Brave New World 2018 shows the hyper-individualized YouTube generation

Meet the beings of the World Wide Web

Come and enjoy an hour on the Internet! All your dreams will come true! You will find out who you are, and what your place in society can be! Brave New World 2018 is a spectacular update of Aldous Huxley’s classic novel from 1932. Here, the creative team tells us more.

How closely does Brave New World 2018 follow Huxley’s famous book?

Director Annett Jarewski: ‘Huxley’s novel was an important source of inspiration for the piece. We look at the most important themes of the book – idleness, addiction and control – from the standpoint of our generation.’
Scenographer Hannah Baudouin: ‘The topic came out of conversations Annett and I had about our fascinations and frustrations. It’s a collage piece based on multiple text sources. As well as Huxley, we we’ve drawn on Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, for example. We developed the play in part through the rehearsal process.’

What will we see?
Annett: ‘The inside of the World Wide Web and the beings that inhabit it.’
Producer Sanne Olijerhoek: ‘The absurdity of a world dominated by social media – and the individualism that comes from it.’  
Hannah: ‘The essence of my design comes from pixels in space that work together with the movement of the performers.’  
Lighting Designer Grischa Runge: ‘In my lighting design I try to visualize the impact the online world has on us. There’s light everywhere nowadays. Not only are we never in the dark anymore because we light everything up with electric light, we also consume information almost exclusively through the light of a screen. I magnify this effect to create a physical experience.’

Individualism, social media, addiction, idleness. What is your personal connection to this performance?

Annett: ‘In my work, but also in my personal life, I am searching for ways to be a better person and to contribute to society in a positive way. This performance takes those personal interests – social media and the internet – as a starting point from which we investigate the question: What does it mean to be morally ‘good’?
Grischa: ‘The topic fascinates me. The generation that Annett shows in the play, lives in a completely virtual world and is hyper-individual, but at the same time it’s looking for connection. The YouTube generation is somewhere in between me and my future children. We show a world that while it couldn’t be closer to our current society, feels so strange at the same time.’
Sanne: ‘When we look at our online behaviour that of others, although it is funny, unnerving things also come to light. I’m fascinated by those unnerving things in our everyday life.’

Theatre Directing
Director Annett Jarewski (25):  
‘I’m fighting against our cold, capitalist society’
‘My biggest sources of inspiration are my personal experiences. I make work that is at the same time extremely personal and universal, emotional and honest. I’m fighting against our cold, capitalist society. Important themes in my work are queerness, feminism and mental illness.’


Scenographer Hannah Baudouin (25):
‘I created a scenography for a performance that didn’t exist yet’

‘The biggest challenge for me was to create a scenography for a performance that didn’t exist yet. The performance found its form in the month leading up to the final design. As a result, my design has had a lot of influence on the direction the performance took. I was also part of the rehearsals a lot of the time, and that meant I could make the world I designed and the fragmented text become one.’

Production and Stage Management

Producer Sanne Olijerhoek (25):  
‘We really respect each other’s perspectives’
‘Working with the creative team has been great. We all really respect each other’s perspectives. The biggest challenge for me was to keep some distance from the content. I always enjoy contributing to discussions about content and dramaturgy, but I wanted to keep those things separated for this project.’

Design & Technology

Lighting Designer Grischa Runge (27):
‘How do you bring billions of screens to life?’
‘The biggest challenge was to bring the internet to life: the never-ending stream of information, the billions of screens in the whole world that we’re all staring at. The translation of an infinite virtual space to a stage is very much limited by time and space. In Brave New World 2018 I examine how I can use light not only as a visual factor, but also as a material one.’

Brave New World 2018  
29 May - 2 June  
23 June (ITS Festival)
Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam