Schuber-Seel and his team wish to sensitize the public to the fact that the borderline personality disorder can affect anyone, and is nothing that anyone needs to be ashamed of. They created a scenic collage, the manuscript of which is based on interviews with those affected, people from their environment and psychologists.
The premiere, originally scheduled for the Spring of 2020, has meanwhile had to be postponed for the second time, due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the wake of these developments, the ensemble wishes to provide insight into the theater work and the emergence of the project online through a theatrical reading followed by specialist talks. “This creative approach, which allows scope for exchange and a Q&A session”, explains PR Officer Wasiliki Koulis, “is meant to make clear how important it is to treat one another gently and respectfully – in particular at this special time.”
“Achterbahn" – The Borderline personality disorder and theater come together
Theatrical reading at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2020
Follow-up program (8:15 p.m.): Specialist talks by Anja Link (“Borderline Trialog – The Case for Shared Knowledge”)
and Hans Gunia (“Borderline Personality Disorder – Family and Therapy”)