Zachary Oberzan

The Great Pretender


English /  100 minutes

Zachary Oberzan, a founding member of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma from New York, often interrogates his own identity between private person and art figure in his performances. In “Tell Me Love Is Real,” which was presented at HAU Hebbel am Ufer in 2015, he spoke about his attempt at suicide, which took place around the same time as that of Whitney Houston, except that Oberzan survived. In his new work “The Great Pretender,” the multitalented artist combines film, theatrical and musical elements into a tragicomic evening, pursuing the surprising parallels between his own life and the lives of others. It begins with an odd mix-up in which Oberzan, as “The Great Pretender,” celebrates the desire of constantly wanting to be someone else: A con man appears and tries to fool the staff at a theatre, Oberzan himself does an enchanting Elvis impersonation, the filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami reconstructs the events in a film. The story of a man torn by the problematic between his own identity and artistic creation.


Concept, director, design, adaptation, cinematography, editing & performance: Zachary Oberzan / Backing-Vocals: Maya Mertens, Diede Blok / Dramaturgy, production & management: Nicole Schuchardt / Light, sound & video: David Lang / Stage consultancy: Eike Böttcher / Costume design: Dorothea Andrae

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  • Past
    German premiere
    Fri 17.3.2017, 19:00 / HAU3
    Sat 18.3.2017, 19:00 / HAU3


Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, deSingel (Antwerp), Beursschouwburg (Brussels), Vooruit (Gent), Black Box Teater (Oslo), Gessnerallee (Zürich), Teaterhuset Avant Garden (Trondheim), brut (Vienna), and House on Fire with support of the Cultural Programme of the European Union.


Tempelhofer Ufer 10, 10963 Berlin

HAU3 unfortunately is not barrier-free. Access to the theatre is via a stairwell (3rd floor). The use of a lift is possible with prior arrangement. If you need help, please contact our Ticketing & Service team at +49 (0)30 259004-27 or email us at Wheelchair users are also kindly requested to register their attendance at least one day before the performance.
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