Dream Machine (La máquina de sueños)

Direction and Idea: Anke Retzlaff | With texts by: Matin Soofipour Omam

  • German, with subtitles.
  • 60 minutes

Warning The play uses smoke, fog and strobe lights

There is a telephone booth outside the theatre, but strictly speaking, it is not a phone booth: it is a dream machine. The audience can leave their memories of their own dreams and wishes as voice messages there, in any language. The messages will become part of a growing archive which later, during a theatrical performance, will be transformed into a musical composition.

Based on a monologue by the author Matin Soofipour Omam, which deals with the processing of grief during sleep, three musicians and an actress will travel through the unconscious. On their escape from a painful message, they dive deeper and deeper into one's own mind – a space familiar to anyone who knows how to dream, whether it is about flying, being persecuted by an evil animal, or losing someone you’re afraid of to lose.

What do dreams reveal about us? What happens to our dreams if a global crisis interrupts reality and turns it upside down? Can sharing dreams serve as a "currency of care", creating new connections between people, when we must remain physically distant? These are some of the questions Dream Machine explores.

Including phone booth voices and dream messages from around the world, the musical performance celebrates the imaginary, transcending the boundaries between dreams and reality, song and spoken word, electro, and jazz.

Direction and Concept: Anke Retzlaff | With texts by: Matin Soofipour Omam | Performance and music: Anke Retzlaff, Jo Beyer (drums), Lukas Schäfer (synthesizer) and Peter Florian Berndt (sampling) | Co-Director, Outside Eye: Paul Jumin Hoffmann | Set Design: Karolina Wyderka, Marie Gimpel | Costume Design: Karolina Wyderka | Lighting Designer: Philippe Waldecker, Jörg Paschen I Technical Director: Philippe Waldecker | Sound: Sebastian Tarcan I Dramaturge: Katharina Rösch | Artistic Associate: Caspar Weimann | Phone Booth: Philippe Waldecker, Karolina Wyderka and Marco Schretter | Assistant Director: Jan-Moritz Hoffmann | Production: Fabian Rosonsky

This work is supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste, funded by Federal Government's Commissioner for Culture and Media, within the framework of the NEUSTART KULTUR program, and by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste.

Special thanks to Bebê de Soares / AMAZONAS NETWORK.

©Jan-Moritz Hoffmann

Anke Retzlaff


Anke Retzlaff is a German actress, director and musician. In addition to various theatrical and film commitments, such as her leading roles in Über die Grenze and Puppe, where she was nominated to a New Faces Award, she works as a director at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and in the independent scene. Her production Dream Machine has attracted international interest and it was celebrated in its world premiere, at the international theater festival Theater der Welt in Düsseldorf in 2021. In addition, she works as an actress and was named Best Young Artist in the German professional magazine Theater heute in 2021.

Matin Soofipour Omam


Matin Soofipour Omam studied dramatic literature and stage writing at the University of Teheran and theater education at the Berlin University of the Arts. Her first engagements as a theater educator were with Grips Theater Berlin and the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus. In the 2021-2022 season, she has been and will be working permanently as a dramaturge in the Theater an der Parkaue, in Berlin. As a dramaturge and director, she belongs to various collectives such as Suite 42, Projekt-il, Waltraud900 and Geschichten aus der Stadt.

-Because the play is an interdisciplinary creation that combines concert, theater, performance and participation through a telephone booth, where dreams can be recorded and used during the musical theater performance. In this sense, the spectators play a key role.

-Because since its premiere at the international theater festival Theater der Welt in Düsseldorf in 2021, Dream Machine has attracted international interest and has been very well received by both critics and audiences.

-Because during the performance not only dreams of Festival visitors are heard, but also dreams of people from remote countries, who have shared their voices in the context of previous performances. Dream Machine is about the practice of sharing dreams and the possible connections between people through this same action.


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