Karl Barth – with Puppets!

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Karl Barth’s life told by puppets? Like bacon and maple syrup on pancakes, that has to be one of the best combinations of three of my favorite things.

(The following has been translated into English from this webpage)

KARL.B.DENKT: a tribute to Karl Barth

The visitor to Zürich, who came to Stäfa via Zurich, found a very contemplative atmosphere on Lake Zurich, and the November fog plunged him into a dreamy silence. But then on Saturday evening, the pre-premiere of “KARL.B.DENKT.” exploded into this mood like a wake-up call.

In his play, Michael Schwyter, actor, speaker, player, writer, director, technician has succeeded in taking us on a rampaging, forty-minute express journey through Karl Barth’s life. Everything – his theological work, his struggle for responsible action in the church, in politics, in relationships – can be followed and experienced on his puppet stage.

Smiling, laughing heartily, thoughtfully, the audience was drawn into the spell of Karl Barth. An expectant anticipation filled the theater space. And again and again, the audience was surprised and challenged by the old, lively, pipe-smoking man – sometimes interrupted and irritated by his assistant Theo.

For his play, Michael Schwyter uses almost exclusively original quotations from Karl Barth, which he has skillfully and confidently selected and arranged and with whose help he paints a picture of the stammering, cautiously groping contemplation or the bursting clarity and certainty of the dynamic and fluid theology of Karl Barth, so that it is always moving and never stands still. We begin to see a thoughtful, vulnerable person, who at the same time wants to be the honest and credible Word of God theologian.

“KARL.B.DENKT.” is a wonderful way to talk about Karl Barth and our questions of today in order to interest people who so far knew little, very little about him. “Now I would like to read a text by Karl Barth!” Was the spontaneous reaction of many theatergoers.

Michael Schwyter can perform almost anywhere with his mobile theater and tell his audience enchantingly about Karl Barth.

I take my hat off to a beautiful, inspiring, happy-serious evening in foggy Stäfa.



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