1974, Culver City, Los Angeles. Doris Bither, a single mother of four, reports to the police that she has been repeatedly visited and raped at night in her own home by an »invisible entity«. She also recounts the incidents to the psychologists Barry Taff and Ken Gaynor at the UCLA Research Lab for Parapsychological Phenomena.
The researchers and FBI agents encounter strange phenomena in Bither’s house, including objects being moved without any visible external force, cold spots and unpleasant smells — they classify the case as »paranormal activity«. A months-long investigation unfolds to the point where around 30 investigators are frequenting Bither’s house. The case remains unsolved but even less is known about how Doris Bither experienced the assaults and subsequent examinations by parapsychologists and the police. Decades later, in »In Memory of Doris Bither«, Bither’s son, her niece and a former neighbour seek to reconstruct the traumatic events. In the process, their own memories overlap with versions from documents and fictional representations including newspaper articles, testimonies and the novel and film which emerged soon after the events, both bearing the title »The Entity«. While their minds can barely remember, their bodies begin to repeat the events.
Yana Thönnes, born in 1990, is a director, author and performer. In 2015, she founded the performance company THE AGENCY together with Magdalena Emmerig, Rahel Spöhrer and Belle Santos. In 2023, she introduced herself as a director with »Spitzenreiterinnen« by Jovana Reisinger at Residenztheater, Munich.
In Yana Thönnes’ first production at the Schaubühne, ensemble member Ruth Rosenfeld and performers Heinrich Horwitz and Kate Strong go in search of the language Doris Bither lacked to tell her story. In doing so, they become haunted by the forms of language we continue to use to describe violence against women, queer people, and bodies and humans that diverge from the norm. »In Memory of Doris Bither« wants to summon the spirit of Doris Bither onto the stage to uncover what was really troubling her.
(Bühne und Kostüme)
Elisa Leroy (Dramaturgie)
Martín Valdés-Stauber (Dramaturgie)
Ruth Rosenfeld (Mit)